seed round

Passpack raises €74,000 more to manage your passwords

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Toshiba is making a whole lot of flash memory chips this month: New iPods? Tablet-related? Puppies?

Online password management startup Passpack, announced it’s follow-on funding. The company raised €350,000 in June 2008 and now previous investor Zernike Meta Ventures is topping that with additional €74,000.

This new capital injection will enable the company to finish the development of their product and start to actively market it. They blog about it here.

The Rome-based company is not looking for full blown venture capital until it hits profitability. Apparently, the new round was determined by reaching a major milestone in development and user-base.

The founders, an Italian/American couple: Tara Kelly and Francesco Sullo that I recently met with (in an attempt to create a Roman startup community) say that their revenue from premium packages is growing at a 2 digit percentage each month.

While this is great news for the Italian startup ecosystem, it still raises many questions and doubts. €74,000, really? Let’s analyze the situation: Passpack has a working and cheap product, revenue growing every month, a committed team, decent international press coverage and recently launched a desktop version to take on its competitors. Even thought the company is not looking for VC money right now, I still think it deserves some faith from investors.

If Passpack raises this modest amount what can other Italian seed-stage startups aim for?

  • Friedrich Rojahn


    out of curiosity – how much were they looking to raise? Maybe this was a conscious decision on the founders’ part?

    In the current climate, just raising enough funds to allow them take that next step may make sense – particularly when that next step is profitability.

    After all, much better to raise more funds at a time when capital is more freely available; or even better, to hold on to the equity and grow from cash flows, if they can.

    We have a bootstrapped start-up in the tariff comparison space (, and I would rather raise financing as late as humanly possible – if at all.

    Good luck to Tara and Francesco!


    • Stefano Bernardi

      Hi Fred,
      you’ve got a point there.

      They didn’t disclose their target amount, that was just a personal opinion.

      I guess that that amount of money will be more than enough to finish the development but won’t be helpful for a major market presence.

      They are two very smart guys, I’m sure they have it all figured out ;)

    • Tara Kelly

      Exactly. I completely agree in taking on as little as possible. We weren’t asking for more. This is a follow-on round with existing investors. We hit the milestones, so we got the cash to bridge us to the next steps. (thanks for the good luck!)

      Thanks… that’d be smart guys and GALS ;) …and yes, every penny has been allocated. We have a very low burn rate, so this cash will take us far enough.

  • Fabio De Bernardi

    Passpack sounds like an awesome tool. I’ve been using 1Password for the past 2 years and honestly I can’t live without a password manager anymore.
    I may go Passpack a go anyway even if I must admit that in this case I’m not too happy about a web solution… I mean, having your logins available independently from the computer you’re using is great, but whatever security they can have the company would become the no. 1 target for hackers if/when they reach prime time. So I feel safer with my logins saved on my machine…
    However, I wish Tara and Francesco to hit prime time as soon as possible and prove me wrong!! ;)

    • Stefano Bernardi

      They actually developed a whole new layer that prevents them to see the passwords. So even if their server got hacked no one could actually see your passwords.

      They developed this huge algorithm to make Host-Proof Hosting a reality.

      Read more here:

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