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Spearbit raises $7M to improve security audits in crypto through its open marketplace

August 10th, 2023

Security remains a top priority in the crypto world, yet the recurring incidents of hacks and exploits underscore the need for greater attention. Spearbit aims to reshape this landscape and has secured a fresh funding round to expedite its efforts.

The startup recently raised $7 million in a funding round led by Framework Ventures, accompanied by Nascent, 1kx, Volt Capital, Breed VC, Robot Ventures, and others, as exclusively shared with TechCrunch. The funds will be channeled into the expansion of Cantina, their open marketplace for web3 security auditors. Additionally, the capital will support the hiring of more software engineers to enhance automation in their services and product marketplace workflow, as noted by co-founder Spencer Macdonald.

Having previously raised a pre-seed round of $1.5 million in late 2021, the company has now accumulated a total of $8.5 million in funding. While the exact valuation was not disclosed, PitchBook data indicates a post-money valuation of around $48 million.

Spearbit, established in November 2021, emerged with a mission to bridge the gap between freelance researchers and crypto protocols/companies seeking security audits. Founded by five individuals, three of whom hailed from the Ethereum Foundation, the startup has already vetted and trained over 100 researchers available for hire on their platform. Notably, the startup has collaborated with significant clients such as OpenSea, Nouns DAO, and Polygon.

Their immediate objectives include launching two products: Cantina Managed Service, designed to assist solo auditors in securing deals and conducting smart contract audits, and Cantina Guilds, catering to small-to-medium audit firms specializing in specific sectors, hosting their services as a "guild" on the platform.

Spearbit's creation of a marketplace could foster transparency in the web3 security domain. According to Macdonald, the current lack of price transparency and extended timelines for quotes from centralized auditing firms prompted the initiative. By creating a more equitable model, where auditors retain a larger portion of their margins (Cantina takes a 20% to 30% cut), Spearbit seeks to empower both auditors and clients.

The crypto security sector has been marked by fragmentation and a need for comprehensive solutions. Spearbit recognizes this and aims to address the challenge. As the industry prioritizes security more seriously and continues to professionalize, the startup endeavors to contribute to a safer crypto ecosystem.

Source: TechCrunch

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