Andreessen Horowitz leads $28 million round for zero-knowledge private applications platform

An array of crypto industry investors led by a16z has backed the $28 million funding round for Aleo, a platform designed to support decentralized, private applications.

The project is aimed at making it easier for developers to create applications that employ blockchain tech and zero-knowledge cryptography, the latter of which effectively enables one party to prove to another that they possess certain, private information without actually having to reveal it. Zero-knowledge cryptography has been applied to varying areas in the crypto sphere, including privacy-focused blockchain networks. 

Aleo's platform "offers a full-stack solution for zero-knowledge, making ZK programmable at every level of the application stack for real-world use to enable decentralized private computing at scale," the startup said Tuesday.

"Aleo’s platform provides end-to-end tools that enable the development, deployment, and sustainability of privacy-preserving applications. With Aleo, applications and user interactions are private-by-default," the firm said in its announcement.

As noted by The Block's John Dantoni in a February breakdown of its crypto investment portfolio, a16z already has stakes in several privacy-oriented projects. These include Oasis Labs, Keep and Orchid.

"We are thrilled to support the stellar team behind Aleo as they bring private programmable applications to the wider market," Kathryn Haun, a general partner at a16z, said in a statement. "Privacy-preserving applications allow users to navigate digital interactions without bias, which coupled with blockchain technology, will create new opportunities for value creation."

Other investors in the Aleo round include Placeholder, Coinbase Ventures, Galaxy Digital, Polychain Capital, Scalar Capital, Slow Ventures, Variant Capital, Balaji Srinivasan and Ethereal Ventures, among others. 

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