SEED Capital keeps pumping out investments, this time into an interesting Danish cloud security startup, Sepoir. The company has come around in good timing as more and more corporations move their IT systems to cloud suppliers, but face risk of unauthorized access from corporate espionage, and popular cloud supplier monitoring by the NSA as detailed in the Snowden leaks. The exact size was not disclosed, but the round was joined by DTU Symbion Innovatoin, a Danish government funded incubator.
“A number of companies have tried to solve the [cloud security] problem using encryption technology to encrypt data before they reach the cloud supplier, yet the existing solutions for encryption of data in the cloud are just not good enough,” says Jakob Pagter, CTO at Sepior. Sepoir's solution is completely cloud based.
The startup provides a type of encryption known as secure multi-party computation (MPC), which allows calculation on encrypted data, while at the same time keeping the inputs private. This technique has been around since 1982, but hasn't made its way too deeply into cloud security due to speed issues. Sepoir's technology increases the computational speed to a more seamless timeframe, instead of having to wait ten seconds for a file to appear onscreen. "With Sepior’s solution we can decrypt files so quickly that the user will not perceive that the decryption process has even taken place. We are the first in the world to have accomplished this,” says CEO Nicolaj H. Nielsen.
The team behind Sepoir is as heavyweight as they come in this field, including experts like Ivan Damgård, who is said to be one of the most quoted cryptography researchers in the world. Further fleshing out the team is CTO Jakob Pagter, the manager of the security lab at Alexandra Instituttet, and co-founder of Partisia, the first company to commercialize MPC. Nicolaj H. Nielsen is the CEO and co-founder of Sepior, who was the co-founder of the Danish IT security company CodeSealer, among other companies.
Sepior works with both enterprises and cloud providers. On the enterprise side, they allow organizations to encrypt data going into cloud solutions so employees can still use popular tools, like DropBox and Google Drive, while still protecting data without the need for user-defined passwords. For cloud providers, they provide a cloud-based Key Management as a Service that enables encryption of data.