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SoftBank part of $60 million funding for blockchain security firm Certik

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Certik, which provides smart contract audits and other blockchain security services, announced another $60 million funding round. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 as a new investor, joining Tiger Global. Tiger participated in the $88 million round announced less than two weeks ago, which included Goldman Sachs. Over the last nine months, Certik has raised $290 million over four rounds.

“Adoption of Web3 is booming, but concerns around security are holding it back from reaching its full potential,” said Dennis Chang, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We believe CertiK combines deep expertise in cybersecurity, blockchains, and systems verification to provide companies with a leading solution in blockchain security and auditing. We are delighted to partner with Professor Gu and the team to support their mission of securing the Web3 world.”

Apart from smart contract audits, it has an automated solution to check for security vulnerabilities, Skynet. But the corporate interest may be partly coming from its new KYC and fraud detection service.

At the same time, Certik has some competition, with one of the most interesting being OpenZeppelin. While it has a much smaller headcount, OpenZeppelin has not directly raised funds since early 2018, according to Crunchbase.

Certik boasts clients such as Aave, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, and Chiliz, but low-key OpenZeppelin’s client list is impressive. It includes the Ethereum Foundation, Coinbase, Aave, Compound, and TheGraph. When Australia’s ANZ bank launched a stablecoin last month, the smart contract was audited by OpenZeppelin.

Beyond smart contract audits, OpenZeppelin also has a security automation platform. Plus it provides widely used templates of secure smart contracts. 

But one of the most interesting initiatives is the OpenZeppelin spin-off, Forta. The startup takes a web3 approach to blockchain security, creating a community-managed network of nodes that run security bots that scan for threats. But instead of Forta writing the agent code, the web3 community will contribute. In September last year, Forta raised a $23m funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

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