(This April 5 story removes reference to investment by venture capital firm M13 in paragraph 1 after the company clarifies)
By Lisa Pauline Mattackal
(Reuters) – Ethereum blockchain scaling platform Boba Network raised $45 million in its series A round, with participation from investors including Will Smith-led Dreamers VC, Paris Hilton and husband Carter Reum and cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com, the company said on Tuesday.
The funding round gives Boba a valuation of $1.5 billion, with former football quarterback Joe Montana and crypto funds Hypersphere and Infinite Capital also making investments.
Boba allows users to develop decentralized apps on the ethereum blockchain with more features and at lower fees, and also transfer non-fungible tokens (NFTs) across ethereum’s different layers.
The company plans to use the funds to expand Web3 offerings and invest in projects built on its ecosystem, founder Alan Chiu said.
The market capitalization of Boba Network’s crypto token rose over 19% to $272.1 million after the announcement, while its price rose to $1.71 from $1.44, according to CoinMarketCap.
Ethereum’s “gas” fees, or the price of executing transactions, has risen steeply over the past few years as the blockchain became more popular, giving rise to platforms designed to reduce expenses and speed up transactions.
Venture capital firms have plowed money into blockchain technology startups with SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Bain Capital Ventures among those who have launched crypto-focused funds or invested in blockchain tech companies since the start of 2022.
(Reporting by Lisa Pauline Mattackal in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)