I was delighted to receive the good news from Mike in my inbox a while ago. Mike is the CEO of GuardTime, a start-up founded by security experts Maart Saarepera and Ahto Buldas in Estonia back in 2006. Two days ago, GuardTime announced that it has raised US$8 million in series A funding from Horizon Ventures (Li Ka-Shing’s venture capital arm), Infocomm Investments (my ex-employer) and FITOne Capital. Its first round investors included Ambient Sound Investments (investment holding of Skype’s founding engineers) and Joi Ito.
I got to know Mike and his team back in Q4 2008, and had helped his team get started in Singapore amidst those tumultuous post-Lehman times. I still remember writing the original investment memo during my days at Infocomm Investments. It is heartening to know that GuardTime has finally been rewarded for its faith in Singapore and Asia. The GuardTime team went through some tough times to get this far, and while tougher times certainly awaits them on their road towards global domination, for now at least, it’s probably time to break out the drinks ;-).
I’ve always believed in the potential of GuardTime’s technology – at its heart is an extremely scalable and robust digital timestamping solution that, unlike PKI and its comparables, does not require a trusted 3rd-party certificate issuer for you to verify the authenticity of the timestamped document. Combine it with cloud infrastructure, and you’ve suddenly got something with the credentials to become the global standard for data authenticity.
GuardTime is special to me for a whole bunch of reasons. Most importantly though, it was through GuardTime that I met Joi, and hopped on the wildest and most fun ride of my life. Every entrepreneur knows the importance of luck and serendipity in the success of their ventures. I’d like to think GuardTime is my rabbit foot, my four-leaf clover, my waving prosperity cat. I don’t think I’m very good as a good luck charm, but I’m hoping my well wishes can aid the GuardTime team as they sweat and slog it out for their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Good job guys, and all the best!