Caldera, a no-code web3 infrastructure platform, raised $9 million across two rounds, its co-founder, Matt Katz, exclusively told TechCrunch.
The startup was founded in March 2022 by Katz and Parker Jou, CTO of Caldera, in an effort to simplify the process of creating app-specific blockchains so builders can create layer-2 blockchains in the span of hours, as opposed to months or years, the team said.
“We started the company when we realized developers wanted to build interesting things on the blockchain,” Katz said. "We realized people actually want to build more complex things across a bunch of verticals and in order to unlock the full potential of web3, it's untenable for it to happen on a single blockchain."
The two rounds were led by Sequoia Capital partner Shaun Maguire and Dragonfly Capital investment partner Ani Pai, with participation from Neo, 1kx and Ethereal Ventures. The capital will be used to “rapidly accelerate” its development timeline, Katz said. It will also hire a team to strengthen its core product and improve the user interface so that anyone can use it from “small hackathon teams to large crypto projects.”
The startup aims to help web3 projects launch customizable layer-2 blockchains on the Ethereum blockchain so that it could scale the ecosystem in an easier way.
The platform is live on mainnet with select partners in the decentralized finance (DeFi) and gaming space for both Ethereum and Polygon blockchains, but plans to be in public beta mode “in the span of a month” and widely available by summer, Katz said .
“For us, we don't require any coding knowledge,” Katz said. “If you just wanted a blockchain to say you had a blockchain — you could totally do that with our platform. The people we are targeting though are web3 developers who know how to write Ethereum smart contracts but don't know how the underlying blockchain works.”
Caldera aims to gain users who have a strong understanding of writing smart contracts, but don't have time to expand that knowledge multiple layers deeper, Katz added. Teams building DeFi gaming, consumer applications, music NFTs, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and institutional use cases have all shown “sustained interest” in using the product, Katz said.
“We're hoping we can usher in a small mini explosion of projects building their own app chains,” Katz said. He declined to share which projects the platform is currently working on, but said there would be announcements to come from those building on Caldera.
“There's all these pieces of infrastructure that will be hard to get if you're creating your own blockchain,” Katz said. "Our goal is to be an all-in-one solution that will provide infrastructure so developers can hit the ground running and focus on building their app."