Investing in CipherMode

Talk to any CEO and you will hear that they are rapidly transforming their company into a data-driven organization.

Talk to any Data Scientist or ML Engineer at that company and you will hear that accessing data in the face of increasing privacy regulations is one of their largest issues.

We believe these conflicting forces are creating a large global market opportunity.

Enter CipherMode, a platform that keeps data encrypted at all times while simultaneously allowing data scientists, ML engineers, and business analysts full computational use.

CipherMode is founded by Sadegh Riazi and Ilya Razenshteyn who previously created a new secure data system for Microsoft. Their team includes 6 computer science PhDs and 2 ICPC Gold Medalists.

Keeping data encrypted at rest and in use has been the holy grail of data security but has been impractical until today. Technologies like homomorphic encryption allow you to work with encrypted data, but at an extremely high computational cost. After studying homomorphic encryption for years, the CipherMode team headed in a different direction: secure multi party computation (SMPC). SMPC is based on a completely different paradigm in cryptography and offers many more dimensions to improve performance.

As Sadegh explained in a recent interview with Tech Crunch, CipherMode decouples the application layer from the protocol layer, which means users can write programs in their existing development workflows, and then CipherMode generates the corresponding protocol that is needed to run and to process the encrypted data.

CipherMode stood out to us among other previous existing solutions because of its negligible computational overhead, developer ease of use, and strong security guarantees.

In the short term, we see CipherMode empowering broad data use inside organizations all over the world but over the coming years, we see the platform opening up a new paradigm of multi enterprise data collaboration. When data is fully encrypted, the level of trust needed to share it is substantially lower.

We led CipherMode’s pre-seed round last year and are excited to invest again alongside Innovation Endeavors in CipherMode’s $6.7M seed round. 

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