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Crypto security startup Hypernative raises $9M to help prevent web3 cyber attacks (TechCrunch)

  • TechCrunch
  • |
  • 01.30.2023

Jacquelyn Melinek@jacqmelinek / 8:00 AM EST•January 30, 2023 Comment

Hypernative, a crypto security-focused startup, has raised $9 million in seed funding as it emerges from stealth, co-founder and CEO Gal Sagie exclusively told TechCrunch.

The funding round was led by boldstart ventures and IBI tech fund, with strategic investments from Blockdaemon, Alchemy, Borderless, CMT Digital, Nexo and angel investors. The company was started by Sagie and Dan Caspi, who’s also Hypernative’s CTO. The co-founders collectively have backgrounds in cloud infrastructure, building large-scale distributed systems and security, and have worked at places like IBM, Google and Microsoft.

“We created Hypernative early last year when we saw huge amounts of money getting stolen or phished or scammed in crypto,” Sagie said. “We saw huge gaps between tools that existed and money being invested, so we wanted to create something to help prevent [attacks].”

In September, the team launched its first product, Pre-Cog, a platform that monitors on- and off-chain data sources to predict threats before they occur. Since its launch, it has helped users save “tens of millions” of dollars, Sagie said.

The startup concentrates on “building detection early” and manually connecting its tools through customer workflows, Sagie said. Its ideal client base ranges from asset managers, hedge funds, traders and market makers interacting with crypto to blockchains and protocols, he added.

“We’re doing detection beforehand,” Sagie noted. “A lot of incidents alerted [users] within minutes or hours before an attack happened so we’ve helped prevent attacks through alerts.”

In the future, Hypernative aims to build prevention workflows that give “end-to-end systems that mitigate risk without doing anything,” Sagie added.

Even though crypto markets may be down, there’s still billions of dollars invested in the space, which makes it a target for attacks by those looking to make (and take) money quickly. In 2022, the majority of losses, or $3.77 billion, were from hacks across 134 specific incidents, according to Immunefi’s Crypto Losses 2022 report.

Last year, every quarter had a handful of multimillion-dollar losses, some bigger than others. The fourth quarter in 2022 saw the most, with $1.62 billion in total losses across 55 incidents, accounting for almost half of the total losses in the year, the report showed.

“From my experience hackers don’t sleep,” Sagie said. “They don’t care if it’s a bull market or bear market. Where there’s money and opportunities, they go.”

The crypto industry needs more tools to help prevent hacks before they transpire, so “there’s a big opportunity” to improve the space, Sagie said.

“Hackers enjoy when there’s risk and volatility in the market and leverage that,” he added. “It’s a problem we need to solve.”

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