UK Rival Slack: Worldr Secures $ 3M Seed Funding for ‘Zero Trust’ Message
Worldr, a communications platform that offers users secure messaging, has just finalized a $ 3 million funding round. Led by IQ Capital, the Cambridge-based high-tech venture capitalist. Additionally, investors include some of the biggest names in tech and security including Playfair Capital, CyLon, Credit Suisse’s Andreas Wuchner and Privitar co-founder John Taysom.
Founded by Max Buchan, who started as CoinShares’ first employee, and corporate lawyer Dmitry Maskaliou, Worldr is designed as an elegant secure messaging platform that meets the stringent compliance standards required by the financial industries. and legal from which they originate. Much of the inspiration came from Buchan’s experience at CoinShares, which managed nearly $ 3 billion in assets.
Speaking to UKTN, Buchan explained how the security and regulatory challenges he faced sparked the spark: “Regulations affected the way people communicated. There was this growing load on people thinking about who can access the messages, and the FCA was getting stricter. Starting with plans for a secure Slack-like platform, they began to develop solutions to integrate with existing platforms. Their first integration provides secure messaging for Microsoft Teams. “We started with Microsoft Teams because their growth has been astronomical. They went from 75 million to 145 million users in twelve months.
Secure messaging in a zero trust environment
Worldr operates on what they call a zero trust model: this basically means that companies that use it don’t need to rely on external platforms for their security. A reflection that, despite the enormous amount of security in place, any external service presents a risk. “A business hosting the conversations of hundreds of thousands of businesses becomes a very attractive target,” Buchan explained. “We wanted to decentralize this risk, so by using our teams later, you take back ownership of the data. Even if Microsoft hosts it, the company that creates the conversations is the only one with the private key to decrypt it.
Worldr’s flagship product remains the Slack-type messaging service. The company deploys the Worldr infrastructure in-house, which means that conversations and chats would only be stored by that company’s servers. However, they quickly realized that despite a successful beta phase with around 150 companies, the approach limited them to small companies that could easily change their communication platform or had not adopted one at all. Despite positive reviews for their product, one of the main points they learned was that for large organizations, the overhead costs of changing platforms were too high. This resulted in a change of direction and a new product.
A scalable solution
“We created the first end-to-end encryption for Microsoft Teams,” Buchan explains. “The good thing is we can just apply it on top of the existing platform, so staff don’t have to change what they’re doing. It’s incredibly exciting; we can deploy it in minutes, for thousands of people at a time, so you can scale very quickly.
Funding and future plans
The funding is intended to continue the development of their products. One of the first steps will be the expansion of their beta programs, introducing the app to more potential customers. In addition to expanding the platform envelopes they offer, opening up new markets beyond Microsoft Teams. But even limited to the Teams platform, Worldr has the potential to grow quickly. “We’re in the early days, but we’re deploying to a number of larger institutions,” Buchan explains, “currently they only test with maybe a hundred people on the security team, but it can be followed by an enterprise-wide deployment -out, and when a lot of these companies have tens of thousands of employees, we have to prepare for that scale.
So far, Worldr has focused on industries that have a strict regulatory framework and, therefore, security guards who are aware of the need to minimize risk. Many of the clients recruited during their stealth phase come from the financial and pharmaceutical industries, but Buchan identified that the potential market is much larger: fearful of being disclosed or understood.
Security breaches and leaks have become commonplace. While the IT giants invest heavily in security, they also create tempting targets that bad actors – whatever their motivation – are also investing heavily to bypass. Worldr aims to solve this dilemma through its zero trust model. As Buchan explains, “Don’t trust us, don’t trust the IT giants, don’t trust anyone, just trust yourself. ”
By breaking down tempting data silos, while retaining strong encryption, Worldr’s product offers a degree of control and reassurance to individual businesses, explains Buchan, “We have built layers of zero-trust encryption that restore the sovereignty of individuals. data to the user. “