Zama Raises $73 Million in Series A to Propel Fully Homomorphic Encryption into Mainstream Adoption

In a groundbreaking move toward achieving the lofty goal of end-to-end encryption across the internet, Zama announced the successful completion of a $73 million Series A funding round. Co-led by industry giants Multicoin Capital and Protocol Labs, this marks one of the largest venture rounds in France’s history, with key participation from Metaplanet, Blockchange, VSquared, Stake Capital, Portal Ventures, and influential founders such as Juan Benet, Gavin Wood, Anatoly Yakovenko, Julien Bouteloup, and Tarun Chitra.

The primary objective of this substantial investment is to accelerate the integration of Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) into both blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Zama, a four-year-old open-source cryptography company, initially set out to make FHE—the “holy grail of cryptography”—more accessible and practical for developers.

In the early days, FHE was a theoretical concept overshadowed by impracticalities such as slow processing, high costs, and the need for advanced cryptography expertise. Zama, however, has overcome these challenges over the years, turning FHE into a tangible tool for developers of all levels. The company has successfully developed a suite of open-source FHE libraries and solutions, making it possible for anyone, from solo developers to large enterprises, to implement end-to-end encryption seamlessly.

One of Zama’s notable achievements is the enhancement of FHE speed by a factor of 20x since its inception, with a projected 100x improvement in the near future. This performance boost is seen as a key milestone, unlocking critical use cases in confidential blockchain and AI applications. Anticipated FHE hardware accelerators, expected within the next two years, are set to bridge the final gap for web-scale applications, such as confidential Large Language Models (LLMs) and encrypted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Zama’s latest funding round not only fuels ongoing research and development but also provides the company with several years of financial stability to support partners entering production with FHE. Recognizing the blockchain sector’s significance, Zama has prioritized addressing the challenge of public visibility in transactions and data. To counter this, the company introduced the fhEVM, a confidential smart contract solution designed for applications in Solidity, ensuring end-to-end encryption of the state throughout the transaction process.

Several noteworthy projects have already integrated the fhEVM, including Fhenix, Shiba Inu, and Inco, each leveraging FHE for confidential transactions, decentralized financial infrastructure, and enhanced blockchain privacy.

Looking ahead, Zama envisions FHE innovation gaining exponential momentum, with developers exploring various applications in blockchain and beyond. Some anticipated use cases include confidential tokens, decentralized identity solutions, gaming applications, and institutional finance.

Zama’s excitement extends beyond blockchain to the realm of artificial intelligence, where their Concrete framework enables the conversion of AI models into FHE equivalents. This breakthrough allows for the training and inference of encrypted data, offering data scientists the ability to build confidential AI applications.

The long-term vision for Zama is ambitious: to make the entire internet end-to-end encrypted. The company’s master plan involves making FHE user-friendly, scaling its speed for confidential blockchains, integrating it into cloud applications, and ultimately implementing a new FHE-powered “HTTPZ” protocol for universal encryption.

As Zama’s founder, Rand Hindi, aptly puts it, “Come build the future of the internet with us.” With their Series A funding and a dedicated team of experts, Zama is well-positioned to lead the charge towards a more secure and private digital landscape.

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