Skip Raises $6.5 Million Seed Round to Build MEV Solutions
Skip Protocol ("Skip") today announced that it has raised $6.5 million in seed funding to support its development of an innovative platform to bring the multi-billion dollar market for transaction prioritization, reordering, and bundling (often known as "Miner Extractable Value" or "MEV") to the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem and other fast-emerging proof-of-stake ecosystems. The round was led by Bain Capital Crypto, with participation from investors including Jump Crypto, Galaxy, Robot Ventures, Lightspeed Faction, IEX Group, Informal Systems, Sommelier Cofounder Zaki Manian, Celestia Chief Operating Officer Nick White, and JUNO Cofounder Jake Hartnell, among others.
Founded in 2022 by veteran software developers Barry Plunkett and Maghnus Mareneck, Skip's platform allows users and traders to pay for transaction prioritization and privacy in a sealed-bid auction with the goal of democratizing access to MEV opportunities and profits. Skip's infrastructure is designed to share MEV profits to validators, stakers, and protocols, while making it easier for traders to execute their strategies. It also protects users from gas wars, transaction spam, frontrunning and sandwich attacks, and other downsides of toxic MEV extraction.
"Interoperable and sovereign blockchains in the Cosmos ecosystem are driving some of the most exciting innovation in DeFi. But the presence of toxic forms of MEV, including spam and latency wars, have capped the financial upside and harmed the user experience of those who build on and invest in them," said Barry Plunkett, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Skip. "Skip's goal is to give chains and their communities a toolkit that allows them to decide how MEV is extracted and where profits accrue. We're excited to leverage our infrastructure to help users, validators, stakers, relayers, and others capture te value that they help create and achieve financial sustainability."
"The long-term growth of app chains and L1s in the Cosmos ecosystem is dependent on the rewards the chains can sustainably provide to participants, and Skip's chain-specific, user-centric approach and infrastructure will help them deliver significant monetary value and optimized efficiency to the network," said Maghnus Mareneck, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Skip. "We are thrilled to drive the growth of such an important ecosystem like Cosmos and thank our dedicated investors, enthusiastic validator partners, and welcoming ecosystem partners for their support."
"In order to reduce exploits, protect users, and expedite critical actions, every decentralized network will need to thoughtfully craft how it prioritizes transactions. Skip is building essential infrastructure to implement these capabilities," said Kevin Zhang, venture partner with Bain Capital Crypto. "Barry and Mag are building Skip with the benefit of years of technical experience at D.E. Shaw and Atlassian developing software, financial markets, and web3-native products. In working closely with them from inception, we could not be more impressed with and confident in their technical execution, user-centric values, and clear-eyed vision for how networks will develop in the decades to come - a view clearly shared by the compelling community of protocols, validators, stakers, traders, and others coming together in this financing to support Skip's development."
"The Cosmos ecosystem is currently exploring a new portion of the design space of decentralized protocols via application-specific blockchains - and Skip is greatly expanding the value and type of MEV in the marketplace," said Tarun Chitra, Managing Partner at Robot Ventures. "The Skip team has a very unique background that combines academic mechanism design research and practical software engineering that allows them to improve the efficiency of the Cosmos ecosystem in the same way that MEV auctions improved Ethereum."
Skip's launch follows the company's first place finish at the Jump Crypto Hackerhouse in Chicago in May, 2022, an achievement that helped position the company as a leading MEV product builder. Software engineers, investors, validators, and others who are interested in driving Skip's continued growth and momentum and building a stronger Cosmos ecosystem can learn more by visiting skip.money.