Polychain Leads Cysic to Raise $6 Million

Founded in August of last year, Cysic is a zero-knowledge (ZK) hardware firm that raised $6 million in a seed round headed by Polychain Capital. Leo Fan, a co-founder of Cysic, stated in an interview that the seed round ended in December 2022. According to a press statement from the startup, additional investors include Hashkey, SNZ Holding, ABCDE, and Web3.com foundation.

Polychain Leads Cysic to Raise $6 Million

With ZK-proof protocols, Cysic seeks to offer hardware acceleration options. Twelve ecosystem partners, including Scroll, Nil Foundation, and Hyper Oracle, already work with the startup. The startup team created an FPGA prototype of multi-scalar multiplication (MSM), a crucial part of ZK protocols, within two months of the project’s debut.

Because running MSM on a CPU can be so long and energy-consuming, Cysic concentrated on trying to expedite this part using FPGAs. According to Fan, the startup is also collaborating with supply chain vendors to create highly customized FPGA servers.

“That initial design is already two to five times faster than the state-of-art [implementations]. That’s PipeMSM and CycloneMSM projects from Ingonyama and Jump Crypto, they were in the space longer than us but our initial data is faster than these two groups.”

Leo Fan

Leo Fan’s Statement

To complete the team and get the necessary hardware, the startup raised the initial $2 million of the seed capital through personal relationships in under ten days, according to Fan. When seeking additional funding from investors, they used the preliminary findings. According to Fan, its ecosystem partners will begin incorporating the FPGA solution in the first half of this year.

“We do the design [for the printed circuit board] and we asked the supply chain vendors to manufacture this PCB based on our design. Our PCB basically can produce much more powerful computing resource than the normal PCB and combining these two aspects, the engineering part and the supply chain vendors, we can deliver much [better] performance than all other players in the space.”

Leo Fan

About Funding

The twelve-person team will grow even more with the funds raised, and hardware solutions development will continue.

Cysic are successfully pressing ahead to make many bulky ZKP feasible in a client setting. Their team of experts have all the necessary complementary skills to bring forth a world we all envision, where proving systems are hastened along tailored hardware, to bring a well-scaled web3 to the masses.”

Luke Pearson, partner at Polychain Capital

Polychain has recently financed several ZK startups, including Cysic. Also, it served as the fundraising catalyst for the Ethereum scaling startup Scroll, which received $30 million, and the Nil Foundation, a developer of ZK technology.



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