Miami Tech & Startup News

Halborn secures $90M Series A to keep the blockchain safe

Halborn secures $90M Series A to keep the blockchain safe

By Riley Kaminer

Despite the crypto winter, web3 frens still have much to celebrate. They can purchase new assets at steep discounts, while taking advantage of a vibrant ecosystem worth upwards of $1 trillion. But as this sector grows, the security risks also increase – as seen in the $600 million hack of Axie Infinity earlier this year.

Blockchain security startup Halborn is taking advantage of the growth of the NFT space and keeping investors safe. The Miami-based company has just secured a $90 million Series A led by Summit Partners – the first fundraise for Halborn, which up to now has been bootstrapped. A handful of global investors also participated: Digital Currency Group, Castle Island Ventures, Third Prime, BH Digital, SkyVision Capital, and Fenwick & West. 

Halborn’s services include security advisory services, advanced penetration testing, smart contract audits, and DevOps automation. Its clients include some of the most prominent names in the space, such as Coinbase, BlockFi, Solana, Phantom, Polygon, and Parrot. Since being founded in 2019, its team size has grown to over 100 employees around the world – with a major hub in South Florida.

In an interview with Bloomberg, chief executive Rob Behnke commented that the recent drop in crypto prices will not affect the company’s business, thanks to their hyperfocus on cybersecurity.

“The price of crypto has nothing to do with our business,” Behnke asserted. “What really matters is that the entire industry is growing.”

According to Behnke, demand for Halborn’s services continues to increase as hacks become more prevalent in the industry. Halborn’s Miami-based co-founder and chief information security officer, Steven Walbroehl, told Bloomberg that they even identified a security issue with prominent crypto wallet MetaMask. “We’ve held onto that for like almost a year until they had it fixed,” said Walbroehl.

Steven Walbroehl, co-founder and CISO of Halborn. At top of post, he’s pictured with Rob Behnke, CEO and co-founder

Behnke is a serial entrepreneur, having founded NouGit, an open source software acceleration network; Token, a blockchain business strategy and marketing consultancy; and the Brooklyn Salsa Company (the name says it all). Walbroehl, who attended FAU undergrad and FIU for a master’s, left his role as a New York-based VP at IBM to co-found Halborn.

Halborn also educates non-crypto companies like Amazon and Nike on how to safely use blockchain protocols, while advising financial institutions and banks on how to mitigate the risk inherent to dealing with crypto. “They really want to make sure they don’t get hacked and lose all their money,” said Behnke.

Summit Partners’ managing director, Matthew Hamilton, thinks that demand for the company’s services will only increase as the crypto space matures. This is the investor’s first foray into the crypto space, and they see the timing – in the middle of this crypto winter – as advantageous. “It’s a necessary separation of the good ideas from the bad,” said Hamilton.

Startups providing cybersecurity services in the crypto space continue to rake in major funding rounds. New York-based Chainalysis has now raised upwards of $500 million for its forensic accounting and compliance platform. Forta, a cybersecurity security service focused on smart contracts, has raised $23 million. And crypto fraud prevention company Elliptic has raised more than $100 million – just to name a few.

This post may be updated.


Riley Kaminer