Aleo Blockchain Raises $200M for Privacy-Minded DeFi

Aleo, blockchain, investment

Cryptocurrency startup Aleo Systems recently raised $200 million in a Series B fundraising round that will allow the company to roll out its private, programmable Aleo blockchain network “later this year,” according to a CoinDesk report Monday (Feb. 7).

SoftBank and Kora Management co-led Aleo’s funding effort with participation by venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Tiger Global and Samsung Ventures, among others, the report says.

Aleo, which is now in layer 1 launch mode, is a privacy-focused technology that differs from other decentralized finance (DeFi) programmable blockchains, such as ethereum. Aleo’s backers “believe there’s demand for scalable privacy networks,” according to the CoinDesk report.

Chief Operating Officer Alex Pruden told CoinDesk that regulators, consumers and businesses could all benefit from the system Aleo plans to deploy, which will include privacy-focused DeFi programmability.

“The way to think about it is, Aleo is like if the ethereum model and the Zcash model had a baby,” Pruden said. An alternative analogy: “Zcash with smart contracts,” he said.

Aleo hasn’t committed to decentralizing Aleo’s governance, the report says, but it remains possible.

“What better team or company to build a business on top of an existing layer one than the team that built the layer one, right?” Pruden told CoinDesk. “It’s like a flywheel, a virtuous cycle.

“That’s really what the Series B is all about: Raising additional capital for that purpose to build products and services on top of the Aleo Network.”

Related: Sequoia Leads $450M Investment into Polygon

In other blockchain news, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital recently led a $450 million investment in blockchain network Polygon as part of a larger effort to fund Web3. Polygon is a support layer to ethereum, which itself supports the ether cryptocurrency, helping it process transactions at scale.

Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal told CNBC he sees the company becoming a decentralized version of Amazon Web Services. While Twitter and Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, control their own computations, Web3 will bring “transparency” to those processes, he said.