UPDATED 13:00 EDT / MAY 20 2022

BLOCKCHAIN

Web3 protocol Saga raises $6.5M for scalable blockchain infrastructure

Saga, a Web3 protocol designed to automate the deployment of application-specific blockchains, announced Thursday that it has raised $6.5 million at a $130 million valuation.

The seed funding round attracted a number of crypto industry-focused investors, including Polygon Studios, Longhash Ventures, Strangelove Ventures, Maven 11, Hypersphere, Chorus One, GSR, C2X, Crit Ventures and Merit Circle. The round comes soon after the company raised $2 million in pre-seed funding led by Ignite Inc., formerly Tendermint, as part of an incubation program in late 2021, raising the total to $8.5 million.

Saga uses what it calls “chainlets,” dedicated custom blockchains that are designed for specific applications to allow developers to rapidly deploy decentralized applications. Dapps are the foundation of Web3, the decentralized web. That’s the next stage after Web 2.0, with transactions are made peer-to-peer using cryptocurrencies and crypto tokens.

Using Saga’s protocol, developers can quickly launch and deploy chainlets with shared security, orchestrate validators and standardize continuous integration and deployment just like traditional software development and orchestration pipelines across virtual machines. With Saga, developers will be able to launch chainlets as easily as deploying any other part of now-traditional blockchain technology such as smart contracts.

Rebecca Liao, co-founder and chief executive of Saga, said that immediately following the fundraise, the company will launch an Innovator Program intent on inviting new Web3 developers to build apps on the upcoming release of its “AlphaNet,” a private test network.

“Saga has a vision to make sure web3 meets the ambitions and desires of the greater developer and user community,” said Liao. “That is why we are establishing an Innovator Program early in the life of the protocol, and we’re very excited to share details with current and future Saganauts.”

More details about the Innovator Program will be forthcoming next week, Liao added.

With the AlphaNet, developers will be able to build apps and launch chainlets to support them in preparation for the mainnet launch, which is planned for early next year. Saga intends to focus on expanding the functionality of the AlphaNet infrastructure and onboarding developers into the Innovator Program over the next few months.

Saga said that it would first focus on decentralized gaming and entertainment applications because this is where the most urgent need for scalability currently exists. GameFi and entertainment dapps have long suffered a tremendous burden when it comes to transaction fees, called gas, and transaction times slowing down user experiences, making them perfect for scalability infrastructure.

Play-to-earn gaming apps and metaverses are also heavily intertwined. Most recently, Yuga Labs Inc.’s virtual land sale for its “Otherside” metaverse game slowed down the Ethereum blockchain and caused gas fees to skyrocket. Protocols such as Saga are envisioned as a way to scale blockchain processing quickly so that transactions stay fast and fees don’t spike when demand rises quickly.

As gaming and metaverse apps continue to rise in demand, performance needs and user expectations will continue to increase with them. Saga’s vision is to give developers a platform to help their dapps keep up with these demands.

Image: geralt/Pixabay

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