Hackers, be gone: Miami firm raises $90M to boost Web3 security
About Ashley Portero
Portero covers technology and Innovation for Miami Inno and is the author of The Beat newsletter.
The price of cryptocurrency may be plummeting, but that doesn't mean investors have given up on the industry or its adjacent verticals.
Case in point: Miami-based blockchain security firm Halborn announced it raised $90 million in a series A funding round led by Summit Partners, a private equity firm headquartered in Boston. Founded in 2019, the company identifies and fixes vulnerabilities in Web3 applications to keep them safe from hackers and cyberattacks.
"With security vulnerabilities dominating the crypto news headlines, and over $1.5 billion in financial losses from [decentralized finance] hacks in 2022 to date, the demand for Web3 security is only growing," said Halborn co-founder Steven Walbroehl.
Web3 is a term used to describe an emerging version of the internet powered by blockchain technology. Supporters say it's an alternative to the current internet, which is largely controlled by large companies. The idea is that Web3 ventures will build open platforms that enable users to own their data and digital assets, like posts or photos.
The new capital will be used to grow Halborn's team of security engineers and accelerate its development of software-as-a-service security products, according to a news release. It currently has more than 100 employees globally.
Web3 program attacks – encompassing everything from cryptocurrency to NFTs – have grown in recent months, with more than $700 million lost to hacks in the second quarter of 2022 alone, according to Singapore-based Web3 security firm Beosin.
That cybersecurity risk has historically been a barrier for businesses that want to launch new blockchain products, said Matthew Walsh, founding partner at Castle Island Ventures, one of the firms that participated in Halborn's $90 million raise.
"Halborn is changing this risk/reward equation and, in doing so, is expanding the addressable market for public blockchain technology," he said.
Miami became a magnet for crypto and Web3 ventures last year, when local officials such as Miami Mayor Francis Suarez were vocal about their efforts to recruit those companies and investors to the region.
And they keep coming: Last week, Miami crypto fund Protaganist launched a $100 million fund to support early-stage blockchain and Web3 companies.