New Vector has announced $8.5 million in funding to scale its open-source, secure communication network, a bid to revolutionise data privacy and ownership in the messaging app space. The investments come from European VCs who specialize in enterprise tech: Notion Capital, Dawn and firstminute capital.

Necessary for understanding New Vector’s business is to first understand Matrix. Matrix is an open-source project, building a global network for decentralised communication. Users can collaborate securely via end-to-end encryption, and notably, they retain all ownership and control over their data.

With a system poised to challenge incumbent messaging giants such as WhatsApp and Slack, the original Matrix developers founded a company that could drive its commercial adoption: New Vector.

That was in 2017. Since then the Matrix network has grown 400 percent — to 11 million users with 40,000 deployments, including the French government, the US government, Wikimedia, and KDE, the international free software community.

New Vector CEO and Matrix co-founder Matthew Hodgson believes this growth suggests Matrix-based apps will eventually dominate the market. “Ensuring there are Matrix apps out there which provide a credible alternative to Slack and WhatsApp will make it the natural successor to today’s instant messaging applications,” he said.

Jos White of Notion Capital echoed Hodgson and commented on the importance of the technology: “At last the market has an alternative with the New Vector services that are based off the Matrix protocol offering open standards and delivering complete data ownership and security. It feels like the full power and promise of the Internet is being returned to its rightful place — the user — and we couldn’t be more excited about the potential for this exceptional team.”

Henry Mason of Dawn Capital said: “With this funding New Vector can capitalise on the significant inbound interest already received from governments and security-conscious enterprises.”

Brent Hoberman, co-founder of firstminute capital added: “The US has seen its fair share of successful messaging platforms. We are excited to back the first European-led team in this space since Skype.”

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