Zero-Knowledge Crypto Startup Proven Raises $15.8M in Seed Round

Framework Ventures led the seed round for the firm, which was founded by former employees of market maker Jane Street.

AccessTimeIconMar 9, 2023 at 2:26 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:10 a.m. UTC

Proven, a developer of zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs that helps exchange and asset management clients prove their solvency, has raised $15.8 million in a seed round, led by crypto-focused venture capital firm Framework Ventures.

The proceeds of the capital raise will help Proven expand its team and scale its infrastructure, according to a statement. Additional investors in the round included Balaji Srinivasan, Roger Chen and Ada Yeo.

The fundraise comes after a year full of headline-grabbing crypto collapses tied to insolvency issues, including multibillion-dollar centralized exchange FTX.

Proven’s technology combines ZK proofs – a type of cryptography that can prove that something is true without compromising anonymity – and quantitative solutions. Exchanges, stablecoin issuers, asset managers and custodians can show their assets and liabilities to potential customers, partners or regulators without needing to publicly disclose their balance sheets or other sensitive data. Proven’s “Proof of Solvency” can be run daily for increased transparency.

"The last few months have highlighted an issue that has long plagued both traditional financial and digital asset firms – efficiently fostering trust with customers while maintaining a necessary level of privacy. The absence of this has led to significant distrust and, of course, contagion," said Proven co-founder Richard Dewey in the press release. "We designed Proven to be a win-win solution that enables customers and regulators to have confidence in their exchanges, lenders, asset managers and stablecoins while at the same time protecting sensitive customer information," he added.

The Proven team includes veteran quantitative traders, researchers and portfolio managers with experience at Jane Street, PIMCO, Two Sigma and Elm Partners. Proven’s client list includes crypto exchanges Coinlist and Bitso, stablecoin TrueUSD and M11 Credit - an institutional credit underwriter for decentralized finance (DeFi).


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Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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