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Post-Merge Ethereum Block Builder Blocknative Raises $15 Million

Blockchain infrastructure company Blocknative announced Thursday it had raised $15 million in Series A-1 financing, bringing the total amount raised by the Ethereum block processor to $34 million.

Joining in the Series A-1 raise are Blockchain Capital, Foundry Group, Rho, IOSG Ventures, Robot Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, HackVC, Industry Ventures, and others.

Launched in 2018, Blocknative processes transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. The company says this latest funding round will go towards vigorously pursuing block-building opportunities and growing its product teams.

“Blocknative builds real-time infrastructure for Web3, really specializing in what’s known as the pre-chain layer,” Blocknative CEO Matt Cutler told Decrypt at 0xpo Crossroads in San Francisco. “Everything happens to a transaction between the time that it’s an idea and it goes on-chain.

“We provide a range of capabilities and APIs to let builders and traders take control of the Web3 transaction lifecycle,” Cutler continued. “Now post-merge, those capabilities are actually highly applicable to this new domain of block building.”

The aim of Blocknative, Culter told Decrypt, is to provide the infrastructure that eliminates user anxiety when sending transactions on a blockchain and to create a smoother network experience.

“We would certainly say that transactions are these mysterious and anxiety-filled things that are kind of the core of the network,” he said. “The transaction experience is pretty lousy, for the most part—everyone knows that experience of submitting and then the anxiety that builds while you’re waiting for it to confirm.”

After the Ethereum merge on September 6, 2022, Blocknative launched its MEV relay the following week. MEV, or “maximal extractable value,” refers to the process by which individuals who create new ETH can further profit by manipulating their control over the network and prioritizing certain users’ transactions. MEV relays act as a parallel channel that connects miners to bots that want their transactions included in a block.

While many had hoped the merge would see the price of Ethereum, now the largest proof-of-stake blockchain rise, ETH is currently trading at $1269, down from $1629 the day after the merge took place, according to CoinGecko. Not helping matters are the crypto bear market and the growing list of companies failing after the collapse of TerraLuna, Celsius, and FTX.

Blocknative relay and builders have contributed more than 18,686 blocks to Ethereum’s mainnet, according to MEVboost.org.

In addition to the relay and block building, Blocknative offers other solutions, including Transaction Preview, Web3-Onboard, Mempool Explorer, Gas Estimation, and Transaction Distribution Network.

Blocknative has also recently begun accepting transaction bundles from MEV searchers, enabling the production of even higher-value blocks for its connected validators.

“As the world increasingly moves on-chain, Blocknative remains committed to contributing meaningfully to the web3 ecosystem through real-time access to pre-chain data, increased transaction transparency, and web-scale infrastructure availability at each and every block,” Cutler said in a statement.

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