Polygon raised about $450 million through a private sale of its native MATIC token in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Galaxy Digital, Galaxy Interactive, Tiger Global, Republic Capital and prominent investors like Alan Howard (co-founder, Brevan Howard) and Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Wonderful from ABC's Shark Tank).
With this warchest, the core team can secure Polygon’s lead in paving the way for mass adoption of Web3 applications, a race that we believe will result in Ethereum prevailing over alternative blockchains. The funds will also allow Polygon to continue investing in cutting-edge zero knowledge (ZK) technology that will be key to onboarding the next billion users to Web3.
Polygon’s first major financing round since the project’s founding in 2017 has also attracted contributions from Alameda Research, Transcend Fund, Makers Fund, Animoca Brands, global video game leader and games industry investor Scopely, dune ventures, Union Square Ventures, Seven Seven Six, Elevation Capital, Sino Global Capital, DCG, Standard Crypto, Celsius, Dragonfly Capital, Variant Fund, Blue Pool Capital, WorkPlay Ventures (led by Zynga founder Mark Pincus), Third Point, Steadview Capital, Accel, and many more. (See Appendix for a list of VCs participating in this fundraise.)
The first batch of one-third vesting and distribution in a three-year unlock period will start from late Nov. 2022.
Impressive as that roster is, Polygon has always been a community-first project and owes its success to the ecosystem of early believers, developers and stakeholders. This will not change. The core team sees this investment round as the tide that lifts all boats and a testament to the importance of community in making Web3 a reality.
“Web3 builds on the early Internet's open-source ideals, enabling users to create the value, control the network and reap the rewards. Ethereum, scaled by Polygon, will be the bedrock of this next stage in the Web's evolution," said Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal. "Technological disruption didn't start with Web2, nor is it going to end there. That’s why we are very excited to see some of the same firms that funded the previous round of innovation now being our Web3 vision."
Ethereum’s most pressing question is how to increase the network’s capacity to handle more transactions. The skyrocketing popularity of new applications in decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) brought with it congestion and soaring fees. Polygon has stepped in with a broad range of scaling options and transaction rates that are among the industry’s lowest.
Polygon team is building a complete suite of solutions that is similar to what Amazon Web Services offers Web2 developers -- a tool for every possible use case and scaling at a click of a button. For Web3, Polygon PoS already offers an execution layer with low fees and high transaction throughput secured by the Ethereum mainnet. With Polygon Edge, projects are building custom blockchains from scratch. In the near future, Polygon Avail will deliver the general-purpose, scalable data availability piece of the puzzle and ZK solutions will make network congestion a thing of the past first and then tackle applications around privacy.
“The platform of choice to build on the blockchain today is Polygon. Thousands of developers across a range of applications are choosing Polygon and their complete set of scaling solutions for the Ethereum ecosystem,” said Shailesh Lakhani, MD at Sequoia India. “This is an ambitious and aggressive team, one that values innovation at its core. Sequoia Capital India is thrilled to lead this significant financing round.”
Who’s building on Polygon? Oh, only some of the biggest projects in Web3, from DeFi protocols such as lending platform Aave to luxury brands company Dolce & Gabbana and NFT marketplaces including OpenSea and Mark Cuban’s Lazy.com. More than 7,000 decentralized apps (dApps) are currently building on Polygon, making it the main destination for Web3 projects.
Polygon has also emerged as a prime destination for projects looking to build the future of games on Web3. Blockchain gaming and NFT arm Polygon Studios was launched in July 2020 to assist in that mission and has since attracted projects including DraftKings, Upshot, Aavegotchi, Zed Run, Skyweaver by Horizon Games, Decentraland, Megacryptopolis, Neon District, Cometh, Animoca Brands’ The Sandbox and Decentral Games.
Polygon PoS adoption has soared exponentially, with a billion transactions recorded last year. The network’s more than 130 million unique addresses and over 2.67 million monthly active users now generate some 3 million transactions per day, more than double the volume of Ethereum. Polygon’s native MATIC token has a market capitalization of over $12 billion.
To keep the growth flywheel going, Polygon is making major investments into ZK cryptography, a technology widely seen as the end game for blockchain scaling. The core development team made it a centerpiece of its strategic vision in the Zero Knowledge Thesis published in August. As part of that mission, the team has committed $1 billion, a significant portion of the treasury, to ZK-related efforts.
Polygon is now home to an unrivaled collection of ZK efforts. The portfolio includes a zkEVM being developed by Polygon Hermez, privacy-focused Polygon Nightfall rollup built in collaboration with EY, Polygon Miden’s general purpose STARK-based rollup and Polygon Zero team applying a technique called recursion to ZK proofs.
“Adoption by individual users and enterprises, emergence of real world applications like DeFi and NFTs, involvement from the institutional community -- all of these are indicators that Web3 as a technology has passed a major installation milestone and is here to stay,” Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz said. “The excitement about Polygon and Ethereum is that together they are building the base layer for this new Internet.”
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|1||SoftBank Vision Fund 2|
|3||Galaxy Digital/Galaxy Interactive|
|4||Sequoia Capital India|
|11||Sino Global Capital|
|18||Seven Seven Six|
|20||WorkPlay Ventures (Mark Pincus)|
|22||Blue Pool Capital|
|25||Finality Capital Partners|
|32||Union Square Ventures|
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