Ava Labs, the lead developer of the Avalanche blockchain, is seeking to raise $350 million in funding. The new round will put the New York-based company’s valuation at a whopping $5.25 billion, according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter.
Since the round hasn’t been made public, those people spoke on condition of anonymity, with one source revealing the valuation.
If confirmed, the funding will put Ava Labs firmly in the coveted unicorn club and make it a more valuable crypto firm than Binance’s U.S subsidiary, which earlier this month raised $200 million at a $4.5 billion.
To date, Ava Labs has raised a total of $290 million in funding over seven rounds, according to Crunchbase. The company’s latest financing round was in September 2021, when it scooped $230 million through a private token sale led by Polychain Capital and Three Arrows Capital.
AVAX, the token underpinning the Avalanche blockchain, reacted positively to the news, spiking 5% earlier on Thursday to hit an intraday high of $81.74.
Despite slightly backtracking since then, AVAX is still up around 4% over the day, trading at $79.59 at time of going to press, per CoinMarketCap. It remains down over 5% over the week, however, amid the broader crypto market slump.
Valued at over $21.4 billion, AVAX is currently the industry’s 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Taking aim at competitors
Ava Labs was co-founded in 2018 by Cornell University professor Emin Gün Sirer, who has a vision for Avalanche to compete with the likes of Ethereum and Solana on speed and lower transaction fees, and be a blockchain of choice for decentralized app (dapp) developers.
As data from DappRadar shows, Avalanche supports approximately 250 active applications ranging from decentralized finance (DeFi) to gaming.
In terms of total value locked (TVL), Avalanche is currently the fourth-largest blockchain after Ethereum, Terra and the BNB Chain, with over $10.6 billion secured across the DeFi space, per DefiLlama.
In recent weeks, the network has seen some important developments that potentially could boost its growth. Last month, the Avalanche Foundation introduced a $290 million fund to help developers increase the number of subnets—validators that allow others to establish their own Layer 1 or Layer 2 blockchains.
The best of Decrypt straight to your inbox.
Get the top stories curated daily, weekly roundups & deep dives straight to your inbox.
Download MAXBIT Android App, Your best source of all crypto news!