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Mezo raises $21m in Pantera-led funding round

Mezo, a Bitcoin (BTC) layer-2 (L2) network, has emerged from stealth mode with $21 million in venture capital.

Pantera Capital led the funding round. Multicoin, Hack VC, ParaFi Capital, Nascent, Draper Associates, Primitive Ventures and Asymmetric Ventures joined the effort.

Individual investors, including Dan Held, Tim Draper, and the pseudonymous DCF God, also participated.

Thesis, a blockchain venture studio that developed Mezo, confirmed the fundraising round, earlier this week.

Mezo operates as a permissionless Bitcoin economic layer, utilizing a neutral smart contract framework to offer a variety of applications. It joins the recent wave of Bitcoin L2 networks, aiming to expand its utility beyond trading.

Noteworthy counterparts include Babylon and Stacks, which focus on features, including staking for Bitcoin users.

Thesis reportedly started the fundraising campaign for Mezo in December 2023, culminating in the $21 million round closure.

According to Thesis, Mezo functions as a “permissionless Bitcoin economic layer,” leveraging a neutral smart contract infrastructure to facilitate various user applications.

The platform’s design aims to enhance Bitcoin’s infrastructure, enabling cost-effective and swift transactions. Users can gain access to applications using Bitcoin across various domains, thereby fostering a dynamic circular economy.

A standout feature of Mezo is its “Proof of HODL” points program, which incentivizes users to actively engage with Bitcoin holdings within the platform.

Thesis CEO and Mezo founder Matt Luongo emphasized that Mezo seeks to transform Bitcoin holdings from idle assets to actively engaged assets within the network, rewarding users for contributing to network security.

The platform will feature a Bitcoin-backed Ethereum (ETH) token, tBTC, which is designed to enable users to participate in Ethereum’s decentralized finance (defi) ecosystem while holding Bitcoin. 

Following the successful funding round, Mezo has reported that its total value locked (TVL) now stands at more than $75 million with more than a thousand active addresses.

The Mezo funding comes as venture capitalists express renewed interest in the crypto space. During the first three months of 2024, global investors put $2.5 billion in startups, according to PitchBook.


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