TRM Labs Raises $60M as Visa, Amex Play Catch-Up on Crypto Tracking

After Mastercard bought CipherTrace in September, American Express and Visa are throwing their weight behind TRM.

AccessTimeIconDec 7, 2021 at 2:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 7, 2021 at 10:15 p.m. UTC

Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

Blockchain investigations firm TRM Labs said Tuesday it raised $60 million in a round whose diverse backers highlight the crypto analytics industry’s influential reach.

Startup investing giant Tiger Global led the Series B, according to a press release. But perhaps more telling were the smaller contributors to TRM’s capitalization table. Among them: credit card companies (American Express, Visa, Citi), payments firms (Block (née Square), early backer PayPal) and a bevy of crypto VCs.

“At Amex, we continuously deliver innovative products and services to our customers in a safe and compliant manner through these phase shifts, and we are engaging closely with market leaders like TRM to continue to stay ahead of the curve,” Amex Ventures Managing Director Margaret Lim said through a spokesperson.

Said Terry Angelos, Visa’s global head of crypto and fintech: “Enhancing trust and security in the crypto ecosystem through sophisticated risk assessment is key to the future of crypto, and we see TRM as a leader in the space.”

The equity round comes nearly six months after TRM raised $14 million in June’s Series A. CEO Esteban Castano at the time told CoinDesk that his tracing company, which provides crypto investigations tools to governments and corporations, had seen its revenue surge 600% year-over-year. That figure was unchanged in Tuesday’s press release.

Its headcount has spiked, though. TRM boasted 60 employees, up from 30 in June.

TRM also began inking its first big federal contracts in the second half of 2021. It signed a million-dollar deal with the IRS in September, months after taking the FBI on as a client for its web-based software.

Market leader Chainalysis raised a $100 million Series E in June. CipherTrace raised $27 million in June before being acquired by Mastercard in September. Elliptic raised $60 million in October.

All four help banks and law enforcement track illicit funds moving across public blockchains. TRM’s claimed advantage is breadth; it says it covers more cryptos than any of its competitors.

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Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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