The Irish startup Vaultree announced, on Wednesday, that it received an investment of $3.3 million led by Ten Eleven Ventures, with participation from Enterprise Ireland, Unpopular Ventures, HBAN, and John N. Stewart, former head of security and director of trust at Cisco. With the round, the startup also announces its arrival in Brazil.
German Tilo Weigandt and Irish Ryan Lasmaili became friends in 2013 and decided to become entrepreneurs together. Weigandt lived in Brazil, where he worked with the unicorn Creditas. The founding partner of Vaultree tells LABS that he realized that while companies were focusing on vulnerabilities in cybersecurity in the country, they are mostly consultancies that analyze flaws in systems. “LGPD (General Data Protection Law, in Portuguese) was the trigger for Vaultree in Brazil. In Europe, GDPR already works and here in Brazil we saw that companies didn’t know where to start,” he explains.
Weigandt and Lasmaili met cyber security professor Kevin Curran who was studying so-called searchable symmetric encryption. Joining forces, the founders brought together various encryption tuples to create their own patent-pending Enhanced Searchable Symmetric Encryption (ESSE) technology and Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE), which generally allows for scalable and simple processing of encrypted data, according to Weigandt. Shaun McBrearty and Maxim Dressler completes the co-founding team of the startup.
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He explains that in most cases of encryption, for data handling and editing, it is necessary to undo the encryption, subjecting the database not only to hacker attacks but also to human error. According to Weigandt, Vaultree’s main differential is that, because it is a simple solution, a client company’s technology team does not need to be robust to implement the solution. The first product is the software development kit (SDK), and the second product will be a database as a service, which will be hosted on cloud marketplaces such as AWS and Azure.
“The problem is that because this area is so complex, even funds that invest in big tech didn’t understand the business sometimes. It took a while to find a fund that could understand what we were doing and be able to really help,” Weigandt says.
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The new contribution was made in dollars and euros and will be used to hire a team and create the solution for the initial markets the startup is targeting: Ireland (where the company’s headquarters are located), the United Kingdom, the United States, and Brazil. Part of the funds will also be allocated to research and development in cryptography.
In its initial phase, the startup has a team spread across India, Turkey, the UK, and Brazil. Most of the team is in Ireland. “We want to continue in this way because talent is all over the world and not just in one country,” says the co-founder. “This funding will help us hire more people because we need the talent to beat cybercriminals, who are getting more and more sophisticated.”
With the product in beta being worked on with a major fintech, Vaultree intends to launch the service to the market in the first half of next year and already has a waiting list of interested companies.
“Our first product is a toolkit, it’s the foundation for everything we want to do. We will sell directly or through cloud marketplaces in licensing or subscription format,” he said.
The company is still studying the price of the subscription. “Our target audience is technology companies that are operating in the regulated industry like finance, insurance, healthcare, law, and HR, who work with sensitive data and are already looking for a strong solution. Our technology is easy to implement and any company can use it.”