Aurora, an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) for scaling decentralized applications on NEAR, recently closed its first private round of funding by raising a total of $12M. In doing so, Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Dragonfly Capital and other funds voiced their support for Aurora’s vision of becoming an Ethereum-scaling solution.
Over 100 investors took part in Aurora’s funding round, which was split between the ecosystem and venture capital buckets. The success of the raise reinforces Aurora’s appeal among the community and its objective to bring scaling solutions across the crypto ecosystem.
The Ethereum ecosystem bucket of investors features among others such projects as Zero Knowledge Validation, Global Coin Ventures, imToken, Chronicle. This representation, coupled with the use of ETH as the base token, illustrates Aurora’s vision of supporting and helping scale Ethereum projects.
The challenge of scaling on Ethereum
On Ethereum, each node is required to process every blockchain transaction, hence the limitation in scalability. With NEAR’s Nightshade Sharding approach, transactions are processed in parallel without the need for every node to process every transaction, resulting in faster transactions, better security, and more onboarding capacity to Web3. The latter approach will be realized by Aurora and NEAR Protocol.
What does this mean for developers and their apps? It will significantly improve network throughput (transaction rates) while keeping operations on-chain.
How will Aurora use the funds?
Aurora will use the funds for the development and maintenance of the EVM, as well as the bridges it’s currently operating between Ethereum and NEAR, as well as Ethereum and Aurora.
It also plans to expand the team, and is actively hiring blockchain engineers to speed up product development and improvement.
The Aurora ecosystem roadmap
Aurora has plans to update the Rainbow Bridge to allow NFTs to move seamlessly between NEAR and Ethereum.
Other products in development at Aurora include the integration of a price oracle, data indexer, AMM exchange, block explorer, and more. Recently, Etherscan—a block explorer and analytics platform announced that it will be launching on Aurora.
*NOTE: DApps that are not dependent on the above components can already be deployed on Aurora, capturing more users thanks to the expansion into the NEAR ecosystem.
The Aurora team
Aurora’s team spun off from NEAR, Inc. as a separate entity in July 2021. Aurora maintains a close collaborative relationship with NEAR helping facilitate its growth, alongside Ethereum.
Aurora CEO Dr. Alex Shevchenko led Ethereum-related initiatives at NEAR, Inc and was previously an executive at Bitfury. CTO Arto Bendiken is an entrepreneur and prolific open-source author with more than 20 years of professional software engineering experience. The Aurora team also includes Frank Braun, who has over 20 years of experience in building complex software systems; Joshua J. Bouw, heralded as “The Godfather of Proof of Stake” for his early role in the development of Proof of Stake consensus mechanisms; and Marcelo Fornet, builder of the networking layer at NEAR Protocol.
The full list of Aurora team members can be found here.
Aurora is an EVM built on the NEAR Protocol, delivering a turn-key solution for developers to operate their apps on an Ethereum-compatible, high-throughput, scalable and future-safe platform, with low transaction costs for their users.