Tristero Launches Company to Build Stronger and Safer Crypto Markets, Raises $4.8M Seed

Coming out of stealth, the company is building a truly dark, dark pool to make markets more fair


SAN FRANCISCO, May 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tristero, a company working toward developing decentralized dark pool technology to create a fairer trading environment, announced today the launch of their company supported by a $4.8M Seed round co-led by General Catalyst and Steel Perlot. The company will be using the investment to build markets designed to minimize the price impact of trades, an invisible cost to all market participants.

Large trades move markets. This is a problem as old as markets themselves. Dark pools, exchanges with hidden order books, rose to prominence as a way to pair buyers and sellers who want to conduct trades privately to avoid moving the market. Because of the limitations of existing technology, dark pools have had to rely on trusted third parties (usually investment banks) to run the orderbook. In this model, market participants must trust the dark pool operator to not "look inside" the dark pool and front-run the trades. There is no way to prove whether or not an operator is honest, casting a shadow over the entire space. This has limited the growth of the sector and led to increasing regulatory scrutiny.

Leveraging advances in cryptography, Tristero is building what they believe is the first truly dark, dark pool. Their technology, using zero-knowledge proofs, enables markets where no one can see inside, including Tristero. By hiding trade details from all market participants, Tristero aims to create more transparent markets ––redistributing wealth from the middlemen back to the people building companies and investing for the long haul.

“Not all markets are equal. When someone wants to buy or sell a large piece of a company, it has a major price impact and this acts as an invisible cost to the buyer or seller. However, markets can be designed to help reduce this,” said CEO and founder of Tristero, Sam Trautwein. “Tristero is designing these markets. We believe that people building companies and long term investors drive economic growth and we want to put money back in their pockets.”

To validate design decisions, Tristero is planning to launch a stablecoin clearinghouse in Q2 2023 that seeks to lower costs for cross chain stablecoin transactions. Designed for whales and funds, this product aims to enable the trustless conversion of any stablecoin into any other stablecoin, on any other chain. At time of launch, the fees are intended to be 1 bp (0.01%) and will offer greater security than pool-based systems.

“As a deeply thoughtful founder with previous operating experience, Sam Trautwein has assembled what we believe is an ambitious and technical team to build a truly 'dark' dark pool exchange by employing zero-knowledge cryptography. By creating a secure and private environment for trading that is also resistant to censorship and manipulation, Tristero seeks to enable fairness and lower costs for market participants,” said Nick van Eck, Partner at General Catalyst. “We are excited to partner with the team to build towards a less centralized future that fosters globally inclusive financial market accessibility.”

About Tristero
Founded in 2022, Tristero is a company developing technology to enable truly dark dark pools. The company is set to debut a groundbreaking proof of concept to lower costs for cross chain stablecoin transactions. Tristero is enabling more efficient markets that put money back in the pockets of builders and investors by designing markets that take into account the invisible costs associated with large trades. Tristero is based in San Francisco and will launch its first product in Q2 of 2023. For more information, visit

About General Catalyst
General Catalyst is a venture capital firm that invests in powerful, positive change that endures — for our entrepreneurs, our investors, our people, and society. We support founders with a long-term view who challenge the status quo, partnering with them from seed to growth stage and beyond to build companies that withstand the test of time. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, London, and Boston, the firm has helped support the growth of businesses such as: Airbnb, Deliveroo, Guild, Gusto, Hubspot, Illumio, Lemonade, Livongo, Oscar, Samsara, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker. For more:

About Steel Perlot
Steel Perlot builds and backs defining platform technologies. Steel Perlot is a management company investing in and incubating companies to solve the world's most technical problems.

Sam Trautwein