Lilita Infante, a former special agent who served the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for 10 years has just raised $4.3 million to launch CAT Labs, a start-up building forensic and cybersecurity tools to fight crypto-enabled crimes.
As crypto-related scams continue to rise each passing day, regulators and authorities all across the world are increasingly formulating new policies to curb such crimes. As per reports, illicit cryptocurrency activity reached an all-time high of $20.1 billion in 2022, a $2.1 billion increase from the previous year.
According to Immunefi, 95% of all cryptocurrency theft started from hacking incidents. On the other hand, the remaining losses were a result of fraud and other scams. Recently, Rashawn Russell, a former Deutsche Bank AG investment banker was charged in an indictment with misappropriating funds from investors on false promises of big returns from cryptocurrency trading.
A New Venture To Fight Crypto Crimes
In order to fight such crimes, Infante, who pioneered the first task force focused exclusively on the dark web and crypto-enabled crime, started CAT Labs. According to the official press release, Infante raised $4.3 million in a pre-seed round led by prominent investors such as Castle Island Ventures, Brevan Howard Digital, CMT Digital, and RW3 Ventures among other participants.
Although the project was inaugurated three months ago, it revealed the funding round on Wednesday. Interestingly, CAT Labs was a part of the incident report team for the MyAlgo.com hack in February.
Infante’s new venture plans to work with the U.S. government to help recover digital assets lost to crypto crimes. As per the press release, CAT Labs is building digital asset recovery and cybersecurity tools to enable United States government agencies, state, and local police departments to accurately and efficiently process digital assets involved in criminal investigations.
CAT Will Help US Allied Countries
The startup will also be assisting US-allied countries to find, identify and seize digital assets pertaining to criminal cases. The former special agent explained the explosion of crypto-targeted crimes is the biggest threat to the Web3 and decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystems. She said,
“Our elite team of crypto forensics and cybersecurity professionals is working tirelessly to make this industry safe and secure by building tools to enable law enforcement to address crypto-enabled crime and by protecting investors from digital asset theft.”
In addition, the CAT Labs executive team will include Uri Stav, a former Chief Security and Development Officer of the Digital Currency Group (DCG), Monica Arias, a former Chainalysis business development lead, John Hays, a former DOJ lead in forensic digital asset recovery among other prominent cybersecurity experts.