Crypto-focused financial modeling platform Gauntlet has achieved unicorn status after raising $23.8 million in Series B funding from some of blockchain’s largest venture capital funds.
The investment round was led by Ribbit Capital, a Palo Alto-based venture firm, with the participation of existing investors Paradigm and Polychain Capital, Bloomberg. reported Monday. Gauntlet said the funding will be used to hire additional workers and expand into new industries, including gaming.
Gauntlet was founded in 2018 by Tarun Chitra, a Wall Street executive who previously worked at the multinational hedge fund DE Shaw. Gauntlet provides financial modeling and simulation tools to the cryptocurrency industry, with a focus on capital efficiency and risk.
In 2018, Gauntlet received its first seed investment from Coinbase Ventures and five other participants in the amount of $2.9 million, according to to Crunch Base. Two years later, the company raised another $4.4 million.
Gauntlet’s $1 billion valuation reflects the rapid growth of the cryptocurrency industry over the past two years. As Bloomberg explained, Gauntlet’s flagship product allows cryptocurrency projects — and in particular decentralized financial (DeFi) platforms — to perform stress tests that can help them determine optimal lending and collateral levels.
Gauntlet’s most notable clients are Aave and Compound, two of the largest DeFi projects by market cap and total value.
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Companies in the crypto and blockchain industry have attracted significant venture capital since early 2021, leading to several “unicorns” being crowned. In the startup community, a unicorn is a company that achieves a valuation of at least $1 billion. More than a dozen such unicorns have been crowned in the past 12 months.
2021 was a volatile period for cryptocurrency markets, but venture capital was not as concerned with short-term price swings. Source: CoinTelegraph/CB Insights
As Coin-Crypto reported, blockchain startups generated $25.2 billion in venture capital last year, including 59 “mega rounds” worth more than $100 million each.