New Athens-based AI startup launches, raises more than $4 million officially launched April 1
Aiden Kehoe (left) and Andrew Howard (right), co-founders of Athens-based artificial intelligence startup The company built a risk management platform for cryptocurrency traders.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Aiden Kehoe (left) and Andrew Howard (right), co-founders of Athens-based artificial intelligence startup The company built a risk management platform for cryptocurrency traders., an Athens-based risk management platform for blockchain, officially launched to the public Monday and announced it had raised $4.6 million in seed funding.

Andrew Howard, CEO and co-founder of, and his co-founder Aiden Kehoe started the company in late 2022 and were quietly building and raising money last year.

The launch comes as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have entered a new period of growth after a recent downturn. Bitcoin hit a record valuation in March.

Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger of cryptocurrency transactions across a global network. Different cryptocurrencies – like Bitcoin and Ether – often have different blockchains.

Howard and Kehoe were raising money when the crypto market crashed, which Howard said was like “catching a falling knife,” with bad meeting after bad meeting.

“Eventually we found a group of investors that believed not only in the space, knowing that it would come back, but believed in us,” Howard said. “It was a tough journey, but I think if I look back on it, it allowed us to go build this company during the crypto winter, which is a great time to build a company. And now the market’s coming back and it’s a great time to launch.”

The $4.6 million seed round was led by Lerer Hippeau, a New York-based venture firm that has backed companies like Allbirds, BarkBox and Casper.

Lockchain helps crypto traders, hedge funds and asset managers by using artificial intelligence to monitor security incidents around assets that traders hold, giving them the ability to act on that information, including through automating selling or buying. The AI can also analyze new cryptocurrencies that a trader is interested in potentially purchasing and give them real-time information.

Screenshot from a demo video of the cryptocurrency risk management platform The startup is based in Athens.

Credit: Handout

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Credit: Handout

The Lockchain team built their AI model on top of OpenAI, the company behind the hugely popular ChatGPT. Lockchain trained its model on what Howard called “on-chain” and “off-chain” data. On-chain data is information that comes from the blockchain, like crypto transactions and new code that impacts those transactions. Off-chain data is most everything else, from tweets to court dockets.

“We have this very clear picture of what’s going on and around all these blockchains and then the AI then synthesizes that into risk management information, a consumable risk score, and then we provide that to the traders to make decisions off of,” Howard said.

The company has an office in downtown Athens and about 20 full-time and contract employees, including interns from the University of Georgia. Howard attended Georgia Tech and got his start in cybersecurity through an internship while he was a student.

“I started off my career as a co-op intern at Georgia Tech and kind of believe in the program. Several of our leaders did the same thing and so we’re trying to recreate the same thing here in Athens,” he said.

Howard said he plans to raise more funding this summer to continue to grow and hopes to add predictive abilities to Lockchain’s AI model as well as compliance tools.

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