Business Irish

Thursday 21 November 2019

Irish identity protection startup Sedicii targeting €5m

Sedicii chief executive Rob Leslie
Sedicii chief executive Rob Leslie

Paul O'Donoghue

Irish cyber-security company Sedicii is looking to raise €5m over the next 18 months as it moves to take advantage of planned new EU privacy rules.

The Waterford-based firm secures identity protection for technology users.

Sedicii uses an algorithm to verify user information or passwords without actually sending data to a website for verification. This means that if a business is a victim of a cyber attack and is hacked, user information is not on the company's servers and cannot be stolen.

It is in the process of proving the commercial viability of its product and is in talks with "a number of large banks and companies", according to company chief executive Rob Leslie, pictured.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said: "What we are seeing is a nexus of things coming together. New privacy directives will force a lot of organisations to pay attention to cyber security as the penalties of not doing it could be huge."

The penalties Mr Leslie refers to will be introduced under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new law working its way through the European Commission which it aims to unify data protection within the European Union.

It will apply to all organisations processing personal data of EU residents.

Among the measures being introduced under the wide-ranging GDPR legislation is an initiative that requires companies to design data protection into the development of business processes for products and services.

Companies who do not comply with the new regulation could be hit with penalties of 2pc of worldwide turnover. The EU parliament favours even higher fines of up to 5pc.

The GDPR, which is in draft form as it undergoes consultation, could be written into law by the end of the year. Companies will likely have until 2017 or 2018 to be compliant with the new regulations.

Mr Leslie said: "It [the GDRP] will probably become law by the end of this year, which means that we need to have something up and running in the next few months.

"How to handle user data is a global problem although Europe will be our primary focus first, it will be a bit of a land grab.

"We are getting down to some serious conversations and proof of concept shouldn't take much longer than three to six months."

He added: "Over the next 18 months we will need about €5m in order to scale the business up and do what we want to do.

"We are in London at the moment and are raising capital right now, we are looking to talk to anyone who is in that space."

Mr Leslie said that it was likely that Sedicii would raise the funds in several separate instalments "of €1m-€2m over the next six to nine months and then the rest thereafter."

Sedicci's "Zero Knowledge Proof Protocol" was developed at National University of Ireland, Galway before attracting the attention of Mr Leslie, who got in touch with the university after hearing about the technology with a view to commercialising it.

The company is targeting sales of between €1 and €2m over the next 12 months, €5m in the following year and then €10m the year after that.

Irish Independent

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