Crypto Risk Monitoring Firm Solidus Labs Raises $45M

Liberty City Ventures led the round for the market surveillance and risk monitoring startup, which has several ex-regulators as backers or advisors.

May 12, 2022 at 5:43 p.m. UTC
Updated May 12, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. UTC

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

Crypto security startup Solidus Labs has raised $45 million in a Series B funding round led by Liberty City Ventures at an undisclosed valuation. The funding will help launch threat intelligence capabilities and build out the research and development team to address use cases specific to decentralized finance (DeFi).

In March, Solidus Labs unveiled Halo, a machine learning driven crypto-native trade surveillance and market intelligence hub that provides institutional-grade regulatory risk and compliance solutions. Halo is monitoring more than 1 trillion trading events per day in over 150 markets, according to the press release.

The startup was founded in 2018 by Asaf Meir, Praveen Kumar and Chen Arad – a team of former Goldman Sachs (GS) engineers and cybersecurity professionals. Solidus has seen a 560% increase in year-over-year revenue growth and 250% growth in the number of clients, a company spokesperson told CoinDesk in an email. The firm had 10 employees at the start of 2020 and has now grown to nearly 100 with the goal of doubling that headcount within the next year.

Blockchain security breaches and lapses have caused more than $1 billion in losses so far this year. The losses included $326 million in an exploit of blockchain bridge Wormhole, a $625 million breach of the Ronin Network underlying play-to-earn game Axie infinity and a $182 million loss for the Beanstalk stablecoin protocol.

Earlier this year, Solidus launched the Crypto Market Integrity Coalition (CMIC), a group of 30 firms pleading to advance safety in the crypto market. The group includes Coinbase (COIN), Robinhood (HOOD), Gemini, GSR, Circle and BitStamp.

Solidus Labs also has the support of several former regulators. The startup hired Kathy Kraninger, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director, last year as its vice president of regulatory affairs. Angel investors and advisors in the startup include former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Christopher Giancarlo (aka “Crypto Dad”), who is also a Web 3 regulatory advisor at crypto venture capital fund CoinFund, and former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Troy Paredes.

Liberty City Ventures is a venture capital fund and incubator with over $1.5 billion in assets under management, according to the firm. Other participants in the round include Evolution Equity Partners, Declaration Partners, Hanaco Ventures and Avon Ventures, a venture capital fund affiliated with FMR LLC, the parent of Fidelity Investments.

Solidus Labs raised nearly $40 million in capital last year between two funding rounds.

“How fast crypto and DeFi will be able to grow depends on how effective critical guardrails and checks and balances are - and Solidus is consistently leading the market in providing innovative, crypto-native market integrity solutions,” said Liberty City Ventures Partner Emil Woods in the press release.

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Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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