Six months after launching its end-to-end encrypted document editor, Skiff has bagged another $10.5 million in fresh funding to build out private and collaborative workspaces for its burgeoning customer base.
We wrote about Skiff last year ahead of its launch: Skiff is a web app that has much of the same document-writing and sharing capabilities as Google Docs but is built on a foundation of end-to-end encryption, so Skiff does not have access to users’ documents like Google does. The startup already has more than 20,000 people using its platform, leaps ahead of the 8,000 waitlisted users it had when we first spoke to the company last May.
But it’s the end-to-end encryption platform that Skiff relies on that holds the keys to the company’s future. Now with $10.5 million in Series A funding in the bank, Skiff’s co-founders Andrew Milich and Jason Ginsberg tell TechCrunch that the company is working toward becoming the “application layer for the decentralized web.”
A core part of the company’s efforts have been on decentralization, a process that allows its users to take ownership of their data. Over the past year Skiff has partnered with Protocol Labs to offer decentralized storage, known as IPFS, or the Interplanetary File System, which allows Skiff to encrypt their documents and scatter them across a network of storage hosts, as well as integrating MetaMask, letting users sign in to Skiff using a portable crypto wallet instead of an email address.
“The way we look at it is Web 2.0 is really about moving information around and web3 is about moving value around,” said Ginsberg, Skiff’s CTO, in a call. “Data is the most valuable thing on the internet, and our goal is that you really should own your own data.”
Ginsberg said the company is focused on growing its product offering, such as communication, and allowing users to share more kinds of data on its platform.
“We see hundreds of millions of people choosing privacy products not really meeting the needs of working together remotely, and so that’s really where we see Skiff coming in. There’s tons of different products that we could do along those lines. We’re most interested right now in exploring products that not just deal with the document side of things, but also the communication side,” said Ginsberg.
Milich, the startup’s chief executive, said the round — led by Sequoia as a returning investor — will help the company build out those new products that also rely on end-to-end encryption, like communication. Skiff currently has a team of 15 employees dotted across the globe, Milich said. The Series A brings Skiff’s total funding to about $14 million.
“Skiff is building an amazing team and visionary products to lead this moment,” said Konstantine Buhler, a partner at Sequoia. “We couldn’t be more excited to double down.”