Web3 startups worldwide have continued to prioritize security as a key factor for gaining users’ trust, maintaining credibility and reputation, and ensuring the safety of digital assets. However, many startups, especially smaller ones, struggle with security reviews and audits as they do not enjoy the same level of visibility in the security research space as large corporations and IT firms. Other factors like financial constraints also hinder their security prospects.
Kolkata-based UNSNARL has chipped in to address this huge gap in the Web3 industry, which is estimated to be worth $116.51 billion. Founded in December 2022 by Arka Datta and Sudipan Sinha, UNSNARL essentially offers a marketplace, where Web3 firms can choose auditors (security researchers and ethical hackers) as per their budget and preferences.
Security auditors can get started on UNSNARL by registering themselves. The startup, however, screens auditors before allowing them on the platform to ensure stringent compliance.
Founders told Entrackr the company has onboarded nearly 50 auditors since it opened early access to the platform. It is also in talks with up to four clients (Web3 firms) to get on board with Unsnarl. The platform is set to go live in the first week of April.
On the budget challenges, Datta further explained that some auditing firms are leveraging search engines to charge higher amounts from clients. Since there are not many marketplaces, startups struggle to set the right price for their projects, he added.
In addition to easy access and affordable options, UNSNARL also aims to bring transparency to the space. For instance, startups can track who is auditing their codes and gauge what their experience was like.
“There was a company in Sweden looking for a security audit. And some renowned security firms were quoting up to $30,000. But, we discovered a very good team in Poland that could deliver the same work for just $5,000. So, that’s the main value proposition…” he said.
UNSNARL plans to make money through multiple routes, including commissions on projects. It also plans to launch a subscription service for freelance auditors that gives perks like unlimited bids, verified badges, and profile boosts. The company also plans to charge a commission on auditing and bug bounties.
To date, UNSNARL has secured nearly $12,000 in grants. It secured a $10,000 grant from Antler India, whereas ETH India (through ETH India Grants) gave $2,000.
Following the launch next month, the Web3 security startup will launch a dashboard where security auditors will be featured along with their previous achievements, helping individuals get better reach in the industry. It also plans to launch a few Web 3-based features like NFT certifications, tokens and rewards to incentivize auditors. Another feature in the pipeline is a bug bounty-focused service, expected to launch in the last quarter of this fiscal year.
While UNSNARL has just embarked on its journey, there are quite a few security audit firms catering to the Web3 space. Some names include OpenZeppelin, Trail of Bits, and Sigma Prime.