Article

Antimatter: Pioneering Data Control as an Infrastructure Service

by Pete Sonsini and Greg Papadopoulos, PhD

Data security and privacy are at the forefront of enterprise priorities, and amidst a transition to the cloud, companies are grappling with the need to have more control over their data. This increasing importance is driven by:

  1. Migration to the cloud: Enterprises are moving their own workloads to the cloud, and are also adopting cloud-based vendors, which has led to a loss of control of data.

  2. Increasing breaches, violations, fear of embarrassment: Hackers are more sophisticated than ever, and the cost of breaches is enormous. As an example, it is estimated that government agencies and private corporations will spend months and as much as $100B to root out the Russian malicious code from the Solarwinds hack.

  3. Increasing privacy regulation: Proliferating breaches and the demand by consumers for more privacy and control of their own data have led governments to adopt new regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in California.

NEA has been investing in enterprise software companies for decades, and we've witnessed data security and privacy emerging as a top priority for the CTOs within our enterprise portfolio given the significant business impact. Enterprises often find it difficult to entrust their data to software vendors, which can negatively impact sales for these software vendors—lengthening sales cycles and even killing deals entirely. Vendors have been compelled into various forms of security theater to address these data security concerns—including vendor security questionnaires, approved vendor lists, and certifications such as SOC2 and ISO27001.

Fundamentally, we believe customers of software vendors deserve knowledge and control of:

  1. Data residency: Customers want to control in what country their data resides.

  2. Single-tenancy: Customers want to determine if their data is separate from others.

  3. Data governance: Customers want to control who has access to their data. Customers want to know the data flow and know if it is safe in motion, in use, and at rest.

The mission to empower customers with access and control to these core data components is why we are thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Antimatter and led their recent Series A financing. Antimatter offers data control as an infrastructure service. By pioneering a new cloud deployment architecture, they are able to give enterprises control of their data with proven cryptographic security. Customers of software vendors can now control their data and set their own granular permissions around their data. Software vendors can unlock revenue opportunities and achieve faster sales cycles by proving that customer data is safe - without a security team and without engineering effort, through Antimatter’s no code solution for existing infrastructure.

Michael Anderson, Andrew Krioukov, Beau TrinciaMichael Anderson, Andrew Krioukov, Beau Trincia

Antimatter’s platform is powered by the availability of secure enclaves (now offered by AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud), the widespread use of Kubernetes, and the founding team’s years of breakthrough research around systems and cryptography, which has enabled them to build a scalable key management solution. Andrew Krioukov, Co-Founder & CEO, worked on distributed systems as a Computer Science PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley and is a repeat founder, formerly having founded and led venture-backed startup Comfy, which was successfully acquired by Siemens. Michael Andersen, Co-Founder & CTO, invented groundbreaking cryptographic solutions for decentralized identity, authorization, and trust during his PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley. Beau Trincia, Co-Founder & VP of Design, has 20 years of product design experience including seven years at IDEO. We’re incredibly excited to partner with the Antimatter team on their journey to transform how cloud services are deployed and the way software is sold.

If you’re interested in joining the Antimatter team, you can find open positions at: https://www.antimatter.io/team

The information provided in this blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be investment advice, or recommendation, or as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any fund or investment vehicle managed by NEA or any other NEA entity. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, nothing in this post should be interpreted to suggest that the SEC has endorsed or approved the contents of this post. NEA has no obligation to update, modify, or amend the contents of this post nor to notify readers in the event that any information, opinion, forecast or estimate changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate or outdated. In addition, certain information contained herein has been obtained from third-party sources and has not been independently verified by NEA. The companies featured in this post are for illustrative purposes only, have been selected in order to provide an example of the types of investments made by NEA that fit the theme of this post and are not representative of all NEA portfolio companies. The company founders or executives or any other individuals featured or quoted in this post are not compensated, directly or indirectly, by NEA but may be founders or executives of portfolio companies NEA has invested in through funds managed by NEA and its affiliates. Any statements made by founders, investors, portfolio companies, or others in the post or on other third-party websites referencing this post are their own, and are not intended to be an endorsement of the investment advisory services offered by NEA.
NEA makes no assurance that investment results obtained historically can be obtained in the future, or that any investments managed by NEA will be profitable. To the extent the content in this post discusses hypotheticals, projections, or forecasts to illustrate a view, such views may not have been verified or adopted by NEA, nor has NEA tested the validity of the assumptions that underlie such opinions. Readers of the information contained herein should consult their own legal, tax, and financial advisers because the contents are not intended by NEA to be used as part of the investment decision making process related to any investment managed by NEA.

About the authors

Pete Sonsini

Pete is a Venture Advisor at NEA, focused on early-stage software investing. He was GP and head of the firm’s Enterprise investing practice for more than a decade. Pete led NEA’s early investment in several companies that became unicorns, including Databricks, Upstart, Anyscale and Instabase. Before his venture career, he held sales and product management jobs at HP, and also was an early employee at VMware, where he built the OEM channel from the ground up. He has BA from UC Berkeley, MBA from Kellogg and was Varsity Letterman and National Collegiate Champion in rugby while at Cal. He currently sits on the board of Cal Rugby.
Pete is a Venture Advisor at NEA, focused on early-stage software investing. He was GP and head of the firm’s Enterprise investing practice for more than a decade. Pete led NEA’s early investment in several companies that became unicorns, including Databricks, Upstart, Anyscale and Instabase. Before his venture career, he held sales and product management jobs at HP, and also was an early employee at VMware, where he built the OEM channel from the ground up. He has BA from UC Berkeley, MBA from Kellogg and was Varsity Letterman and National Collegiate Champion in rugby while at Cal. He currently sits on the board of Cal Rugby.

Greg Papadopoulos, PhD

Greg joined NEA as Venture Partner in 2010 after more than 20 years in technology and academia. He focuses on early-stage systems, software, and deep/hard-tech companies. Prior to NEA, Greg was EVP and CTO of Sun Microsystems. Before Sun, Greg was an Associate Professor of EECS at MIT. Early in his career, he was an engineer at both HP and Honeywell. He co-founded companies in video conferencing, AI accelerators, portable PCs, and CFD. Greg earned a BA from UC San Diego and an SM and PhD from MIT.
Greg joined NEA as Venture Partner in 2010 after more than 20 years in technology and academia. He focuses on early-stage systems, software, and deep/hard-tech companies. Prior to NEA, Greg was EVP and CTO of Sun Microsystems. Before Sun, Greg was an Associate Professor of EECS at MIT. Early in his career, he was an engineer at both HP and Honeywell. He co-founded companies in video conferencing, AI accelerators, portable PCs, and CFD. Greg earned a BA from UC San Diego and an SM and PhD from MIT.