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Monday, June 27, 2022

Interview with Envault Corporation after strengthening board


These days when extremely confidential data left behind on USB sticks or hard drives both by companies and governmental agencies constantly hits the headlines, Finnish startup Envault Corporation, founded in 2007, sets out to help save the top management from losing sleep.

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Envault’s also just been able to secure some well-known professionals to their board. Read more below as Envault’s Business Developer Tuukka Autio reveals how the company got started and what kind of plans they have.

1. Could you introduce briefly what Envault does and why you will be successful?

Envault Corporation develops and sells remotely controllable, ultra-secure, and password-free protection service for all USB-connected mass storage devices. The product category in which we operate is data security and especially data leakage prevention.

We have good chances to be successful because we are producing a unique service that offers real benefits to our target customers. Then again, it’s a crowded market space with very large established competition with broader product offerings. I would say that as a specialist vendor our job is to focus on a small category and be the world’s best in it, rather than try to become the next one-stop-shop of all data security like Symantec or McAfee.

2. How did you come up with the technology, and how you are commercializing

The roots of the technology lie in protecting payable content streams in mobile TV and IPTV broadcast. The original inventors are VTT’s (the Technical Research Center of Finland) researchers. The company was originally spun off from VTT to commercialize the stream protection technology under the name “Splitstreem”. But very soon it was found out that the technology fits superbly with protecting file storages as well, and the market potential of such product would be far greater. We call this novel protection technology “envaulting”, hence the company’s new name “Envault Corporation”.

Envaulting, in brief, is a new, password-free data protection technology that we like to speak of as an evolution from encryption. Envaulting is virtually unbreakable, has no single point of failure, and allows you to monitor and control your data unlike any other security system. You can for example remotely disable a lost USB flash drive without requiring any connection to the drive – no matter where on Earth (or Moon, makes no difference) the drive is.

We have quite recently launched our first product based on the innovation, the Envault USB Storage Protection. To scan the market and find out what our potential customers expect from such offering, we have been actively talking to domestic customers already since last November, and the reception has been very positive. Several pilot implementations of our protection system are already up and running at our customers’ premises, and we have a very long list of interested customers and distributors we hope to serve in the near future.

3. Can you tell us a bit about the kind of supporters and financing you have?

Our main financiers are VTT, naturally, and Ilkka Hiidenheimo, the founder and CEO of Stonesoft. Other than that, we’ve utilized TEKES funding in our R&D.

We have managed to enlist seasoned experts to our board as well, as Mr. Ari Hyppönen, former CTO and board member of F-Secure, and Mr. Mikael Honkavaara, the software entrepreneur of year 2005, recently joined our board.

4. The solution seems to be aimed to large corporations and government agencies. Do you have foreign customers already and how do you plan to reach new ones?

We expect to eventually extract most of our sales from abroad, namely the EU and the US market, but as a small company we really want to do our homework well on our home turf before we go after the big game – so currently we sell directly to domestic customers that are close to us and that we can currently support with our local infrastructure. We are, however, working on establishing channel network in Central Europe, and expect results already later this year. The North American market is also very interesting to us
and we have identified several potential partners with whom we’ll continue to discuss about sales co-operation.

5. What can we expect from Envault in the future?

I can tell you that we’re working on something that can really transform the way companies and government agencies secure their most precious data.

Envaulting as a technology already enables automatic and password-free protection and remote control for data – things where we are already 5 to 10 years ahead of our competition – but there is much more to it. Our bright computer scientists are exploring new and very promising capabilities the technology brings way beyond USB and we hope to be able to talk about those already next spring.
Security business might be especially tough for a startup to penetrate into, but Envault’s solution seems like something the CIO’s of large corporations would probably heartily embrace. And it certainly helps to have reliable names in the board. Looking forward to hear news from the pilots.
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