Security is an absolute imperative within the crypto realm, a fact underscored by the persistent coverage of hacks and vulnerabilities. Regrettably, these concerns have not always been accorded the gravity they deserve. Spearbit, however, is firmly committed to altering this landscape, and its strides in this direction have been invigorated by a recent injection of funding.
A substantial $7 million was secured in a funding round led by Framework Ventures, supported by Nascent, 1kx, Volt Capital, Breed VC, Robot Ventures, and other notable contributors, as exclusively confirmed to TechCrunch by the company. This capital infusion will be strategically allocated to advance the development of Cantina, Spearbit’s groundbreaking open marketplace for web3 security auditors. Concurrently, a substantial portion of the funds will be channeled into augmenting the startup’s engineering workforce, further empowering the automation of services and refining the workflow of their product marketplace. Spearbit’s co-founder, Spencer Macdonald, emphasized this commitment to growth.
Marking a pivotal milestone, this recent funding round elevates Spearbit’s total capital raised to an impressive $8.5 million. While the startup refrains from disclosing its valuation, PitchBook data suggests a post-money valuation in the vicinity of $48 million.
Spearbit, initiated in November 2021, by three of its five founders hailing from the Ethereum Foundation, emerged with a clear mission: to bridge the divide between independent researchers and crypto protocols and enterprises necessitating security assessments. To date, over 100 rigorously vetted and trained researchers are available for hire on Spearbit’s marketplace.
Demonstrating its prowess, the startup has already engaged with prominent clients such as OpenSea, Nouns DAO, and Polygon. Looking ahead, Spearbit is poised to introduce two pivotal products: the Cantina Managed Service, aimed at facilitating solo auditors in securing deals and conducting astute smart contract audits, and Cantina Guilds, catering to small-to-medium audit firms specializing in distinct sectors, poised to operate as integral “guilds” on the platform.
Spearbit’s approach to creating this marketplace holds the promise of infusing much-needed transparency into the web3 security sector. According to Macdonald, the current landscape is characterized by a dearth of price transparency, elongated quotation processes, and inadequate alignment with tech stack requirements. This initiative, by contrast, positions Spearbit to revolutionize these dynamics, offering an environment where auditors receive a more equitable share of their earnings. Unlike traditional audit firms that disproportionately retain the bulk of margins, Cantina merely claims a modest 20% to 30% cut, redefining industry norms.
Undoubtedly, the realm of security auditing within the crypto domain remains fragmented. Spearbit’s co-founder, Hari Mulackal, aptly pointed out the disappointingly prevalent state of security lapses leading to frequent hacks. For instance, the recent $62 million exploit targeting Curve Finance serves as a stark reminder of the existing vulnerabilities. Spearbit stands resolute in its quest to fill these gaps by elevating the focus on quality over mere marketing prowess. This underscores their mission to provide a platform where individual experts and boutique firms can effortlessly gain visibility and avoid the need for extensive marketing and legal support.
Macdonald asserted that the industry is experiencing a transformation, with security evolving from a neglected facet during the crypto boom to a central tenet of the current landscape. However, even amid this transformative shift, the desire for autonomy and freelancing persists. Spearbit’s innovative solution, Cantina, was conceived to bridge this divide.
Looking forward, Macdonald emphasizes the need for ongoing professionalization within the industry. The importance of security cannot be overstated, given the substantial financial incentives for malicious actors in the blockchain space. While strides are being made towards more comprehensive security practices, there is a collective responsibility to maintain an unwavering emphasis on this crucial aspect. The industry’s future resilience hinges on this commitment, ensuring that the errors of the past are not replicated, and the sector continues to thrive securely.