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Avail, an Ethereum Data Network to Rival Celestia, Raises $27M In Seed Round

Avail, among a handful of new "data availability" blockchain projects designed to handle transaction data produced by the increasingly sprawling networks, announced on Monday a $27 million fundraising led by the venture capital firms Founders Fund and Dragonfly.

Avail, spun out of Polygon in March 2023 and is led by a Polygon co-founder, Anurag Arjun, will use funds from the seed round to develop three of core products: its data availability solution (DA), Nexus and Fusion, collectively marketed as the “Trinity.”

Avail DA,the first core component, offers data space data for auxiliary "layer-2 networks" or "rollups" designed to handle transactions faster and cheaper than on base blockchains like Ethereum. The new DA project is expected to go live early in the second quarter of 2024.

The emergence of these data availability solutions has become one of the most hotly discussed trends in crypto, since they could help to turn blockchain systems architecture into a more "modular" design, where core functions like transaction execution and data processing could be handled separately.

They came into the limelight last year with projects like Celestia, which went live in October, and EigenDA, currently in development. The latter project is being developed by EigenLabs, the firm behind the restaking protocol EigenLayer, which last week raised $100 million from the venture capital firm a16z to keep building out its products.

Avail Nexus is a “zero-knowledge, proof-based coordination rollup on Avail DA,” meaning that it will operate as an infrastructure layer that connects different rollups through the Avail ecosystem to talk to one another, according to a press release seen by CoinDesk. It will “act as the verification hub, which unifies a wide array of rollups both inside and outside the Avail ecosystem, utilizing Avail DA as the root of trust.”

The project's “Fusion Security” will take crypto assets like bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) and contribute to the security of the Avail ecosystem.

Nexus’ first iteration is expected to go live during 2024, while Fusion Security will be ready in 2025, according to the company.

The rollups space on Ethereum is fragmented, with major teams competing for many of the same users.

Arjun, the Avail co-founder, argues that there is a need to work together with these rollups in order to make the user experience more unified.

“You really need a credible third party like Avail to come and work with all these teams,” Arjun told CoinDesk in an interview. “We essentially want to be that unifying factor in that sense, and we have built out a technology so that it can enable these kinds of changes.”

Read more: Celestia Rival Avail Inks Agreement With Starkware as Blockchain Data Race Heats Up