Lilita Infante spent 10 years as a special agent at the Department of Justice, where she created the first-ever federal cryptocurrency-focused task force and took down illicit networks ranging from dark web marketplaces to crimes against the children.
Three months ago, she decided to leave the government and create CAT Labs, a forensics and cybersecurity startup focused on recovering digital assets. After building the company quietly, CAT Labs announced its launch today with $4.3 million in funding from investors including Castle Island Ventures, Brevan Howard Digital, CMT Digital, RW3 Ventures, and Newark Venture. Partners.
“Crypto has made it very easy to monetize hacks, scams and frauds,” Infante said. Fortune in an interview. “There are still many technology gaps in law enforcement investigative technology, which is creating a huge backlog of cases that essentially prevents law enforcement from effectively targeting these cases.”
Courtesy of Lilita Infante
Infante first discovered Bitcoin in 2012 from an episode of The good wife. She had earned a degree in economics during the recession and, after struggling to find a job, saw the lure of disruptive technology.
After joining the DOJ in 2012 and getting started in the fight against money laundering, she managed to slowly convince her colleagues that Bitcoin would become a major vector, later volunteering to work on the first dark web cases related to the cryptography. While leading the Crypto Task Force, she worked on some of the major government takedowns of criminal networks, including Hydraa market that accounted for around 80% of all crypto transactions on the dark web.
Infante realized that cryptocurrency asset recovery was an area of growth and decided to start his own business.
“I thought it was a unique opportunity for me to go out and build these tools,” she said.
CAT Labs, which launches with eight full-time employees and five contractors, has two verticals. The first is suitable for government clients to help them recover cryptocurrency assets from digital evidence, such as computers or hacker phones. The second is crypto-focused cybersecurity for the private sector to prevent digital asset theft and secure their infrastructure architecture.
Current solutions such as data software On-chain analysis are focused on on-chain solutions, while CAT Labs will combine these tools with bespoke off-chain recovery. Infante described them as add-on services, where CAT Labs will integrate different tools into its larger suite. Other members of the founding team include Uri Stav, the former director of security and development for the Digital Currency Group, and John Hays, the former DOJ head of forensic digital asset recovery.
One of CAT Labs’ first clients was Rand Labs, the Algorand-focused blockchain development company. CAT Labs was part of the incident response team for the $9.2 million feat from wallet provider Algorand MyAlgo at the end of February.