This year’s volatility in the crypto markets has seen billions of dollars wiped out of the industry. However, one startup, TRM Labs, believes there is a, increased interest in its back-end tools used by a swathe of players working across digital assets following the market’s turn.
TRM Labs cofounder and CEO Esteban Castaño told Insider that TRM Labs grew at its fastest pace ever in the 2nd quarter. The startup has raised $80 million since launching in 2017, including a $60 million Series B last December that saw participation from the venture arms of financial giants like Citi, PayPal, and American Express. And this June, TRM Labs announced its acquisition of UK-based investigative blockchain training company CSITech.
TRM Labs provides compliance, risk management, and anti-fraud tools to financial firms, blockchain players, and regulators alike. The startup has inked partnerships with at least one major financial firm, JPMorgan — which announced a strategic investment in TRM Labs this February — and counts Shopify and crypto-native giants like Circle and FTX as clients.
“We’re seeing crypto businesses continue to mature their compliance programs and make significant investments in improving their ability to monitor for money laundering, financial crime, and sanctions exposure,” Castaño said.
The financial sector, he added, represents TRM Lab’s second-fastest-growing client base, after the public sector but ahead of crypto-native businesses.
“A big bank could pull a report from TRM to get the overall risk profile of, say, a large cryptocurrency exchange, and then make a decision if they want to serve that exchange,” Castaño said.
In Castaño’s view, for the past five years, most traditional financial firms have been in a “research phase” when it comes to digital assets. Now, those same names are transitioning to a “deployment phase,” actively rolling out new crypto products and embracing new compliance tools.
“Whereas a two-person crypto startup might function more like a speedboat, large financial institutions can sometimes function more like aircraft carriers,” Castaño said.