Nillion Raises $20M to Build Decentralised Network for Data Storage

The decentralised infrastructure platform is building a storage and data computation network that does not rely on blockchain technology.
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Quick take:

  • Nillion has raised $20 million in an oversubscribed round led by Distributed Global.
  • The fundraising also attracted participation from AU21, Big Brain Holdings, Chapter One, GSR, HashKey, OP Crypto and SALT Fund.
  • Nillion is building a web3 infrastructure network for data storage that does not use blockchain technology.

Nillion has raised $20 million in an oversubscribed funding round led by Distributed Global. The web3 startup is building a decentralised infrastructure for storage and data computation. While web3 technology can sometimes be confused with blockchain technology, Nillion CEO Alex Page sees the latter as a part of the former.

Thus, although Nillion is not built on the blockchain, he sees it as part of the broader spectrum of web3.

His company’s latest fundraising attracted over 150 investors including AU21, Big Brain Holdings, Chapter One, GSR, HashKey, OP Crypto and SALT Fund. The startup was founded in 2021, with Nillion and his co-founders bootstrapping until the $20 million funding.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Nillion’s founding chief marketing officer Andrew Yeoh said: “We were at a position where we could have internally funded this for decades, but we wanted to bring in strong strategic investors and a pool of people that could help this thing grow a lot. We were able to raise a fairly significant amount of money in the middle of a bear market. Most of our checks and commitment came in after FTX, which is interesting, and we did it without a deck, which is also interesting.”

According to Yeoh, Nillion is a decentralised infrastructure solution that enables the fast computation of data and the storage of that data at scales that cannot be achieved on the blockchain. “We look at it as opening up an entirely new universe of web3 use cases that expands the ecosystem significantly.”

The team at Nillion has created a mathematical algorithm based on Nil Message Compute (NMC) — a “new cryptographic primitive”, which the company says “translates to a new way of storing data and stuff.”

Nillion’s new system uses a communication mechanism that does not require parties to reveal key information. Much like the more popular blockchain-based zero-knowledge proofs, which facilitate trustless communications on web3.

“Companies and competitors can collaborate without passing on key information,” Yeoh said.

Nillion said it will use the funds to build out its technology and hire more engineering talent. The company is pursuing collaborations with both web2 platforms and Layer 1 blockchains.

“We’ve spoken to decentralized exchanges and applications as well as a couple layer 1 [blockchains] that are interested in handling private data on the blockchains,” Yeoh said. “On the Web2 side, we’ve spoken to AI machine learning companies, invited to speak at Amazon and interestingly enough, we’ve gotten a number of outreach from legal and healthcare companies because they deal with a lot of sensitive data.”


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