Auradine, a Silicon Valley-based provider of web infrastructure solutions, has emerged from stealth and announced an $81 million Series A funding round. The fundraise amount is notable during an extended bear market that has seen a slow down of investments, in even crypto-adjacent companies.
Founded in 2022, Auradine is developing a broad range of infrastructure across hardware and software, including energy-efficient silicon, zero-knowledge proofs (a blockchain-based privacy tool) and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for decentralized applications. The funding round was led by venture capital firms Celesta Capital and Mayfield. As part of the investment, Celesta’s Sriram Viswanathan and Mayfield’s Navin Chaddha will join the Auradine board.
“The Auradine team of bold entrepreneurs are building a web infrastructure platform that will enable a new era of decentralized and distributed applications,” said Chaddha, managing director at Mayfield, in the press release. “We are excited to serve as an inception investor on their journey to leverage AI, blockchain, and privacy technologies to help create an industry leader.”
Publicly traded Bitcoin mining company Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) was also among the backers. Marathon revealed in its third quarter financial report that it owned $35.5 million of Auradine preferred stock as of September. An Auradine spokesperson confirmed that figure was included in the $81 million total. Marathon Digital CEO Fred Thiel is also on the startup’s board of directors, according to the company website.
Other investors in the round included Cota Capital, DCVC, and Stanford University.
Auradine has deep ties to traditional technology companies. CEO and co-founder Rajiv Khemani previously served as chief operating officer at semiconductor firm Cavium, COO and co-founder Barun Kar was a senior vice president of engineering at cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks. Co-founder and software head Patrick Xu also spent more than a decade at Palo Alto.
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Meanwhile, strategic advisors and key investors for Auradine include Mark McLaughlin, the board chairman for küresel semiconductor giant Qualcomm, as well as Palo Alto Networks’ CEO Nikesh Arora and co-founder Rajiv Batra, according to the Auradine website.