P0x labs, the cryptographic development team building Manta Network, has on Thursday announced its $25 million Series A funding, led by Polychain Capital and Qiming Venture Partners, bringing its valuation to $500 million.

P0x labs said in a statement that the round also saw additional backers including Alliance, CoinFund, and SevenX Ventures.

In addition, Manta Network, the fastest zero-knowledge (ZK) layer 1 that supports modular on-chain privacy, has on Thursday launched the testnet of its Layer 2 for ZK applications, Manta Pacific.

The funds raised will be used to scale the project’s network, user base, and use cases for Manta Pacific.

“Manta Network’s Manta Atlantic ecosystem has already seen over 200,000 wallet downloads and 100,000 KYC’ed users,

“With the additional support from long-term and new investors, we are excited to push the bounders of ZK adoption even further with Manta Pacific,” said Kenny Li, Core Contributor of Manta Network.

“We’re bringing ZK to Solidity developers, making it easier than ever to develop and deploy next-generation dapps that can truly scale and enable massive adoption,” he added.

Manta Pacific is the first EVM-native modular execution layer specifically designed for ZK adoption and use cases.

It leverages Manta’s universal circuits and SDKs which have plug-and-play functionality, freeing up developers’ time and resources to focus on their core products.

The L2 also utilizes Celestia’s data availability layer for security and low gas fees; and the modified OP Stack through Caldera for scalability.

“We are excited to see Manta expanding into the Ethereum ecosystem, and have doubled down on our investment this Series A round,” said Luke Pearson, Investor at Polychain Capital.

“Manta Pacific will leverage the performance capabilities of the modular ecosystem, whilst also allowing increasing access to ZK through Universal Circuits,

“We are excited to see ZK adoption grow, bringing throughput and privacy to the ecosystem,” he added.

ZK tech has been widely recognized as a promising solution for addressing the scalability and privacy challenges faced by the Ethereum blockchain.

Increasing investor and developer activity also indicates the growing confidence and support for this emerging sector.

However, many existing initiatives remain isolated from end users, who ultimately drive blockchain activity, thus leaving an unaddressed gap in the market.

“At Qiming Venture Partners, we see immense potential in technologies that are enhancing privacy and security across Web3,” said Yi Tang, Principal at Qiming Venture Partners.

“We are excited to support Manta Network’s entry into the Asian markets, leveraging Qiming’s extensive resources to help maximize the untapped potential of ZK adoption,

“We believe that ZK could onboard a substantial number of users through many applied use cases in the new Asia markets,” he added.

Manta Pacific’s testnet currently features various zk Apps for users to start accessing including zkHoldEm, a fully on-chain and private Texas Hold’em game; zkMe, a protocol for private and verified credentials; and zkPass, a privacy-preserving protocol for data verification.

Manta Atlantic, the fastest ZK layer-1 for compliant on-chain privacy, amassed a large and growing user base due to the popularity of its products, including its flagship NPO platform that launched earlier this year in April 2023, which has since minted over 300,000 zkSBTs across key ecosystem partners including Arbitrum, Galxe, Linea, and CyberConnect.

The network’s native wallet, Manta Wallet, has over 200,000 installs to bring users into its ecosystem.

Ecosystem projects including ReadOn, Dmail and AsMatch, with a collective user base of over 1.5 million users, have already integrated zkSBT functionality for private user ID and additional privacy-enhanced functionalities in their applications to deliver a better user experience.

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