Synthetic Minds, a smart contract security startup based in San Francisco has raised 5.5 million dollars for a technology that analyses blockchain networks for coding bugs.
Synthetic Minds said that the investment round was backed by a blockchain investment firm called Pantera Capital and Khosla Ventures, which focuses on internet startups.
The smart contract security startup has been founded in 2017 and has just graduated from startup accelerator Y Combinator’s summer program. They had received an investment during this program and launched the first version of their new technology.
Synthetic Minds’ core technology is called program synthesis. This falls under the umbrella of a computer science discipline called formal methods. NASA uses formal methods to ensure the safety of mission critical software in the space station and the Mars Rover.
Synthetic Minds turned to program synthesis to design automation technology that it is able to analyze and synthesize computer code better than humans can.
This technology would enable blockchain and smart contract developers to focus on higher level designs while the technology would find the bugs found in blockchain networks code.
This technology is perfect for cases in which software embodies high value and permanence. Space applications and blockchain code interestingly share those characteristics. Because smart contracts are permanent, multiple $100 million bugs have disabled large important projects.
Using Synthetic Minds, blockchain companies can build more trust in their smart contract code.
The company is currently run by just its founder, Saurabh Srivastava, and will start hiring soon. The product is ready and Synthetic Minds has paying customers, with the goal of having 10 customers by the end of 2018.
The startup states:
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.
Founder of Synthetic Minds, Saurabh Srivastava said that the company has been created with the objective of bringing automation to coding. They aim to create a code analysis tool that reads code better than humans.
He also said:
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,” said Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla, in a statement. “They are uniquely positioned to enable an enterprise-grade, safe, smart contract platform. Provably correct smart contracts through program synthesis are key steps needed for smart contracts on the blockchain and for software in general.
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