Multichain DApp protocol Astar raises $22M in latest round led by Polychain

Astar, a multichain DApp protocol formerly known as Plasm, has raised $22 million in its latest strategic fundraise.

The funding round was led by Polychain and saw participation from the likes of Alameda Research, Capital, Digital Finance Group and a few other angel investors. Astar rose to popularity after gaining the Polkadot parachain slot last December and the protocol was officially launched on Jan. 17th.

Astar is currently working to become the first protocol to support two virtual machines on its Polkadot parachain- The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and WebAssembly (WASM). While EVM is currently active, the platform would transition to WASM over time.

The Astar team is working with Parity blockchain to push its WASM integration. Being a multichain protocol, Astar supports multiple EVM and non-EVM Layer-1 bridges. Currently, two Ethereum bridges are live and a Cosmos bridge is under development.

Talking about the impact of two virtual machines on a single Polkadot Parachain, Sota Watanabe, founder of Astar Network said:

“Interoperability is not only a buzzword but also a reality in the Polkadot ecosystem by connecting all parachains with different virtual machines together with XCM. Astar will be the only parachain supporting both virtual machines and at the same time also make them interoperable with each other.”

The Astar team said the recently raised capital would be used for hiring industry-leading engineers to implement both EVM and WASM and to invest and nurture Astar native ecosystem projects. 

Related: 3 possible reasons why Polkadot is playing second fiddle in the L1 race

Parachains on Polkadot are individual blockchains running in parallel within the Polkadot ecosystem. These have been in development for five years and mark a breakthrough for cross-chain tech.