This article was originally published on the School of Computer Science website on November 20, 2020.
Axelar, a decentralized network that connects application builders with blockchain ecosystems, applications and users, has raised $3.75 million USD in seed funding from Silicon Valley investors, including DCVC, a San Francisco–based venture capital firm specializing in deep tech, and notable blockchain companies and investors such as Binance X, Lemniscap, Collab+Currency, North Island Ventures, Divergence Ventures, Cygni Labs, and others.
Since the seminal Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008, blockchain systems have quickly gained popularity and adoption. They’re used as digital ledgers for digital currencies as well as many other applications where an immutable ledger is needed to keep track of records and transactions securely.
Despite their many uses, blockchains are at an early stage of development and many core infrastructure elements are still missing. A particularly important element for their widespread adoption is the ability to connect different blockchain systems. This is precisely what Axelar is working to solve — building a network, along with the protocols and tools, to easily connect different blockchain ecosystems.
Axelar’s core team includes Sergey Gorbunov, professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science and co-founder and CEO of Axelar, as well as experienced engineers and computer scientists, among them University of Waterloo alumni Christian Gorenflo and Gus Gutoski. With the $3.75 million USD in funding just secured, Professor Gorbunov and his team will further accelerate project development.
“We are delighted to receive backing from such a high-calibre group of investors,” Professor Gorbunov said. “This support will be crucial to help us accelerate our roadmap and to scale cross-chain communication. The protocols and networks we’re building are as foundational as those developed during the early days of the Internet. Blockchain space is still young, and there are a lot of interesting problems to work on. The University of Waterloo and the tech hub around it are great places to build deep-tech companies, and we’re thankful for the support we’re receiving from the community.”
The Axelar protocol, developed Professor Gorbunov and the Axelar team, is powered by a decentralized network and is designed to connect blockchain ecosystems even if they speak different languages. The network and tools built on top of it will allow developers who want to build decentralized applications to simply leverage cross-chain features and communicate with programs on other platforms.