Singapore-based blockchain monitoring startup Merkle Science today announced a S$1.1 million (US$804,000) seed funding round led by LuneX Ventures and SGInnovate.

Digital Currency Group, Kenetic, and Entrepreneur First also participated in the funding round.

For LuneX, which is a dedicated fund for blockchain investments by Golden Gate Ventures, the funding round is the first lead investment it concluded since its appointment to SGInnovate’s panel of co-investors, under the Startup SG Equity scheme.

For Merkle Science, the funding will be used to build their technology and expand their sales team across Asia.

“We believe that the co-investment by LuneX and SGInnovate would be synergistic for our growth and development, as we look to build Merkle Science as a global brand from Singapore. Kenetic, DCG and Entrepreneur First would further help us establish ourselves as a trust provider globally,” said Merkle Science Co-Founder and CEO Mriganka Pattnaik in a press statement.

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Merkle Science works with law enforcement agencies and blockchain companies to provide a risk-monitoring solution to detect and prevent the illegal use of digital assets.

The company combines both off-chain and on-chain data with the goal to provide for better analysis, and said to be the one of the first players to apply fraud sciences to analyse blockchain data.

Its co-founders have combined previous experience from Naspers-backed crypto exchange Luno, Paypal, Bank of America, and Instamojo.

“This space is quite attractive due to the increasing cryptocurrency AML regulations coming about worldwide. Due to this, new compliance tools for blockchain monitoring would be required not just by digital currency companies but also regulated financial institutions entering the space,” LuneX Ventures Partner Kenrick Drijkoningen commented on the investment.

LuneX Ventures’s partnership with SGInnovate was announced in late April. The partnership aimed to invest in early stage deep tech startups.

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A recent Global Startup Ecosystem Report by Startup Genome has revealed deep tech as the fastest growing category in the global startup industry.

“Nearly half (45 per cent) of startups being created globally now are in deep tech-related sub-sectors -twice the share they made up in 2010-20115. Moreover, the four fastest growing startup sub-sectors are all deep tech-related,” the report stated.

Singapore itself has become an attractive hub for corporate R&D and PhD research students, which has led to an abundance of deep tech talent.

Image Credit: Merkle Science