Young Scientist winner Shane Curran (20) raises $16m for start up firm

Silion Valley heavyweights back data-privacy technology firm Evervault

 Evervault founder Shane Curran: “If no one builds the data privacy infrastructure for the internet, data privacy will never exist.” Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Evervault founder Shane Curran: “If no one builds the data privacy infrastructure for the internet, data privacy will never exist.” Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

 

Young Scientist winner Shane Curran has raised $16 million (€14.5 million) from some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley investment for his data privacy technology company.

They include previous investors in tech giants such as Facebook, Deliveroo, Revolut and another Irish-led tech success, Intercom.

Mr Curran (20) founded Evervault less than two years ago. The company is building a ground-breaking data-privacy interface that developers can use when creating software. The idea is to ensure data is secured from the outset rather than being an afterthought.

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

Shane Curran taking top prize in the Young Scientist competition in 2017 when he was 17 years of age.
Shane Curran taking top prize in the Young Scientist competition in 2017 when he was 17 years of age.

“There are now over 4.5 billion people connected to the internet, but the reality is that none of them have true data privacy,” said Mr Curran. “Simply put, if no one builds the data privacy infrastructure for the internet, data privacy will never exist. That’s why we’re building the interface for data privacy.

“The past decade has been about ‘solving’ data privacy with regulation. The next decade will be about solving data privacy with technology.

“Regulation makes data privacy complex; technology makes data privacy simple. With Evervault, developers can do more than GDPR did in 99 articles – in one line of code.”

The new funding round is led by Index Ventures, a leading London- and San Francisco-based venture-capital firm that has previously backed companies such as Facebook, Slack, Deliveroo, Dropbox, Revolut, Intercom, Just Eat and TransferWise.

Other new investors include former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos, Eventbrite co-founder Kevin Hartz and the chief executives of Datadog and Figma, Oliver Pomel and Dylan Field.

Dublin-based Frontline Ventures, along with Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins, who initially backed a $3.2 million fundraising last October, also took part in the latest investment.

Evervault is to use the new funding to continue to develop its technology, which is not currently publicly available. It also intends to take on additional staff.

“Today, data privacy is about trade-offs,” said Index principal Are Helgason. “Users give up personal information in exchange for apps and services that make their life easier, and regulators create rules that restrict data sharing as they attempt to protect consumers. This risks stifling innovation. The genius of Evervault is that it requires no trade-offs.”