The second layer on the Bitcoin network, Lightning Network is all set for more growth as Lightning Labs raises a $10 million Series A led by Craft Ventures to further develop Lightning payments technology and scale the developer ecosystem.
This funding also involved VC firms Ribbit Capital, RRE, M13, and Slow Ventures while adding new angel investors including David Heller, a former co-head of securities at Goldman Sachs.
Previously, Lightning Labs raised $2.5 million in 2018 from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, former PayPal COO David Sacks, and Litecoin creator Charlie Lee. To date, Lightning Labs has raised a total of $12.5 million.
Jackie Reses, a top Square exec and Lightning Labs investor, told Yahoo Finance “I invested because I believe making bets in financial infrastructure technology is additive to the global payments system.”
“I think Lightning Labs is making a lot of progress towards reducing the friction in the payments system. And I invested in Elizabeth and her vision. I think they have a vision for how to advance crypto payments, but they can eventually focus on a broader market,” she added.
Becoming the ‘Visa’ of Bitcoin
Along with this funding came the announcement of a major product release — beta of Lightning Loop. With Loop, the idea is to become the ‘Visa’ of Bitcoin that aims to help merchants manage their payment channels more effectively.
“Just like Visa allows people to quickly and conveniently pay for things with fiat money, the lightning network aims to do this for bitcoin,” said Mati Greenspan, founder of Quantum Economics.
One of the main issues holding bitcoin back from adoption in every-day commerce is that the transactions are slow and expensive. Lightning Network solves that problem but has its own set of issues in the form of being not very user-friendly.
Also, the lightning network only allows users to transact with each other as per the number of bitcoin they initially deposited into a lightning channel. But with Loop, users will be able to transfer more than the initially deposited amount.
At the beginning of building the internet of money
The first paid product of Lighting Labs, it is a non-custodial on and off ramp used to help startups, mode operators, and end users to move funds between the bitcoin blockchain and the Lightning Network.
“Today we’re one step closer to bringing bitcoin to a billion people. Lightning is making this a reality. Can’t believe how far our community has come building new use cases and bringing financial freedom to the world,” said Elizabeth Stark, CEO and co-founder of Lightning Labs.
The vision to create the application layer for Bitcoin came to Stark in 2014 and was executed in 2016.
“We’re just at the beginning of building the internet of money, and it’s going to be a wild ride,” said Stark in the official announcement.
Already, the company is seeing “an explosion of growth among startups and companies integrating Lightning.” Rise of the Lightning startups, terms of wallets, financial and trading products, video game companies, that help you buy things with Lightning and those help earn money with Lightning, and can also be seen in the market.