Stelo Labs Ceases Operations

Today marks the end of operations for Stelo Labs, as announced on October 17, 2023. This decision impacts all Stelo products, including the popular Stelo Chrome extension, which will no longer simulate transactions. The purpose behind this action is to prevent potential phishing attacks on users. Stelo Labs has advised users to transition to other secure platforms such as Pocket Universe, Fire, or Wallet Guard.

Seed Funding and Mission of Stelo Labs

In February 17, 2023, Stelo Labs, a company specialized in web3 security, successfully raised $6 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Co-founded by Ben Scharfstein and Aman Dhesi, who previously held product management roles at Google, Facebook, and Square, Stelo Labs aims to enhance safety and user understanding in the web3 landscape, particularly for ethereum users. The Stelo extension, launched in September, acted as a protective firewall against scams and phishing attacks during transactions, addressing the growing security challenges in the web3 interface and data security while relieving some responsibility from users.

Milestones Achieved by Stelo Labs

With a mission to simplify crypto security and usability, Stelo Labs initially focused on making secure transactions more user-friendly. Here are some notable achievements:

  • Over 10,000 downloads of the Stelo extension.
  • A user base of 1,500 daily active users and 7,000 monthly active users, despite a pause in development and marketing efforts over the last six months.
  • Protection for wallets holding assets worth over $200 million.
  • Successful prevention of hundreds of scam attempts, safeguarding users from potential financial losses.
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Broader Vision and Lessons Learned

In addition to their achievements, Stelo Labs had a broader vision, including the creation of a developer API to integrate wallets with their transaction risk engine and the development of a universal interface for seamless interaction with any smart contract. However, their journey also highlighted initial misconceptions, such as assumptions about the data network effect related to transaction safety, the universal adoption of standalone wallets by crypto users, and the near-term mass adoption of crypto. These insights have emphasized the importance of aligning with real-market dynamics and questioning inherent assumptions.

Next Steps for Stelo Labs

As Stelo Labs returns to the drawing board, they are incorporating the lessons learned from this phase. They recognize the importance of market definition, validating assumptions, and focusing on solving core user problems. Although this chapter concludes today, Stelo Labs has expressed their intention to soon unveil their next venture, driven by the knowledge gained so far.

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