Open source cryptography startup Zama raises $73m Series A funding to commercialize fully homomorphic encryption

Open source cryptography startup Zama raises $73m Series A funding to commercialize fully homomorphic encryption

Published: 19-03-2024 07:54:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 2020 | Tags:

Zama, an open source cryptography company building state-of-the-art FHE solutions to protect privacy in blockchain and AI, has announced a $73 million Series A round led by Multicoin Capital and Protocol Labs, with participation from Metaplanet, Blockchange Ventures, VSquared, and Stake Capital, as well as blockchain pioneers.

The funds will be used to hire talented engineers, software developers, and researchers in cryptography to maintain its open-source libraries, and collaborate with strategic partners to develop a new class of Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) applications.

As demand for robust data protection grows internationally, businesses and organizations need a way to protect consumer data without compromising its utility. FHE provides a novel encryption technique that makes it possible to compute over encrypted data for the first time, revolutionizing what’s possible with data privacy for organizations, governments and consumers alike. Over the course of four years, Zama has built a suite of open source cryptographic libraries and solutions that make FHE readily available to developers to build privacy-preserving applications.

Rand Hindi, CEO, Zama: ''We envision a world where data privacy isn’t an afterthought, but rather guaranteed by design. With the support of our investors, our talented team, and over 3,000 developers in our community, we can make FHE and privacy synonymous and ubiquitous. This funding gives us the resources to add to the best and brightest cryptography minds we already have on the team, while also continuing to advance the state of the art of what’s possible in data privacy. Our investors, Multicoin and Protocol Labs in particular, lend valuable experience as we bring FHE to market in the blockchain sector.''

Zama has been at the vanguard of FHE innovation since its inception in 2020. To date, the company has secured multi-million dollar deals in the blockchain and AI space, and has successfully released four cutting-edge FHE solutions. The company’s most recent solution, fhEVM, is the first confidential smart contract protocol for EVM blockchains. Using FHE, the fhEVM enables on-chain state and transaction data to remain end-to-end encrypted during processing, addressing the core data privacy challenge in blockchain.

Kyle Samani, Managing Partner, Multicoin Capital: ''FHE is the most important foundational cryptographic primitive for the next decade of computing. Zama’s technology is the key to build multiplayer, privacy-preserving applications. Zama’s groundbreaking work on open source FHE tooling is only the beginning. We are proud to help them build the next generation of crypto-enabled, privacy-first applications.''

In addition to addressing data privacy challenges in the blockchain industry, Zama is also building bespoke solutions in the artificial intelligence, healthcare, financial services, and governmental security industries.

Pascal Paillier, CTO, Zama: ''The potential for FHE in both blockchain confidentiality and AI privacy is massive. Being able to share our tools with people who are passionate about the same mission is an incredible privilege, something that has only been possible thanks to continuous support, resources and knowledge provided by our investors and community.''