NEAR Modular Spins Out to Become Nuffle Labs with $13M in Funding

June 13, 2024

The NEAR Foundation announces the launch of Nuffle Labs, a new venture spinning out from Pagoda and the NEAR Foundation. Founded by the core contributors to the NEAR Data Availability Layer (NEAR DA) and the NEAR Fast Finality Layer (NFFL), the NEAR Modular product suite is now spinning out into an independent entity dedicated to improving and amplifying NEAR’s modularity offerings. The new entity has secured $13 million in funding, including a strategic grant from NEAR Foundation and external investment led by Electric Capital.

The spinout of Nuffle Labs reflects not only the strength of the core team and the products they are building, but also illustrates the Foundation’s commitment to decentralization by turning core functions over to proven teams in the ecosystem. As an independent team, Nuffle Labs will be better positioned to operate at the forefront of modular blockchain design, nurture its own decentralized community, and forge more partnerships across the Web3 ecosystem. 

Nuffle Labs will leverage NEAR Protocol’s cost-effective, fast, and proven technology to offer rollups enhanced modularity. It is responsible for two key products in NEAR’s modular suite: NEAR Data Availability (NEAR DA) and NEAR Fast Finality Layer, now Nuffle Fast Finality Layer (NFFL).

Nuffle Labs secures $13M in funding to support their growth

Nuffle Labs’ spinout comes with substantial investment, including a strategic grant from the NEAR Foundation as well as funding from external investors including Electric Capital, Canonical Crypto, Fabric Ventures, Robot Ventures, Caladan, and Lyrik Ventures. Notable angel investors include Jordi Alexander (Selini), Blackdragon VC, Bowen Wang (NEAR), Sreeram Kannan (EigenLayer), Sam Kazemian (Frax), Sandeep Nailwal (Polygon), DeFi Dad (4RC), Dovey Wan (Primitive Ventures), and Mert Mumtaz (Helius). With these resources and supporters, the team is well-equipped to advance NEAR DA and NFFL, expand the team, invest in R&D, and build a strong community that spans across NEAR, Ethereum, and beyond.

“We’re proud to support the growth of Nuffle Labs as an independent company in the NEAR ecosystem. These 4 excellent co-founders have built first-rate modularity products that showcase the best of NEAR’s technology with NEAR DA and NFFL, providing cost-effective and performant solutions to projects across Web3,” said Illia Polosukhin, Co-Founder of NEAR Protocol and CEO of NEAR Foundation. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the NEAR Foundation as they expand and evolve.”

Avichal Garg, General Partner at lead investor Electric Capital, said, “We are excited to back Nuffle Labs, the builders behind NEAR DA and the NEAR Fast Finality Layer (NFFL). As the core team that developed these products from the ground up, Nuffle Labs has the expertise to advance these modular solutions, creating a world where intra- and interchain transactions are cheap, fast, and secure.”

“I have had the great privilege of getting to know the founders of Nuffle and working with them from day zero,” said Anand Iyer, General Partner at Canonical Crypto. “Their passion for solving blockchain scaling combined with their expertise from building solutions at NEAR has me genuinely excited for them and their future.”

Understanding NEAR Data Availability (NEAR DA)

NEAR DA utilizes the sharded architecture of NEAR Protocol to provide a modular data availability layer for Ethereum rollups with extremely high throughput and low cost. On mainnet launch, RSS3 – an open information protocol bridging AI and Web3 – experienced a substantial cost reduction, paying a daily average of $10 compared to their previous $1,000. NEAR DA currently has a throughput of 24MB/s, significantly higher than its closest competitor’s 6.67MB/s – making NEAR DA the most scalable, cheapest, and reliable DA solution on the market.

NEAR DA’s scalability is further enhanced by its ability to support multiple rollups, whether they are optimistic or ZK-rollups. NEAR Data Availability (NEAR DA) provides:

  • Cost-efficiency: Storing data on NEAR Protocol is significantly cheaper than on Ethereum, making it easier for projects to build as well as faster.
  • Effortless Validation: NEAR Protocol’s trustless off-chain light client simplifies validation, ensuring accurate and reliable transactions.
  • User-Friendly Interaction: NEAR Protocol provides easy access to on-chain data through RPC, making blockchain interaction seamless for developers and users.

Exploring NEAR Fast Finality Layer (NFFL)

The name Nuffle Labs is derived from the acronym NFFL. The Nuffle Fast Finality Layer (NFFL) is an EigenLayer Actively Validated Service (AVS) designed to aggregate state across various rollups. By leveraging NEAR DA, NFFL provides a fast, universal, and secure finality layer. It enhances block finality across different protocols and integrates additional public DA layers into the blockchain stack, paving the way for innovative cross-chain applications. NFFL is currently live on testnet––learn more about the protocol.

What’s next for Nuffle Labs?

“We are thrilled about the incredible opportunity to grow and develop NEAR’s modular product offerings at Nuffle Labs,” said Altan Tutar, CEO of Nuffle Labs. The other Nuffle co-founders are Sam Wang, Firat Sertgoz, and Donovan Dall. “We deeply appreciate the support from the NEAR Foundation and are honored by the validation from such distinguished investors. Their confidence in our vision and capabilities energizes us as we continue to innovate and expand.” 

Looking ahead, Nuffle Labs will focus on advancing the development of the NFFL AVS on EigenLayer and further enhancing the robustness and efficiency of NEAR DA to support Ethereum’s rollup-centric future. The team is committed to furthering innovation in modular blockchain design and defragmenting the Web3 ecosystem.

Follow along with the Nuffle team’s progress on their new site here and follow the Nuffle Labs X(Twitter) account. L2 builders interested in a partnership with Nuffle or those interested in applying to work with Nuffle can get in touch via the Nuffle Labs website. 

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