As SaaS becomes the standard for most business software, security requirements for SaaS companies continue to grow. Add users who want their data to be sandboxed by others or stored in a specific geographic area, and the pressure on the development and security teams will only increase. Antimatter, which is appearing latently today and rolling out its services in closed beta, offers a different solution to these problems. It provides SaaS companies with a cryptographic infrastructure that can ensure that the service meets their residency, management, and tenancy requirements using secure enclaves that store data encrypted in transit, storage, and execution.
The company also announced today that it has raised a $12 million Series A round led by NEA with participation from General Catalyst and Union Labs. The founders of Snowflake, Okta, Dropbox, VMware, Segment and Databricks also took part in the round.
The company’s co-founder is Andrey Kryukov (CEO), former founder and CEO of Comfy’s workplace management service (which was acquired by Siemens in 2018); Michael Anderson (CTO), a group cryptographer who, like Krekov, holds a PhD in computer science from Berkeley; and Beau Trincha (VP of Design), who was also part of Comfy’s founding team and spent seven years designing and producing user experiences at IDEO.
Comfy, Kryokov, and Trincia themselves faced the challenge of protecting user data for large enterprise clients such as Microsoft, BMW, Salesforce, and SAP during experience creation. “It was very hard,” Kryukov said. “It took a lot of engineering time. It took the sales team a long time to try and discuss all of this. It slowed down – and even killed – some sales for us.” According to Kryukov, after talking with Anderson, the team realized that they had everything they needed to solve this problem forever.
In addition, companies increasingly want to have more control over their data, even if it is under the umbrella of a SaaS company, but it is very difficult for SaaS companies to do this. “We realized that we had made a breakthrough, and we can offer a new solution, which is a completely different cloud-based deployment architecture that provides a strong guarantee for buyers and then for SaaS sellers to accelerate their sales and cryptographic proofs.”
Antimatter’s solution stores data in secure Kubernetes enclaves, which the company uses to provide hardware guarantees that data is always encrypted, even during processing. “It gives SaaS providers a way to prove that their customer data is secure — secure to a higher standard than ever before because apps can be malicious, employees can be malicious, and it can all go wrong.” be malicious.” “Still clearly safe,” Anderson explains.
They also noted that when the SaaS application runs in a secure enclave with this private data, there is no performance impact. There is also no need to make any changes to the SaaS application code. As Anderson explained, the Antimatter service fits into the application itself and provides guarantees because no one can leave the unencrypted data enclave, and the hardware ensures that no one can even read the server’s memory. With the cryptographic features of today’s server chips, all major clouds now offer a secure enclave version. While it’s a great primitive to work with, the team noted, it doesn’t offer the guarantees that antimatter offers for its customers.
It’s worth emphasizing that Bo is a co-founder of the Trincia design team, something we don’t often see in such high-tech issues. But, as Trincha said, from the very beginning, the team wanted to make sure that they were creating the right experience for the audience of the service. It may be the CTO making the final purchasing decision, but he also noted that the team wanted to create a great user experience for developers, as well as a good user experience for users who should (or shouldn’t) be in the company. .. access to this data. He also noted that part of the design challenge here is to show users that their data is actually secure. “People can show if events happened or not and explain it too clearly and they have a great dashboard to give people an idea [is important]Trinia said.
Like most companies at this stage, the team plans to use the new funding to expand the development team as it aims to open up its services to a wider audience soon.
Greg Papadopoulos, Venture Partner at NEA, said: “The years of crypto-technologies and university research and development that underpin antimatter is a huge step forward for very convenient – but perhaps ideal – secure computing and data privacy.” “We are thrilled to be working with Andrew and his team as they enable companies to secure customer computers and data at all times.”