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Nexus Closes $25M Series A to Enable Verifiable Computation via Zero-Knowledge Cryptography

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Co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Pantera Capital, Nexus is pioneering zero-knowledge proofs to advance critical digital infrastructure, optimizing for next-generation performance

SAN FRANCISCO, June 10, 2024-- Nexus Laboratories, Inc. (Nexus), a zero-knowledge cryptography company, today announced it secured $25 million in Series A financing co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Pantera Capital. The round included participation from Dragonfly Capital, Faction Ventures, and Blockchain Builders Fund. Nexus' initial $2.2 million seed funding was led by Dragonfly in late 2022, and included Alliance, SV Angel, and Blockchain Builders Fund. This latest investment brings the company's total funding to $27.2 million and underscores the growing interest in verifiable computation and zero-knowledge cryptography. The funds will help accelerate the company's go-to-market efforts and expand its engineering team.

"Nexus aims to bring truth to the Internet," said Daniel Marin, founder and CEO of Nexus. "We want to bring to market an entirely new form of computation – verifiable computation. We believe this is a fundamental step for humanity, as was the advent of the Internet, cloud computing and AI. Our goal is to make zero-knowledge proofs accessible to any developer, and drive the cost of zero-knowledge proofs down by orders of magnitude."

Nexus is scaling zero-knowledge cryptography to make it faster, more secure, and easier to use by developers. Zero-knowledge cryptography is a method that allows users to prove that statements and/or data are true without revealing the data that attest to the statements' validity.

The company sees the largest source of demand for proof generation coming from companies scaling and securing decentralized infrastructure. Nexus expects to be able to support interest emerging in other areas too, including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, cloud computing, privacy-enhancing technologies and other areas of Internet infrastructure.

"Nexus is pioneering the widespread adoption of zero-knowledge proofs, ensuring computations and data are not only protected but also verifiable," said Ravi Mhatre, founder and managing partner of Lightspeed. "With the rise of AI and the increasing need for privacy preservation, verifiable computing is becoming essential. Nexus's innovative approach promises to make these advanced cryptographic techniques practical and scalable, reducing costs dramatically and setting new standards for secure and efficient computation. Together with Faction, a Lightspeed joint venture, we are excited to partner with Nexus to advance the boundaries of cryptography and make verifiable computing accessible and practical on an unprecedented scale."

"We expect that every decentralized network will see mission critical applications of zero-knowledge proofs," said Lauren Stephanian, general partner with Pantera Capital. "Nexus is focused on enabling zk-rollups, the largest source of demand for proof generation today. We believe there will be thousands of rollups powered by zk-proofs in the very near future, all which will require proof generation. Nexus has the team and technology to become a leading infrastructure player in this field."

Earlier this month, the company announced the Nexus 1.0, the first major release of its zero-knowledge virtual machine. Central to the Nexus 1.0 is the introduction of a new cryptographic technique enabling highly efficient proof aggregation. The system features a modular design to optimize and parallelize verifiable computation across clusters of machines. The Nexus 1.0 is available for developers to use today under MIT license. The company is working with early adopters to integrate the system for a number of use cases.

"We first met Daniel when he was a computer science and cryptography student at Stanford," said Haseeb Qureshi, managing partner with Dragonfly. "My firm led the seed investment in Nexus when Daniel graduated because we were impressed with his vision of a new paradigm for verifiable computation. He has assembled a world class team and we are really excited to support the company's work to commercialize the Nexus 1.0 zero-knowledge virtual machine."

The Series A round marks a pivotal moment for Nexus, enabling it to rapidly expand its product offerings, support early stage users in production deployments, and continue its engagement with the scientific community. The company will also initiate support for the Nexus Network – a system powered by volunteer computing that will seek to break the record for the largest computation ever performed.

As Nexus enters this new stage, it remains steadfast in its commitment to bringing the most advanced cryptography and engineering to enable a future shaped by verifiable computation.

About Nexus

Nexus is a venture-backed company at the forefront of scientific breakthroughs in verifiable computation. We are building the infrastructure for a verifiable world with our core technology, the Nexus Zero Knowledge Machine, an open source virtual machine system capable of generating proofs for any computation. Based in San Francisco, Nexus is actively seeking exceptional scientists and engineers to shape the future of verifiable computation. Learn more and get involved at nexus.xyz.

About Lightspeed

Lightspeed Venture Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise, Consumer, Health, and Fintech sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 500 companies globally including Affirm, Carta, Cato Networks, Epic Games, Faire, Forty Seven, Guardant Health, Mulesoft, Navan, Netskope, Nutanix, Rubrik, Sharechat, Snap, Udaan, Ultima Genomics and more. Lightspeed and its global team currently manage $25B in AUM across the Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in the U.S., Europe, India, Israel, and Southeast Asia. www.lsvp.com

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