Web3 Builders Inc., a crypto startup focused on end-user security, has emerged from stealth with $7 million in seed funding and the launch of its first product, TrustCheck.
Crypto-focused investment firm Road Capital led Web3 Builders' seed round, with participation from OpenSea Ventures, Sparkle Ventures, Global Founders Capital and others, the firm announced on Tuesday. Web3 Builders was initially looking to raise $5 million for the round but ended up with an oversubscription, it said.
Founded earlier this year by Riccardo Pellegrini, a former head of product at Amazon Web Services, Web3 Builders aims to make web3 safer for all. "We’ve spoken at this point with hundreds of scam victims, and what became clear to us in doing so is that most folks are getting scammed, not as part of these massive hacks, but as a result of micro scams," Pellegrini told The Block. "For example, this could be a phishing link that leads them to a wallet drainer site or a dangerous signature request that they accidentally sign."
To prevent users from falling prey to such techniques, Web3 Builders has launched TrustCheck — a free Chrome browser extension that works in the background to detect scams and notify users so that they can cancel risky transactions.
"TrustCheck automatically warns users when they attempt to go to known phishing sites, or it detects the presence of wallet drainer code," said Pellegrini. It does so by using machine-learning technology and a variety of on-chain and off-chain data sources to search for suspicious wallets, URLs or activity, including static analysis of website code, said Pellegrini.
With fresh capital in hand, Web3 Builders looks to expand its tools and current team of nine people by hiring for engineering and data science roles, according to Pellegrini. The firm is also planning to cater to crypto businesses — such as decentralized applications, marketplaces and wallets — so that they can integrate TrustCheck and Web3 Builders' other future products on their platforms.
Pellegrini said Web3 Builders will continue to develop its machine learning-driven products, which will lead to a variety of businesses in the future. "So as Consensys is to MetaMask, Web3 Builders is to TrustCheck," explained Pellegrini.
Web3 Builders was co-founded by Pellegrini, Nicholas Horelik, the former co-founder and CTO of RapidSOS, an emergency response data platform that raised $206 million in funding, and Henry Katz, the former CTO of weather technology company Tomorrow.io, which raised $184 million in funding.
Pellegrini began raising for Web3 Builders in April and closed the seed round a few months later. It is an equity round with token rights, said Pellegrini — meaning Web3 Builders could launch its native token in the future.
Correction: Removed Greylock from the list of participating investors after it was incorrectly stated in the release. Also clarified details about the founding of Web3 Builders after a miscommunication.
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