Manta Network developer raises $25M in Series A, launches layer 2 for ZK apps

P0x Labs, the cryptographic development team behind Manta Network, has announced that it raised $25 million in a Series A funding round, with leading contributions from Polychain Capital and Qiming Venture Partners. The funding gives the company a $500 million valuation.

Additionally, Manta Network has introduced the testnet of its layer-2 infrastructure, Manta Pacific, within its ecosystem for zero-knowledge (ZK) applications, according to a company statement. The raised funds will be utilized to expand the network, attract more users and explore diverse use cases for Manta Pacific.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Manta Network CEO Kenny Li highlighted the primary goal of Manta Pacific, which is to streamline the development of features and applications, ensuring user-friendliness. Li said that while ZK has garnered attention as a valuable proposition, it primarily serves as a feature set that facilitates various use cases for applications.

However, the challenge arises from the fact that developers specializing in decentralized app development may lack expertise in cryptography or prefer to avoid a steep learning curve. In Li’s words:

“The hurdle is overcome by Manta Pacific’s ZK application layer, which utilizes pre-compiled circuits which can be seamlessly integrated into applications with minimal code.“

According to Li, implementing ZK applications for patient data is an ultimate goal, which includes achieving self-sovereignty and ownership of one’s medical information. However, Li said this goal is still years away due to the challenges associated with accessing and aggregating fragmented data from hospitals, which are not motivated to manage it effectively or adopt blockchain technology.

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According to Li, Manta Network identified a use case in finance where staked tokens are issued to users based on their holdings on platforms like Binance. He stated that privacy concerns arise when users are reluctant to verify their identity due to the exposure of their entire wallet.

To address this, Li mentioned that a privacy layer through ZK-enhanced staked tokens was introduced, similar to the Binance account-bound token, resulting in approximately 58,000 verified user mints. This enhances the usability of staked tokens for identity purposes while prioritizing user privacy.

Manta Pacific’s testnet currently features various ZK applications 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’s flagship nonfungible token private offering platform launched in April 2023 and has since minted over 300,000 zero-knowledge soulbond tokens across key ecosystem partners, including Arbitrum, Galxe, Linea and CyberConnect.

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