Astran, a software company specialising in data security, has announced that it has raised $5 million from Galion.Exe and Sistafund. Its data fragmentation technology (based on threshold cryptography) guarantees the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data in a simple way, without the complexity of encryption keys, which usually requires a stack of several complex solutions.
A first round of financing was carried out at the end of 2021, raising $2 million from Newfund and Founders Future (who are reinvesting in the startup during this second round of financing) and a number of business angels.
Business development and R&D
Half the funds are earmarked for the startup’s business development. “We want to strengthen our commercial presence in France, but also start exploring the US market, with a view to signing up our first customers there in the coming months. Our goal is to become a world leader in our market, and that can only be achieved by becoming a leader in the United States,” says Yosra Jarraya, co-founder and CEO of Astran.
The second half of the funds will be used to continue R&D efforts. “Our company is highly technical. We will be continuing our R&D work to expand the capabilities of our product. Our storage is now S3-compatible, which makes it ideal for use in ‘ad rest’ or ‘in transit’ data storage, in SaaS solutions for example. Our aim is to cover all big data and machine learning use cases within the next few years, while maintaining the highest levels of data confidentiality and security,” says Yosra Jarraya.
A mainly French customer base for the time being
All Astran’s customers, even if they have an international reach with teams in other countries, currently have their head office in France. This includes Eiffage, Sanofi and other public- and private-sector organisations. “We need to store more and more data in the cloud, where there is an increasing risk of cyberattacks and data leaks. Astran protects our most vital financial and HR data, while keeping it available at all times. What was even more impressive was the speed with which we implemented the solution, taking less than two weeks,” says Jean-Philippe Faure, Director of Organisation and Information Systems at the Eiffage Group.
A number of vertical markets are particularly interested in the data fragmentation technology developed by Astran. These include healthcare and banking and finance. “The public and strategic sector, which includes intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) and, with NIS 2, operators of essential services (OESs), is also very interested in our solutions. They replace complex encryption technologies while providing the highest level of security,” explains Yosra Jarraya.
In addition to the co-founders, Astran’s new Board of Directors will include Jean-Baptiste Rudelle, founder of Criteo and co-founder of Le Galion, and Tatiana Jama, managing partner of Sistafund. “Astran has solved the strategic challenge of data security brilliantly. I have been very impressed by the team’s quality of execution,” says Jean-Baptiste Rudelle. “Storing sensitive data is a major issue for businesses, but sovereignty is also a concern. I am delighted that Sistafund is supporting Astran’s development, which looks set to be exceptional,” adds Tatiana Jama.
Astran, winner of the Jury’s Coup de Cœur Award at the FIC 2023
The startup was named winner of the Jury’s Coup de Cœur Award at the FIC 2023. “This award significantly increased our visibility and generated highly qualified visits to our stand at the FIC. It also gives our existing customers a confidence boost. It means we have additional evidence to bring to the table during ongoing discussions and negotiations,” says Yosra Jarraya.
Astran was also selected from among 15 European companies to join Google’s cybersecurity accelerator programme. “The idea of this accelerator is to put us in touch with product and strategy managers at Google to help us refine our value proposition for the American market,” explains Yosra Jarraya.
The startup currently has around 20 employees. Around ten new hires are planned over the coming months. These will be mainly senior sales and R&D staff.