The Solana ecosystem continues to steal the spotlight this year.
Following its recent integration with Brave, the world’s third-most downloaded Internet browser, and last month’s record high of total value locked in Solana’s DeFi ecosystem, a developer team has just raised fresh funds to continue the momentum.
Neon Labs has raised $40 million by selling its native NEON token to a swathe of notable investors. Jump Capital led the investment, alongside Solana Capital, Three Arrows Capital, Ethereal Ventures, and others.
A partner at Jump Capital, Saurabh Sharma, said the investment was motivated by the similarities between Neon Labs’ product, the Neon EVM, and Java’s Virtual Machine. A virtual machine, be it on Ethereum or Java, operates the same as your physical computer or laptop in that it can store files, connect to the Internet, run programs, and more. The key difference, however, is that a virtual machine is code rather than hardware.
“Neon provides similar functionality by allowing developers to combine battle-tested smart contracts for EVM-compatible chains with Solana’s parallelism and extremely fast execution layer. In a multichain world, Neon has the potential to be a core infrastructure block that opens up so many scaling possibilities for developers,” she said.
The Neon EVM, or Neon Ethereum Virtual Machine, allows developers to easily port Ethereum projects like Uniswap or Aave directly over to the Solana network. In fact, any platform that is EMV-compatible, like Avalanche or Tron, could be simply copied over to Solana.
Though Neon EVM is still on testnet, Neon Labs is gearing up for its mainnet launch following today’s funding news.
We are delighted to announce #neon, an Ethereum Virtual Machine (evm) scalability solution built on @solana. Neon lets developers take advantage of the #Ethereum and #Solana ecosystems, as easily as deploying to existing eth Layer 2 scaling solutions. /1 pic.twitter.com/uJZj61wZb3
— Neon Labs (@neonlabsorg) July 20, 2021
“Sushi, Aave and several more dapps have confirmed their interest in deploying on Neon EVM but they need us to enable integrations with the infrastructure providers to be able to do so,” said director at Neon Labs, Marina Guryeva. “And this is our first priority in parallel to the mainnet launch. I believe that with this huge interest and support, Neon EVM is destined to successfully bridge the gap between Ethereum and Solana.”
Bringing Ethereum to Solana, and back
The primary advantage of building such a bridge is that of reducing costs without losing utility. These days it can cost hundreds of dollars to execute trades on SushiSwap, for example. On Solana, these same activities cost fractions of a penny.
Total Value Locked in DeFi on Solana Hits Record High of $12.7B
But due to SushiSwap’s brand recognition and suite of features, rebuilding a carbon copy on Solana (and building a community around that copy) is challenging.
Thus, Neon EVM’s proposition allows developer teams from popular Ethereum projects to expand their community to another blockchain. Already, SushiSwap has expanded to more than a dozen different blockchains, according to DeFi Llama. Staking project Lido is also already available on both Solana and Ethereum.
With new funding in hand, Neon Labs is hoping to continue this trend and mirror Ethereum’s most popular products on Solana.