Blog - Investing in Nexus | Pantera

Investing in Nexus

June 11th, 2024 | Jonathan Gieg, Lauren Stephanian



The digital realm is fraught with vulnerabilities, and traditional security measures often fall short against modern cyber threats. The blockchain industry faces unique security challenges such as smart contract vulnerabilities and transaction privacy issues and we believe in the need for robust, scalable cryptographic solutions that safeguard digital interactions against emerging threats. 


In this context, zero-knowledge proofs have emerged as a promising solution, offering a way to validate data integrity and authenticity without exposing the actual data. This technology is especially important in enhancing privacy and security across various industries that demand stringent data protection.




Nexus stands out with its zkVM – a virtual machine capable of performing any computation and proving its correctness without revealing any underlying data. This verifiable computation platform isn’t just theoretical; it’s a practical solution to real-world problems, offering a level of security previously thought impossible. The team at Nexus has engineered their zkVM to handle complex computations efficiently and at scale, which is a critical advancement over existing technologies that are prohibitively expensive and slow.


The zkVM developed by Nexus integrates cutting-edge cryptography and optimization techniques to reduce the cost and computational overhead associated with zero-knowledge proofs. Nexus aims to lower these costs by several orders of magnitude, making zkVMs practical and accessible for a wide range of applications.


The strength of Nexus truly lies in its team, composed of some of the brightest minds in cryptography and computer science. The executive team includes:


  • Daniel Marin, CEO: A recent Stanford graduate, advised by renowned cryptographer Dan Boneh. 2x IPhO Medallist.
  • Jens Groth, Chief Scientist: A former Director of Research at DFINITY, Professor at the University College London, and inventor of Groth16, the most widely used zk-SNARK.
  • Alex Fowler, Chief Strategy Officer: Co-founder and former SVP at Blockstream, and Chief Privacy Officer at Mozilla. 

And their core team is comprised of highly specialized cryptography experts:


  • Michel Abdalla: Senior Cryptography Scientist, President of the International Association of Cryptography Research (IACR), former Professor at ENS, France, and a Staff Research Scientist at DFINITY.
  • Don Beaver: VP, Cryptography, Former Chief Cryptographer with Jump Crypto, as well as senior researcher and scientist with Meta, Uber, Apple, and Google.
  • Kristian Sosnin: Cryptography Engineer with prior roles as a Rust Engineer at Matter Labs and Parity. 
  • Samuel Judson: Cryptography Engineer with a Ph.D. in Cryptography from Yale, advised by Ruzica Piskac, and a previous role as a Security Engineer at Auth0. He has authored 7+ papers in ZKPs, Formal Methods & AI.
  • Vamsi Policharla: Cryptography Engineer, pursuing his Ph.D. in Cryptography at Berkeley, advised by Sanjam Garg. He is a core rust engineer at Berkeley’s cryptography group and has authored 4+ papers in ZKPs.
  • Yinup Zhang: Cryptography Scientist, also pursuing a Ph.D. in Cryptography at Berkeley under Sanjam Garg. He previously interned in zkVM research at a16z Crypto ‘23 and has authored 5+ papers in ZKP.

We’re excited to co-lead the $25 million Series A round for Nexus alongside Lightspeed Venture Partners and support the team as they bring verifiable computation to the market. 


For more information about Nexus and to explore potential opportunities, please visit their website

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