June 5, 2017
That’s a solid roster of backers for their first swing at funding. The company came out of research by two former MIT students, Alex Grinman and Kevin King, who shared a common passion for encryption.
It’s a large day for the fledgling company as it also announced a $1.2 million seed circular led by Coarse Draft Ventures/Common Catalyst with participation from Unhurried Ventures, SV Angel and Akamai Labs. That’s a solid roster of backers for their first swing at funding.
The company came out of research by two former MIT students, Alex Grinman and Kevin King, who shared a common passion for encryption. The two friends believed that they'd found a better way to defend encryption keys and they approached their Prof David Gifford, who thought it was a excellent idea and helped them launch the company.
Kryptonite takes advantage of typical public/private key encryption using the Safe Socket Shell (SSH) protocol used by developers to log onto networks remotely. Typically, they store their private keys on a laptop, but the founders saw this as inherently insecure because apps aren’t sandboxed and separated from one another as they're on a smartphone.
They believed that by emotional the process to the phone, it'd create it more convenient and safer. You simply download the free Kryptonite app, pair it with your computer and utilize SSH in the normal fashion. As you attempt to log onto remote services love Github to commit your code, you’ll look a notification on your phone. If it wasn’t you who made that request, your keys might be compromised and you can reject access and revoke the keys. If it's you, you can sign in and continue.
While they acknowledge that people could lose their phones, they declare that you could slice off access to services using your private key, and render the key essentially useless to the person who found (or stole) your phone.
While the initial product is free, the company sees this offering as a way to construct relationships in the developer community, and eventually add services on top of that free product they can charge for.
The founders are still working on the administrative architecture, but they're envisioning a team administrator, who'll have access to a central dashboard to set device policies and view the public keys for all of the developers on the team.
Down the road, they could apply this technology to code signing to avert fraudulent commits, or even possibly at some point, oversimplify the utilize of encrypted emails for all users, not just developers.
For now, they've the money from this seed circular to add some more employees and start to construct beyond the free product and look where this takes them.