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Flashbots, an Ethereum software infrastructure provider, has raised $60 million from venture capitalists and other prominent players from the blockchain ecosystem.
According to a representative from the company, the latest fundraise gives it a valuation of at least $1 billion.
Details Of The Fundraise
The Series B round was led by San Francisco-based firm Paradigm and marks a shift from current trends that have seen venture capitalists pivot towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) from the crypto space. According to a statement from the Cayman Islands-based Flashbots, the financing was raised through an event called the “beauty contest for decentralization” that enabled the selection of investors based on their reverse pitches. Additionally, the funding round gives the Ethereum software infrastructure provider a valuation of at least $1 billion, cementing its Unicorn status.
On the 21st of July, Flashbots had filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), stating that it had raised around $30 million of the total amount it wished to raise. At the time, the company was hoping to raise anywhere between $30 million and $50 million at a valuation of $1 billion. More Securities and Exchange Commission filings are expected in the near future and will shed light on the total amount raised during the funding round.
The company added that the Series B funding round included several leading venture capital firms apart from Paradigm, along with leading decentralized exchanges, apps, Layer 2 networks, and angel investors. Paradigm was the lead investor during the Series B round and was also the lead investor during the company’s seed stage funding round in 2020.
Funding Earmarked For SUAVE
Flashbots creates software that helps to reduce the negative impacts of MEV or Maximal Extractable Value. MEV refers to the profit made by blockchain operators over and above the fees paid by users and can be extracted through several ways, such as front-running transactions. In front-running transactions, users can pay fees to move ahead of other users. The new and updated technology is called SUAVE (Single Unifying Auction for Value Expression). Through SUAVE, Flashbots aims to offset potential risks associated with Maximal Extractable Value by facilitating a more transparent and decentralized approach.
The funding raised during the latest round has been earmarked for the development of Flashbot’s SUAVE platform. The SUAVE platform has been designed to enable users to transact more securely, privately, and at considerably reduced costs. Charlie Noyes, Paradigm General Partner, noted in a statement that he expected Flashbots to deliver on some of the most promising aspects of blockchain technology.
“The future of MEV is the future of crypto. We’re proud to continue supporting Flashbots in its mission to develop Suave and ensure crypto remains transparent, efficient, and equitable.”
Sweeping Personnel Changes
In June, Flashbots underwent significant personnel changes, with several new hires joining the team and several prominent members exiting the company. The most high-profile departure was that of the co-founder of Flashbots, Alex Obadia. In a farewell letter posted on his Twitter handle, Obadia had warned of significant challenges ahead for the company. In the letter, Obadia stated that the system Flashbots was designed to protect was still at risk from excessive centralization.
“The system we committed to protect is still vulnerable to centralization from phenomena such as cross-domain MEV and exclusive order flow. To top it off, as we’ve grown into an incumbent, we now also need to protect the system against ourselves to avoid becoming the very Moloch we’re fighting against.”
Among the new hires, Andrew Miller was the most high profile, joining the Flashbots team as a research lead, working on Trusted Execution Environments and SUAVE.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.