Enveil raises $4 million to protect data while it's being used - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Nov. 10, 2017 7:44 am

Enveil raises $4 million to protect data while it’s being used

The Columbia-based cybersecurity startup got backing from Thomson Reuters and USAA.
Enveil founder Ellison Anne Williams.

Enveil founder Ellison Anne Williams.

(Courtesy photo)

Cybersecurity startup Enveil raised $4 million for sales and tech development of its platform that keeps data encrypted while it is being used.

The investment funding was provided by Thomson Reuters, an affiliate of USAA and Bloomberg Beta.

DataTribe, the Fulton-based startup studio that backs entrepreneurs coming directly out of government agencies, also contributed funding. Enveil was one of the first three companies to get backing from DataTribe, which offers access to mentors, space and resources to help build a company for the first-time entrepreneurs. The startup also received $1 million in seed funding.

The company graduated the yearlong program in mid-August, said Enveil CEO Ellison Anne Williams. Enveil remained in Howard County, moving into a new office in the Maple Lawn area. She said it was a “perfect central point” for the company’s 10-member team, which includes former employees of the nearby National Security Agency.

That’s where the technology which powers the company’s platform, called homomorphic encryption, was initially developed over many years before Enveil was founded in 2016.

Williams has said bringing the technology marks a big advance. Encryption is key to securing large amounts of data, but it only protects data when it is being stored or transferred. When performing functions like search and analytics, the data is actually exposed. It’s a “blind spot” for security the company says.

Enveil’s platform is designed to keep the data encrypted while users are interacting with it in the cloud, and Williams said the startup’s platform is the only one that can do it. The company’s tagline is “Never Decrypt.”

The company’s ability to protect the data at scale earned second place recognition at RSA‘s Innovation Sandbox event earlier this year, which seeks to spotlight up-and-coming young companies.

En|Veil founder Ellison Anne Williams (second from right) at RSA.

En|Veil founder Ellison Anne Williams (second from right) at RSA.

Williams said the new funding will help the company further advance the platform, and build out a team to expand its customer base. The company recently made hires in sales and business development, however, there won’t be a hiring spree.

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“We intend to run as lean as we can for as long as we can,” she said. “Our plan isn’t to hire lots and lots of folks.”

Williams said the company sees uses with data aggregators, financial services companies and in healthcare. That’s reflected in the companies that invested in Enveil. Thomson Reuters and the USAA affiliate are already clients.

“Thomson Reuters always looks for new ways to enhance data security across our product portfolio,” Bob Schukai, Thomson Reuters’ Global Head of Design, Digital Identity Solutions, said in a statement. “Understanding these rapidly evolving challenges, we are pleased to support Enveil and its efforts to secure the full data lifecycle.”

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