Celestia closes $1.5m seed fundraise from Interchain Foundation, Binance Labs, Maven 11 Capital, KR1, and others

We’re happy to share that Celestia Labs (incorporated as Strange Loop Labs in Liechtenstein), has closed a $1.5m strategic seed fundraise.

Celestia Labs is building Celestia, a pluggable consensus and data availability layer, to enable anyone to quickly deploy a decentralized blockchain without the overhead of bootstrapping a new consensus network.

Participants in the seed round include Interchain Foundation, Binance Labs, Maven 11, KR1, Signature Ventures, Divergence Ventures, Dokia Capital, P2P Capital, Tokonomy, Cryptium Labs, Michael Ng, Simon Johnson, Michael Youssefmir and Ramsey Khoury.

Celestia was co-founded by Mustafa Al-Bassam (PhD in scaling blockchains from University College London), Ismail Khoffi (previously engineer at Tendermint), and John Adler (previously layer 2 researcher at ConsenSys).

We’re also excited to announce our team of advisors:

  • Zaki Manian — Co-creator of IBC and early Cosmos contributor
  • Ethan Buchman — Co-founder of Tendermint and Co-founder of Cosmos
  • Morgan Beller — General Partner at NFX and Co-creator of Diem≋ (fka Libra)
  • Nick White — Co-founder of Harmony
  • James Prestwich — Founder of Summa (acquired by Celo)
  • George Danezis — Professor of Security and Privacy Engineering at University College London

About Celestia

Celestia is a pluggable consensus and data availability layer, to enable anyone to quickly deploy a decentralized blockchain without the overhead of bootstrapping a new consensus network.

Similar to how cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) made it possible to launch new virtual servers with their own operating systems within seconds by using the same physical server, Celestia is a decentralized project that aims to make it possible to launch decentralized chains quickly by using the same consensus layer.

From a technical perspective, Celestia is a stripped-down layer 1 that only does the core things a layer 1 needs to do, in a scalable way: order transactions, and make the data for them available. Celestia only orders and publishes any arbitrary data that developers and users throw at it, and does not perform any computation on the data.

As there’s no on-chain smart contract environment in Celestia, all execution happens off-chain, using technologies such as optimistic rollup. Whereas other layer 1 blockchains follow the “world computer” paradigm, where the chain provides both consensus and execution, Celestia’s goal is to make the blockchain stack more modular by decoupling consensus and execution. Developers can therefore define their own execution layers.

Celestia relies on two key technologies:

  • Optimistic rollups. This allows developers to create chains that define their own off-chain execution environment, while using Celestia for on-chain data and consensus.
  • Data availability proofs. This makes it possible for Celestia to scale to store and reach consensus on large volumes of data, without nodes having to download all the data themselves to verify the chain.

Working with the Interchain Foundation

We’re also working with the Interchain Foundation to bring optimistic rollup support to the Cosmos SDK, so that developers can build blockchains with the Cosmos SDK that use Celestia for consensus, instead of having to use Tendermint to deploy a new proof-of-stake network. This will turbocharge the inter-blockchain communication (IBC) protocol, as Celestia will provide a secure shared consensus layer that Cosmos zones can use and rely on, allowing zones to communicate with each other using IBC without zones needing to trust each other.


  • Zaki Manian, Co-creator of IBC and early Cosmos contributor: “Celestia is the missing piece of the Cosmos architecture. It provides a shared security layer for blockchains communicating with each other using IBC, unlocking limitless potential.”
  • Nick White, Co-founder of Harmony: “Celestia is the biggest paradigm shift in blockchain since Ethereum itself. Celestia turns Ethereum’s world computer model on its head by introducing a minimal, flexible blockchain upon which many unique world computers can run and interoperate. You could not find a better team to build Celestia. Each member of the founding team are industry leaders in consensus, data availability, interoperability and rollups.”
  • Sam Hart, Interchain Foundation: “Celestia is a fantastic team building an elegant solution for application developers with clear market demand. We expect Celestia will become a vital part of the growing Cosmos ecosystem and the ICF is delighted to continue working closely with their team as investors and development partners.”
  • Balder Bomans, Managing Partner at Maven 11 Capital: “Celestia’s approach is fundamentally different than anything currently live. They are purely focused on making data have consensus and availability. We envision it as the go-to platform for protocols that require a basic consensus layer, similar to how Ethereum is the go-to platform for computation. This will make building scalable decentralized systems more flexible and we couldn’t be more excited to be backing Celestia.”
  • Keld van Schreven, Managing Director and Co-founder of KR1: “Celestia is a big opportunity to bring better data availability to blockchains which reduces bloat and increases performance and we believe that Celestia is the next generation of scalable blockchain architectures.”
  • Georg Stricker, Tech Partner at Signature Ventures: “Many scalability solutions are tied to a specific blockchain. Celestia helps to solve the issue from the ground up by focusing on the real bottleneck: data availability. This approach makes large amounts of data accessible, ultimately scaling the entire decentralized blockchain ecosystem. We’re thrilled to support the incredibly talented team which has years of experience in developing permissionless systems and pioneering sustainable scaling and optimistic rollups.”

Join the community

If you’re excited about our vision of enabling anyone to quickly deploy a decentralized blockchain without the overhead of bootstrapping a new consensus network, you can find more information on the Celestia website. You can also join the Celestia Discord community server, join the Celestia Telegram chat, or follow Celestia on Twitter.