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Dfns Raises $13.5M

Dfns bags the largest seed round in French startup history to pioneer the wallets-as-a-service (WaaS) market.

We are thrilled to announce a great milestone in our journey at Dfns: the successful closure of a $13.5 million seed funding round, led by White Star Capital. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the trust and belief our esteemed investors place in our vision and capabilities. Our heartfelt gratitude extends to White Star Capital, Hashed, Susquehanna, Semantic, Coinbase, ABN AMRO, Bpifrance, 6MV, SGH, Station F, Techstars, Ryan Selkis, Xavier Niel, and our many supportive business angels from the early days. 

This investment will fuel our mission to revolutionize how private keys are managed in web3, a fundamental piece of infrastructure currently riddled with vulnerabilities and misuse. Thanks to their support, we will continue to build out the safest developer platform for wallets, increase our global footprint, multiply research projects in cryptography, and reinforce our team of engineers and PhDs to create and open-source a series of new threshold protocols.

The key issues

Let's face it, the current state of private key security is terrifying. Lost or stolen keys have led to billions of dollars vanishing from balance sheets. Hackers have been exploiting weak points in wallets with alarming frequency, leaving users and institutions in a precarious position. 

$150 billion in Bitcoin vanished since 2010. Hackers ransacked 500,000 exchange accounts in 2020. And in 2021, a whopping record of 51 million cryptojacking attacks occurred, culminating in the second-largest crypto heist ever – an eye-watering $625 million stolen from the Ronin Network. These vulnerabilities are not just concerns; they're proliferating key-related issues that undermine the very foundation of our digital asset security. We cannot let this bleed.

The numbers are truly chilling, though institutional investors remained bullish on digital assets. Nonetheless, security concerns cast a long shadow. The industry needs a renovation as the World Economic Forum predicts a dramatic leap – from $3 trillion to $24 trillion in the global value of all digital assets by 2027. But for crypto to reach mass market adoption, we need more than just reassurances; we need security beyond doubt.

Enter Dfns 

Before Dfns, securing digital assets was like guarding gold with a padlock. Hardware security modules (HSMs) were the standard reflex for everyone all the time, but they were clunky and inconvenient. USB stick-like solutions from the Ledgers and Trezors of this world were accepted by retail investors, but lacked the muscle for fast-growing companies and larger organizations.

Today, the game has changed. Companies are demanding both top-tier security and cloud-like agility. Enter Dfns – redefining crypto security for banking and financial technologies. No more flimsy USB wallets prone to loss or theft. Dfns is a network-based key manager protecting digital assets with a cutting-edge security model that removes all single points of failure.

But wallets are more than keys. Imagine your email inbox and bank account having a kid that outshines them both—that's a wallet. Imagine configuring quorums, defining admin roles, setting transfer policies, tailoring transaction settings, enabling notifications, blocking spam, managing allowlists, connecting to external apps, choosing login and recovery options all at your fingertips, without asking a banker. That’s a great wallet.

Waasify the internet

Our thesis is that wallets deserve a SaaS platform. We aim to transcend the norm, dedicating ourselves to delivering the best developer experience possible in the Wallet-as-a-Service arena. By helping crypto standardize its security, we’re steering clear of further scandals and bringing peace of mind to investors, traders, and everyone interacting with digital assets.

We are deeply committed to enhancing the developer experience, ensuring that integration is smooth and intuitive. Our comprehensive developer toolkits are designed to integrate into any application, empowering developer teams to create wallets and sign transactions, all without the hassle of configuring bespoke infrastructure. This developer-centric approach has attracted 100+ leading fintechs onto our waitlist, keen to harness the transformative power of blockchain within their applications and services.

The future is unmistakable: 2020s are the breakout decade of blockchains. More than just the new backend for finance, blockchains will go mainstream as the internet's second skin, fostering a wave of innovative consumer applications and business models across industries. While finance is the killer application, Dfns isn't solely focused on banks and fintechs. Embedding wallets natively into the very fabric of the internet, we’re unlocking liquidity and extra value transmission in the untapped corners of the digital economy. Dfns empowers developers to flip the switch on crypto usage and tokenization, enabling people to make strides in optimizing capital efficiency.

One step at a time

Our short, two-year journey since 2020 has already been marked by significant progress. We've had the privilege of teaming up with pioneering companies like Nilos, Savingblocks, Kira, Powder and Mt Pelerin, a Swiss FINMA-regulated custody bank. These partnerships are not merely business transactions; they are strong endorsements of our vision and solutions.

CTO of Mt Pelerin, Sébastien Krafft, shared his experience, stating, "Partnering with Dfns has been a game-changer for us. Their Wallet-as-a-Service platform has not only provided us with one of the safest technologies in the market but has also been incredibly easy to integrate. The Dfns team's responsiveness and ability to deliver pragmatic solutions have been exceptional. They've significantly accelerated our ability to create configurable and secure crypto accounts, empowering us to serve our customers better."

As we look to the future, we're energized by the possibilities that lie ahead. This funding will enable us to consolidate our product security, scale our operations in the EU and US, amplify our research and development projects, and accelerate recruitment. More importantly, it will allow us to further our commitment to securing the digital asset ecosystem, ensuring that the blockchain's promise of freedom and incorruptibility is not just a dream but a reality.


About Dfns
Dfns is the leading wallet-as-a-service platform in web3. Startups, enterprises and financial institutions use Dfns to create, embed and manage programmable wallets at scale powered by the fastest, most advanced MPC technology in the world. Built by PhDs and experts in security and cryptography, Dfns is leading research in threshold signatures applied to keys. Since 2020, Dfns helped ABN AMRO, Fidelity, Zodia and many others to create over a million wallets. We’ve raised over $25M with White Star Capital, Motive, ABN AMRO, Bpifrance, Coinbase, Semantic, Wintermute, Figment, Motier Ventures, Hashed, 6MV, Susquehanna and others.