TON Labs, the development arm behind the Free TON blockchain, raised $6 million through an investment round led by venture capital firm Runa Capital.
The funding will go toward building out a new product environment for the Free TON blockchain, which the company describes as the fastest decentralized protocol due to its unique dynamic sharding mechanisms.
Dmitry Chikhachev, a general partner at Runa Capital, said TON Labs is the only blockchain company to receive direct funding from his firm.
“As a deep tech and software investor, we appreciate the technical challenges solved by the company and see a strong potential in the high-performance decentralised computing platform FreeTON,” he said, adding:
“The team, their sophisticated approach and the open-source TON project itself radically differ from other ventures in the blockchain space, and Runa is thrilled to support such a unique project.”
In addition to Runa Capital, RTP Global — an investor of early-stage technology companies — also contributed to the funding round. RTP executive Stepan Ivanov said, “We believe TON Labs can finally take the blockchain from the niche and geeky space today to a mainstream technology that strongly complements the current IT landscape.”
Free TON achieved mainnet status in December 2020 after reaching “sufficient decentralization,” or more than 400 validators and decentralized autonomous organizations. The project was originally launched in May 2020 as an infrastructure solutions provider for the Telegram Open Network. When a New York federal court put an injunction on the Telegram team, preventing further development of the network, Free TON emerged as an independent project that finalized the initial Telegram code and built the TON Operating System.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, Free TON merged with Dune Network in February — a move that both camps said would support wider adoption of blockchain technology and decentralized governance. The merger is expected to be finalized later this year, following the full allocation of TON Crystals (TON) to the Dune Network.