Ethereum scaling solution Optimism has raised $150 million in a Series B funding round co-led by top crypto investors Paradigm and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) at a $1.65 billion valuation. The funding will largely go toward hiring, according to a Medium post from the company.
Andreessen Horowitz cofounder and general partner Marc Andreessen (Fortune Live Media via Flickr)
Ethereum demand continues to grow as non-fungible tokens (NFT) and decentralized finance (DeFi) applications become more popular, which slows transaction times and pushes gas or transaction fees higher.
Optimism is a layer 2 scaling solution built on the Ethereum blockchain that uses a transaction execution method called optimistic rollups to improve throughput and lower transaction fees while still maintaining the security properties of the underlying blockchain.
Optimism has about $363 million in total value locked (TVL) on the platform, according to DeFi Llama data.
A16z led Optimism’s $25 million Series A round last year. At the time, Partners Chris Dixon and Arianna Simpson praised Optimism’s “exceptional team, carefully designed developer experience, major scaling benefits, years of research and testing, and full composability.”
Last summer, a16z launched what was then the largest fund in crypto industry history at $2.2 billion. Paradigm topped the figure with its own $2.5 billion fund launch in November.