Pantera Capital Leads $10M Funding Round for Crypto Wallet Firm Braavos

The startup aims to offer self-custody with the easier user interface of custodial wallets

AccessTimeIconOct 31, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:00 a.m. UTC

Crypto wallet Braavos has raised a $10 million in a funding round led by crypto-focused investment giant Pantera Capital. Other investors included Road Capital, BH Digital, DCVC, Crypto.com, Matrixport, and StarkNet creator Starkware, which itself was valued at $8 billion during a $100 million funding round in May.

Pantera is the world's largest crypto hedge fund by assets under management. It was founded in 2003 by Dan Morehead, a former Goldman Sachs derivatives trader who became chief financial officer of Tiger Global Management, another big asset-management firm.

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  • Braavos develops crypto wallets, which give the holder access to the digital assets stored within. Custodial wallets put the keys, or passwords, in the hands of a centralized company that promises security and offers an easy-to-use interface for users. Self-custody keeps the keys with the user, but the more complicated onboarding process can discourage new crypto users.

    Braavos, which was founded earlier this year, aims to offer self-custody in a more user-friendly way. The Tel Aviv, Israel-based firm has built its all-in-one crypto product on StarkNet, a layer 2 blockchain that addresses the scalability issues of the Ethereum blockchain by using a technology called zero-knowledge rollup that improves transaction speeds and lowers fees.

    Available as a web browser and mobile app for iOS and Android devices, Braavos combines the traditional asset storage and transfer options of a self-custody wallet with a built-in crypto exchange, access to decentralized applications and a Transaction Explainer that can help new crypto traders understand and review transactions.

    “Crypto today is still too technical and complex for many users – requiring them to deal with seed phrases and security keys, suffer from low error tolerance, and educate themselves on non-trivial DeFi (decentralized-finance) protocols. Our mission is to eliminate these high friction hurdles and provide users with the smooth experience they deserve, while preserving the core crypto values of decentralization and self-custody,” Braavos CEO Motty Lavie said in the press release, Lavie co-founded the startup with software engineers Abraham Makovetsky and Yoav Gaziel.

    In the near term, the startup plans to launch a “forgot password” feature that would eliminate the reliance on complex seed phrases, multi-factor authentication for additional security and integrated DeFi capabilities to help users easily earn yield from within the wallet.

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    Brandy Betz

    Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.