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Blockchain Analytics Platform Merkle Science Raises $19M to Take on Bridge Exploits

source-logo  coindesk.com 09 August 2022 13:44, UTC

Merkle Science, a predictive blockchain analytics platform, has added $19 million to its Series A round. The amount brings the total funds raised in the Series A to more than $24 million at an undisclosed valuation.

The capital will help continue Merkle’s U.S. expansion and fund research and development for forensics and analytics tools for emerging solutions such as decentralized finance (DeFi), an area where Merkle is seeing interest among institutional investors, and cross-chain bridge protocols. DeFi refers to financial activities carried out on a blockchain without the need of third parties.

Security vulnerabilities in cross-chain bridges, which allow users to move assets between blockchains, have siphoned billions of dollars from the crypto industry this year, including the $200 million Nomad exploit last week.

“We’re seeing a lot of bridge protocols getting hacked. A large amount of R&D needs to be invested in that area,” Merkle co-founder and CEO Mriganka Pattnaik said in an interview with CoinDesk. “From a market perspective, they are very valuable, but since they are so new and relatively complex, there’s a large number of exploits.”

Founded in 2018, Merkle offers threat detection, risk mitigation and compliance solutions that help crypto companies, financial institutions and government agencies identify and prevent cryptocurrency-related crimes. The platform uses machine learning to track suspicious crypto wallets based on behavioral patterns.

The extension was co-led by tech-focused venture capital firm BECO Capital, Darrow Holdings (a Susquehanna affiliate) and K3 Ventures.

Merkle raised additional funds to invest more in technology and market expansion. Founded in Singapore, the company expanded to the U.S. in late 2021. The plan is for senior leadership to be in the U.S. with regional teams in Singapore and London, Pattnaik said.

Read more: Mriganka Pattnaik, Merkle Science: ‘Compliance Is an Evergreen Space'