July 30th, 2014
ProtonMail’s crowdfunding campaign has surged past $500,000 with the support of over 10,000 backers, setting a new record for a software project in the technology category on Indiegogo. The success of the campaign is strong evidence that the startup’s mission of ensuring online privacy resonates strongly with people around the world.
ProtonMail’s innovative email service distinguishes itself from other providers through its ease of use which allows anyone, tech savvy or not, to benefit from email encryption. Demand for the service was so high that two days after the beta launch in May, ProtonMail’s servers overloaded, forcing the developers to seek funding to continue growing the service. In June, the Swiss startup turned to Indiegogo and launched a month long crowdfunding campaign which sought to raise $100,000 to cover immediate operating expenses.
“ProtonMail was created to give people around the world their privacy back. Raising money from the community was a very natural choice given our mission,” says Co-founder Andy Yen.
Within three days of launch, the campaign hit its goal of $100,000 and climbed to $200,000 just two days later. The campaign received an unexpected boost when PayPal froze the startup’s account, questioning whether or not encrypted email was legal. The ensuing global backlash against PayPal, and the accompanying surge in Bitcoin donations, helped drive the campaign to new heights.
The ProtonMail team, made of former CERN, MIT, and Harvard scientists, hope to reinstate and protect the right to privacy and personal freedom in the digital world. So far, over 200,000 users have signed up for the service which is still in beta. The service already has a number of unique features that protect user data, such as end-to-end encryption that ensures even ProtonMail cannot read the contents of a message.
“ProtonMail lets you know with confidence that what is personal stays personal. It is peace of mind created by detailed research and cutting edge encryption technology,” says Co-founder Jason Stockman.
The company follows a community driven development path, interacting regularly with its user base via social media, blogs, and email, fostering a close relationship between developers and users as it strives to continually improve the service.
“The tools for stealing data are becoming more and more sophisticated, so data protection requires constant innovation to succeed over the long term,” explains Co-founder Andy Yen, “that is why we will be continually improving security over the course of our beta.”
ProtonMail’s Indiegogo campaign page can be found here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/protonmail
ProtonMail is a service offered by Proton Technologies AG (Switzerland). ProtonMail was founded in summer 2013 by scientists who met at CERN and were drawn together by a shared vision of a more secure and private Internet. Today, our core team also includes scientists from ETH Zurich, Caltech, and Harvard, and we specialize in building the secure and private online communications platforms of the future. Every day, the ProtonMail team, with the assistance of supporters from around the world, works to advance internet security and privacy.
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