French Cryptography Startup Zama Raises $73M for Blockchain, AI Privacy Apps

French cryptography startup Zama has raised $73 million in a Series A funding round led by Multicoin Capital, Protocol Labs and participation from well-known crypto players such as Polkadot co-founder Gavin Wood, and Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko.

Zama is an open-source cryptography company that builds out a new type of technology called“fully homomorphic encryption” (FHE). The funding will be used to build applications in Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Other key investors in this funding round included Metaplanet, Blockchange, VSquared, Stake Capital and Portal Ventures and Juan Benet the founder and CEO of Protocol Labs, Filecoin, Julien Bouteloup from StakeDAO and Tarun Chitra from Gauntlet.

Largest Funding Round in French History 

In an announcement, the French-Lebanese CEO of Zama, Rand Hindi said, “I’m proud to announce that Zama has raised $73 million in a Series A—one of largest venture rounds in France’s history.”

Four years ago Zama was founded as an open-source cryptography company focused on FHE, and dubbed the “holy grail of cryptography.”

Hindi shared a timeline for 2024 plans where he predicts FHE innovation will “take off exponentially as more developers discover what they can now build.”

“I am also excited about the applications of FHE in Artificial Intelligence. Using our Concrete framework, it is now possible to convert an AI model into an FHE equivalent, and to both train and run inference on encrypted data,” said Hindi in a blog post.

Hindi goes on to explain that data scientists can already start building simple confidential AI applications today, and integrate more complex models such as LLMs as hardware acceleration becomes available soon.

VC Funding Picks Up in 2024

Crypto is making a comeback this year and is getting even better, as venture capitalists are reentering the funding arena.

Breaking a downward trend, VC investment in crypto startups has climbed 2.5% to $1.9b in Q4 2023, marking the first such rise since Q2 2022, PitchBook data, reports Shalini Nagarajan from Cryptonews.

The post French Cryptography Startup Zama Raises $73M for Blockchain, AI Privacy Apps appeared first on Cryptonews.