Blockchain Builder Eclipse Labs Raises $50M Ahead of Layer-2’s Mainnet Debut

The project mixes tech from Ethereum, Solana and other blockchains.

AccessTimeIconMar 11, 2024 at 3:14 p.m. UTC
  • Eclipse Labs will open its mainnet to developers in the coming weeks.
  • The project hasn’t yet committed to launching a token but seeks to decentralize its governance over time.
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  • Eclipse Labs, the company building a blockchain to scale Ethereum using parts from Solana, raised $50 million ahead of its mainnet debut, which should come within weeks.

    In an interview, CEO Neel Somani declined to share his two-year-old company’s current valuation. Eclipse last raised cash at a nine-figure valuation in September 2022.

    The fresh funding round gives Eclipse Labs capital to fill top slots in growth, HR and research as it prepares to open its novel mainnet to developers. One developer building an app that will run on Eclipse told CoinDesk that launch is weeks away.

    Eclipse seeks to use a mix of technology from Solana, Celestia, Ethereum and RISC Zero for its proposed scaling solution – basically, speed like Solana with security provided by Ethereum. Apps built for Solana will be able to run on Eclipse with minimal changes, with SOL being the token of the realm.

    The result will be a “net additive for both ecosystems,” Somani said. “From an ETH perspective, this is an important way for Ethereum to scale. For Solana, we’re bringing more people into the Solana Virtual Machine,” or SVM.

    The SVM – Solana’s execution environment – is the software that allows Solana-based DeFi protocols to run. Blockchains in Ethereum’s orbit commonly use EVM to make it easy for Ethereum-based protocols such as Uniswap to port themselves over to their thing. So, too, will be the case for Eclipse. Somani said “major Solana protocols,” including the lending platform Solend, have agreed to set up operations on Eclipse when it launches.

    “It’s a good bet, in my opinion,” said Rooter, the pseudonymous developer behind Solend.

    Somani said the mainnet launch will only target developers. That means Eclipse won’t initially set up a user-friendly bridge through which traders and other would-be users could easily move money into the ecosystem.

    Of course, such details haven’t dissuaded eager users before. Last July, Coinbase’s Base blockchain attracted millions of dollars of inflows before its public debut. Traders seemed too keen to speculate on the Ethereum layer 2’s meme coins to wait.

    Somani said Eclipse is committed to decentralizing its governance over time and putting stakeholders in charge of big decisions. When asked if this meant Eclipse would airdrop a token, he declined to say. However, he acknowledged that tokens have become an accepted part of decentralizing governance in crypto projects.

    Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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    Danny Nelson

    Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.