Business 25 October 2018

Rebecca Asseh

Synthetic Minds rounds up $5.5M in Pantera Capital-led funding

Synthetic Minds, a smart contract security startup out of San Francisco, has raised $5.5 million in a funding round backed by blockchain investment company Pantera Capital and venture capital firm Khosla Ventures. The money raised will go towards a technology analyzing blockchain networks for coding bugs.

The startup, founded in 2017, had just graduated from the Y Combinator accelerator program, where it launched the first version of its technology. Synthetic Minds utilizes program synthesis, a computer science method used by organizations like NASA to ensure the safety of mission-critical software in the space station as well as the Mars Rover, according to Venture Beat. Using this method, which falls under a discipline called formal methods, Synthetic Minds designed an automation technology that the startup claims can “analyze (read) and synthesize (write) computer code better than humans can.” Synthetic Minds revealed that, “Eventually, using program synthesis we will be able to offload most of the programming for mission critical systems to software, leaving humans free to do high-level architectural design.”

According to Saurabh Srivastava, founder of Synthetic Minds, the startup’s goal is to bring “automation to coding…Specifically, our code analysis tools read code better than humans, and we are getting close to automation that can write code better, as well. Our long-term mission is make software creation accessible to everybody, especially non-programmers.”

Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, said Synthetic Minds is already in position to provide a safe and enterprise-grade smart contract platform utilizing program synthesis, noting, “We believed in the team at Synthetic Minds and their expertise to build hard tech that will further grow adoption of smart contracts, both in the public and enterprise domains.”

Pantera has been involved in several funding rounds for major blockchain projects, the latest of which was with Synthetic Minds. The blockchain investment company recently launched its third crypto fund, with over 90 investors committing $71 million to the fund. Pantera also has investments in Zcash, Bakkt and ShapeShift, among others.

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