Stanford Sophomores Raise $3.3 Million Seed Round for Zero-Knowledge Identity Protocol Notebook Labs

-First-of-its-Kind Cross-Chain Identity Layer to Enable Web3 Users to Maintain Anonymity and Privacy

-Seed Round Led by Bain Capital Crypto with Participation by Notable Investors Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Abstract Ventures, and NFX, Among Others

Notebook Labs, a zero-knowledge identity infrastructure layer that enables Web3 protocols to create Sybil-resistant log-ins and users to enjoy anonymity and privacy, announced the close of its $3.3 million seed round. The round was led by Bain Capital Crypto, with participation from Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Abstract Ventures, Pioneer Fund, NFX, Very Serious Ventures Partner Chase Adams, Algofi Co-Founder Owen Colegrove, and Landeed Founder and CEO Sanjay Mandava.

Built during TreeHacks – Stanford University’s premier and largest hackathon – in 2022 by a group of Stanford University undergrads, Notebook was developed to solve the Web3 identity problem by enabling Web3 protocols to trust their users without requiring users to compromise their anonymity. Currently, when users create on-chain credentials or go through identity verification processes, they are required to disclose their wallet and personal information to a centralized institution without knowing how the data will be used, stored, or monetized. Notebook uses zero-knowledge cryptography to create a new paradigm for identity verification, giving users full control of their data and allowing them to retain their privacy. Notebook’s technology equips Web3 protocols with simple Sybil-resistant login infrastructure that protects them from attackers and bots and allows them to verify users in a privacy preserving way.

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Notebook’s seed funding will enable the company to further expand its development team and scale its world-class technological infrastructure.

“Until now, blockchain users have been required to identify themselves with wallet addresses, which has not only compromised their privacy, but has also subjected the blockchains themselves to Sybil attacks. This has led many people to oppose putting their sensitive data on-chain for the sake of decentralization and has subsequently constrained DeFi’s growth,” said Solal Afota, Co-Founder of Notebook Labs. “Notebook is paving the way towards mass adoption of DeFi by giving Web3 users the privacy and anonymity they deserve, while also enabling more secure logins that will make protocols safer.”

“Our team at Notebook is excited to launch a solution that we believe will be critical to the mainstream adoption of Web3,” added Nathaniel Masfen-Yan, Co-Founder of Notebook Labs. “Notebook’s technology is designed to help significantly improve a number of applications, from enabling lending protocols to build credit scoring systems that offer lower-collateralized loans to allowing DAOs to check the identity of their users in a privacy preserving way.”

“Notebook aims to help Web2 users and platforms transition to Web3 through seamless user and developer experiences,” said Dhruv Mangtani, Co-Founder of Notebook Labs. “Web3 has the potential to transform how users and organizations interact with each other, and we thank our dedicated investors for their support as we seek to catalyze the Web3 movement. We can’t wait to begin introducing Notebook’s technology to users and protocols across the world.”

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“Zero knowledge proofs are critical to Web3’s privacy and scalability efforts, and we are thrilled to partner with the Notebook team as they empower protocols and users to realize the full potential of this technology,” said Lydia Hylton, Partner at Bain Capital Crypto. “We look forward to continuing to support Notebook’s strong team as it creates a path for exciting development and interconnectivity in the services offered over the blockchain, while retaining decentralization and anonymity for users.”

The close of Notebook’s seed round comes after the company was selected as part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2022 batch, a bi-annual program in which thousands of startups apply to receive funding and guidance from Y Combinator. The Summer 2022 batch saw Y Combinator invest in 240 startups out of 19,000 applicants.

Software and security engineers, cryptographers, designers, and blockchain developers who are interested in joining Notebook can learn more by visiting notebooklabs.xyz.

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