• Polkadot Privacy Layer Raises $5.5 Million in Funding, Seeking Parachain Slot

  • Manta Network, an on-chain privacy solution developed for the Polkadot ecosystem, has received $5.5 million in funding from a group of private equity firms and angel investors.

    The Network, which aims to improve privacy for defi users, received funding from some of the industry’s biggest names in a round led by Coinfund and Parafi Capital.

    Millions of Mantas

    CMS Holdings, Divergence, Spartan Group, Longhash Ventures, Global Coin Ventures, SNZ, Zee Prime, and SkyVision Capital were among the over 30 venture funds that contributed capital. Several angel investors, including members of the Polkadot-focused Web3 Foundation, Consensys, Digital Currency Group, Polygon, and Bitcoin.com, also participated in the funding round.

    “We’re excited and proud to be joined on our mission to privatize all crypto assets by the most reputable thought leaders, investors, and angels in the space,” said Kenny Li, core contributor to Manta Network. “We recognize the importance of privacy in Web3, which is required to scale defi use cases,” they say.

    MantaPay, a decentralized payment protocol that uses ZKP-based privacy tech to ensure the anonymity of on-chain transactions of parachain assets, is Manta Network’s first use case, built on the Substrate framework. MantaSwap, a privacy-focused decentralized exchange, will also be released soon (DEX). The platform is “building one of the core primitives for privacy preservation within defi,” according to CoinFund Principal Austin Barack.

    “Manta can build ZKSnark privacy-preserving architecture directly into the base layer and solve a number of existing problems users face today, such as front running and lack of privacy when making transfers or managing a portfolio,” Barack continued.

    “By leveraging relaychain interoperability, Manta will be able to provide these services to users across all Polkadot parachains.” We are thrilled to be able to assist this incredible team in developing much-needed defi tooling.”

    Manta’s second investment round of the year; in February, the company raised $1.1 million in a round led by Polychain Capital.

    Making a Difference in the Polkadot Ecosystem

    The $5.5 million is just the latest reason to rejoice at Manta HQ; the platform’s canary network Calamari won Kusama’s seventh parachain auction slot last month. Calamari is described as a plug-and-play privacy preservation protocol designed to service the growing defi stack on Kusama, Polkadot’s own dApp testing ground.

    The construction of a Polkadot-Kusama bridge is currently underway and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, after which all native KSM assets will be readily available on – and interchangeable with – Polkadot. Manta Network, which has already won an auction slot on Kusama, will be looking for another when Polkadot launches its own auctions next month (Nov 11–Dec 9).

    Privacy is thought to be a major challenge for defi protocols, and a number of projects have emerged in the last year to address the issue. Along with Manta Network, whose founding team includes crypto veterans and Harvard and MIT professors, other leading ‘prifi’ ventures include Sienna Network, Panther Protocol, and Secret Network.

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