A 19-year-old BT Young Scientist winner has landed almost €3m in seed funding from a collection of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious US venture capital firms.
Dubliner Shane Curran closed the $3.2m (€2.9m) seed investment round for his data privacy startup, Evervault.
The heavy-hitting firms backing the venture are led by Sequoia Capital, the giant Californian venture firm.
It’s not the first Young Scientist firm that Sequoia has backed. Six years ago, it invested in a payments firm created by former BTYS winner Patrick Collison and his brother John. Stripe has gone on to become one of the world’s most valuable private companies, valued at $35bn (€31.7bn).
Another US venture giant, Kleiner Perkins, is also participating in the founding round, as is Dublin-based venture firm Frontline.
Mr Curran, who said he was “thrilled” at landing the funding, won the 2017 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition for research in cryptography and data privacy while he was still in secondary school. He was featured in the 2018 Forbes ‘30 Under 30‘ for his work in security and privacy.
“The support and backing from some of the best investors in the world provides an exciting opportunity to accelerate us on our path to fundamentally re-architect how our personal data is handled,” he said.
“I believe we can start a generational shift in how we can approach these problems, by building the privacy tools necessary to support technology builders and creators.
"I look forward to growing our world-class team here in Dublin to work towards our mission of making data privacy simple and accessible for all.”
Evervault hosts a network of hardware-secured data processing ‘enclaves’ which allows developers to deploy their applications in privacy ’cages’. These cages allow information to be processed securely with strictly-controlled access, but without changing the way that developers build their software. Developers integrate with the Evervault API through their publicly available developer Software Development Kits for all major architectures and frameworks.
"Data is king and the team at Evervault is on a mission to solve the ‘how' of ensuring data privacy," said Mamoon Hamid a partner at Kleiner Perkins.
"Their developer-first approach ensures that data privacy becomes part of the development fabric, instead of an afterthought left for compliance to troubleshoot. We're thrilled to partner with Evervault and help build the new Internet infrastructure for data privacy."