Startup Company Aleo Draws $28 Million to Build Platform for Private Apps

By James White Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Leaps in privacy protection have been made available thanks to blockchain technology. Outside of the cryptocurrency business, the advancements in cryptography and digital recordkeeping have allowed entrepreneurs to build entirely new platforms and business models. Startup company Aleo is utilizing blockchain technology along with zero-knowledge cryptography to build “the first platform for fully private applications.” The startup business recently raised $28 million from investors in support of its app development company.

"Aleo will reshape the role decentralized systems play in our society and introduce new paradigms for how we live our digital lives,” said Howard Wu, co-founder of the startup app development company. “Privacy will no longer be merely a feature but will become a core function. In order to build that future, Aleo is harnessing two cutting edge technologies — blockchains and zero-knowledge proofs — and leveraging the innovations of each to deliver a full-stack solution that allows anyone to build a web application that is private-by-default.”

Funding for the startup business was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Investors including Placeholder VC, Galaxy Digital, Variant Fund, and Coinbase Ventures also showed support for Aleo in the financing round. Additionally, the startup company was backed by investors Polychain Capital, Slow Ventures, Dekrypt Capital, Scalar Capital, a_capital, zkValidator, Balaji Srinivasan, and Ethereal Ventures. The new capital comes as the app development startup launches a new suite of tools for developers to use.

Futuristic digital blockchain background.

Fully Private App Development

Aleo, conceived in 2016 and later established officially in 2019, was co-founded by Wu as well as entrepreneurs Michael Beller, Collin Chin, and Raymond Chu. The startup business aims to provide app developers with the tools necessary to create private web apps without extensive knowledge of blockchain technology and cryptography.

The basis of the Aleo platform built by the startup relies on zero-knowledge cryptography, a technique that serves to authenticate a fact or statement without revealing information about the fact. As a basic example, users could determine whether or not they have the same amount of money without actually disclosing how much either of them have. The company allows developers to build an app with this cryptography concept in mind, even without possessing deep knowledge of how the system works.

"We are thrilled to support the stellar team behind Aleo as they bring private programmable applications to the wider market,” said Katie Haun, General Partner at a16z. “Privacy-preserving applications allow users to navigate digital interactions without bias, which, coupled with blockchain technology, will create new opportunities for value creation. Aleo's tech has solved critical issues in scaling applications built with zero-knowledge technology, enabling any developer or organization to build and scale a truly private application."

Investing in the Blockchain

Market research projects the global blockchain technology market, valued at $3.67 billion in 2020, to grow at a CAGR of 82.4% from 2020 to 2028. The startup business is attempting to use zero-knowledge cryptography beyond niche blockchain solutions. Aleo’s platform enables developers to build apps with privacy at the foundation of their design.

About the Author

Headshot of James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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