Crypto-focused financial modeling platform Gauntlet has achieved unicorn status after raising $23.8 million in Series B funding from some of blockchain’s biggest venture funds.
The investment round was led by Ribbit Capital, a Palo Alto-based venture firm, with participation from existing investors Paradigm and Polychain Capital, Bloomberg reported Monday. Gauntlet said the funding will be used to hire additional workers and expand into new industry verticals, including gaming.
Gauntlet was founded in 2018 by Tarun Chitra, a Wall Street executive who previously worked at multinational hedge fund D. E. 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 to the tune of $2.9 million, according to Crunchbase. The company raised an additional $4.4 million two years later.
Gauntlet’s $1 billion valuation reflects the rapid growth of the cryptocurrency industry over the past two years. As Bloomberg explained, Gauntlet’s main product allows cryptocurrency projects — and specifically decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms — to run stress tests that can help them set optimal lending and collateral levels.
Gauntlet’s most notable clients are Aave and Compound, which are two of the largest DeFi projects based on market capitalization and total value locked.
Companies in the crypto and blockchain industries 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. Over a dozen such unicorns have been crowned over the past 12 months.
As Cointelegraph reported, blockchain startups generated $25.2 billion in venture funding last year, including 59 “mega-rounds” worth more than $100 million each.