Mixnet maker Nym tops up with $13M led by a16z’s crypto fund • TechCrunch

Switzerland-based privateness tech startup Nym Technologies, which is attempting to commercialize an outdated thought for privacy-centric infrastructure (mixnets) by combining it with buzzy crypto incentives, has closed $13 million in Sequence A funding from Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto-focused fund, following a $6 million raise we covered back in the summer (additionally loosely pegged as a Sequence A).

Per Forbes, which had the unique on the most recent tranche of funding, the spherical values the nascent European startup at circa $270 million.

Different buyers are named as together with Barry Silbert’s Digital Forex Group, Tayssir Capital, Huobi Ventures, HashKey, Fenbushi Capital, and “greater than two dozen” operators of validator nodes, or servers chargeable for verifying transactions on Nym’s community.

Trumpeting the elevate earlier this week, founder Harry Halpin tweeted that Nym’s mission is to “see crypto destroy surveillance financial system inside the subsequent years”.

Though the tweet earned him some prompt trolling over taking VC funding for a privacy-centric undertaking; and, er, for taking VC funding from a fund whose funding portfolio sprawls deep into the surveillance financial system — together with the likes of privacy-eviscerating adtech large Fb and Sam Altman’s (literal) eyeball-scanning crypto dystopia, Worldcoin, each of which have relatively extra in frequent with fuelling surveillance than driving privateness. However, hey, nobody goes to VC for these sort of “values”…

In line with Forbes, Nym’s check community has round 5,000 nodes and 30 validators at this stage — and is predicted to go stay at full capability by the tip of this yr. Though Halpin advised us the check community had round 9,000 nodes after we spoke to him again in July. So fairly what full community capability will imply (when it comes to nodes) isn’t clear.

In an extra scoop, Forbes stories that the startup has hired former U.S. Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning to work on client-side safety.

It couches Nym’s beefed-up Sequence A as an indication of the rising retailer being positioned on privateness infrastructure — quoting Ali Yahya, basic companion at Andreessen Horowitz, providing the certified declare that [emphasis ours]: “Encryption is changing into an extremely necessary part of the web in the present day”; and describing Nym’s tech as serving up “privateness on the very backside layer as a basis for different personal options to be constructed on high”.

Fairly how Andreessen Horowitz valued (or, effectively, didn’t) encryption in earlier web many years is actually one to ponder.

Nym, in the meantime, is utilizing the a16z-led capital injection to develop the dimensions of its staff (to as much as 30) because it gears as much as launch the mainnet — slated to occur a while within the subsequent few weeks. It is usually, per Forbes, planning to award grants to 3rd get together builders to encourage them to construct for the community, beginning subsequent yr.

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