Evervault to expand as founder urges encryption not regulation

Data security company aims to grow employee numbers by 20, Shane Curran says

Evervault, the much-hyped data security company founded by former BT Young Scientist award-winner Shane Curran, is to more than double its headcount in the coming months.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Mr Curran (21), whose company last year raised $16 million (€13.2 million) from some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, said he intends to grow employee numbers by about 20 people over the next year. The business currently employs eight people.

“Basically the plan is to keep hiring forever,” he said.

Founded in June 2018 when Mr Curran was 18 years old, Evervault is focused on building a ground-breaking data-privacy interface that developers can use when creating software. It provides simple developer tools to deploy applications in hardware-hardened containers, enabling clients to focus on building products and not security.

Evervault has its origins in a BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition project, qCrypt, which involved research in cryptography and data privacy. Mr Curran won top prize in the 2017 competition.

The start-up's solution is still not publicly available, although a small number of companies such as drone delivery company Manna, are using it.

Evervault recorded a $279,946 (€232,891) loss in its first year of operations.

The idea behind the company is to ensure data is secured from the outset rather than being an afterthought. According to Mr Curran, doing this not only ensures greater safety in terms of data privacy, it also renders regulation redundant.

“Encrypting all data is the ultimate goal for us,” said Mr Curran, who is not the biggest fan of regulation. He claims regulation makes data privacy complex while technology can remove the complexity. Mr Curran believes that while the past decade has been about “solving” data privacy with regulation, the next will be about solving it with technology.

“European privacy regulation is just antitrust in a trench coat,” Mr Curran told The Irish Times.

Evervault has raised close to $20 million to date with backers including Index Ventures, a leading venture-capital firm that has previously backed companies such as Facebook, Slack, Deliveroo, Dropbox, Revolut and Intercom. Other investors include Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins.

“Setting aside the technology itself, the fundamental product we’re selling is trust,” said Mr Curran. “We’ve gone for radical transparency from day one and just shown everyone how everything is built, which is generally not something that happens in the security space.

“Our hope is that everybody will use encryption but we’re assuming that we’ll be successful because even if everyone does do this, we’ll have the best interface available,” he added.