Polygon raised about $450 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from more than 40 major venture capital firms including 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).
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, Alexis Ohanian’s 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), and many more. The funds will be raised through a private sale of Polygon’s native MATIC token.
This will allow the team to consolidate its lead in the race to scale Ethereum, obviating the need for alternative blockchains and paving the way for mass adoption of Web3 applications. Polygon is building a suite of scaling solutions, including Polygon PoS, Polygon Edge and Polygon Avail, that is similar to what Amazon Web Services offers Web2 developers — a tool for every possible use case. The team is also investing in cutting-edge zero knowledge (ZK) technology that will be key to onboarding the next billion users to Ethereum.
Polygon has always been a community-first project and owes its success to the ecosystem of early believers, developers and stakeholders. This investment round is the tide that lifts all boats and exemplifies the role the community plays 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.”
The most pressing question for the Ethereum community has been 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.
Over the past year, Polygon has attracted 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. Virtual worlds such as Decentraland and Animoca Brands’ The Sandbox are also laying the groundwork for the metaverse on the network. More than 7,000 decentralized apps (dApps) are currently building on Polygon, making it the main destination for Web3 platforms and developers.
“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.”
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 make sure the growth can continue into the foreseeable future, Polygon is making major investments into zero knowledge 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, the emergence of real-world applications like DeFi and NFTs, and broader involvement from the institutional community are all strong indicators that Web3 has passed a major installation milestone and is here to stay,” Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz said. “Together, Polygon and Ethereum are building the base layer for a new Internet, which is why we’re excited to play a role in this important fundraise.”