Pi Squared, Building 'Universal ZK Circuit', Raises $12.5M

The startup, led by a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign computer science professor, uses zero-knowledge technology to enable “trustless remote computing" along with other blockchain use cases including AI.

AccessTimeIconJul 2, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. UTC

Pi Squared, a company setting out to enable verifiable computing through the use of zero-knowledge technology, announced Tuesday that it raised $12.5 million in a seed round led by Polychain Capital.

Participation in the round included ABCDE, Bloccelerate, Generative Ventures, Robot Ventures and Samsung Next, as well as angel investors including the Ethereum Foundation's Justin Drake and EigenLayer founder Sreeram Kanaan.

The fresh round of capital will be used to expand on the products the company plans on launching.

Pi Squared’s first product is its “Universal Settlement Layer,” which settles blockchain transactions – or as they call them, “claims” – in any programming language, Grigore Rosu, CEO of Pi Squared, said in an interview with CoinDesk.

Rosu is a professor in computer science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the idea for Pi Squared came out of his career in academia.

“I've done this research with my students over many, many years,” Rosu told CoinDesk.

The company is also building a “Universal ZK Circuit,” which uses zero-knowledge technology to enable “trustless remote computing, AI and interoperable smart contract for any blockchain or dApp,” Pi Squared wrote in a press release.

“This will be made possible through the creation of a universal and disarmingly small ZK circuit that checks the integrity of mathematical proofs, which will provide verifiable-computing correctness guarantees to all languages and virtual machines (VMs) alike directly from their formal semantics, without any translation to a common language, VM or instruction set architecture (ISA),” according to the company.

Pi Squared is still in its proof-of-concept phase. Rosu said the project should be in testnet by the end of 2024.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.