Silence Laboratories, a cybersecurity firm headquartered in Singapore, has closed a US$1.7 million (about S$2.4m) round in seed funding, led by pi Ventures. The round also included participation from imToken ventures and prominent angels like Daniel Ari Friedman, Mahin Gupta, CK Vishwakarma, Priyeshu Garg, Ashish Tiwari, and others. The start-up company plans to use this funding to further widen its product offerings towards decentralised security and enrich the technology stack, strengthen its team and scale its go-to-market operations to help enterprises adopt state-of-the art authentication and authorisation techniques.
The founders, Jay Prakash and Andrei Bytes earned their doctorate degrees at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), where the company was incubated. Silence Laboratories (SL) is on a mission to provide business friendly solutions for distributed digital signing and authentication through a unique fusion of multi-party computation (MPC) based cryptographic algorithms with threshold signature schemes (TSS), and intelligent multi-modal signal processing. SL offers a secure technology stack that provides its customers with a layered system of proofs: proof of proximity, co-location, legitimate possession, liveliness via activity, unique identity, and many others.
The security concerns are growing for digital wallets, institutional asset management agencies and online exchanges and have amounted to loss of billions of dollars. Silence Laboratories identified various common key vulnerabilities in digital wallets and exchanges, as well as flaws in management of private keys that put the financial assets at risk. They also demonstrated how some of the most used authentication solutions, Push-based Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which are provided to industries by leading Identity and Access Management providers are prone to several attack vectors and can be abused for phishing. To protect businesses from these risks, the team offers their flagship products: Silent Auth (MFA) and Silent Shard (key and access management) that have their roots in multiple patents. (See brief video blog for how Silent Auth works: https://silencelaboratories.medium.com/2fa-has-a-new-name-silent-auth-df308f8e943f)
Silence Laboratories’ vision is to enable a secure, developer-centric cryptographic infrastructure that enterprises can rely on to adopt best in class key and access management technology, reduce implementation costs and focus on their core business.
To develop Silent Shard and Silent Auth, SL has been working closely with several leading industry players, in particular in the Web3 ecosystem. The solutions are designed to support varied demands of authentication and authorisation with a very high degree of contextualisation, be it for digital asset custodians with high risks, non-custodial digital wallets, semi-custodial phone based wallets, exchanges with high expectations on usability, mobility providers, sensitive government or medical institutions or cloud service providers.
“Among others, SL’s team integrated Silent Shard with MetaMask’s Snaps which in itself is a great example of how MetaMask has opened the wallet design ecosystem. The Snap based designs will help to enhance wallet security and set benchmarks for MPC based wallets," said Jay Prakash, CEO and Co-Founder of Silence Laboratories.
“Account takeover due to single point of failure of the private keys and absence of necessary forms of MFAs is on unparallel rise and have been affecting enterprises in both Web2 and Web3 businesses. Hence, we are witnessing a growing push towards the need of distributed authentication protocols and signature schemes to address multiple recent attacks across different wallets and chains. Silence Laboratories is at the forefront of this revolution,” he added.
“Our solutions are targeted against the critical attack vectors prevalent in the industry today,” said Andrei Bytes, CTO and Co-Founder of Silence Laboratories. “In our pursuit to facilitate the smooth adoption of our technology, and promptly react to needs of the businesses, we recently joined premier global alliances such MPC Alliance and Decentralised Identity Foundation.
“Issues with private key management have led to loss of billions of dollars in 2022 alone. The holy trifecta of ironclad security, great user experience and developer-friendliness for Web3 is yet to be cracked and we believe the team at Silence Laboratories is best placed to solve this. Jay and Andrei bring complementary skill sets with PhDs in signal processing and security respectively and their early traction is testament to their innovative solution. We’ve been extremely impressed by the team at Silence Laboratories and are excited to back them in these times of constant hacks,” said Shubham Sandeep, MD pi Ventures.
Silence Laboratories is also working on setting up its Applied Cryptography R&D centre in South Asia, with local and international collaborations in the field. The centre will attract some of the best talents globally to contribute in solving niche problems in usable security and MPC algorithms and form a backbone for upcoming businesses and products. Silence Laboratories is proudly supported by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) through its Venture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VIE) Office and the ARISE programme throughout its commercialisation and funding.
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About Silence Laboratories:
Silence Laboratories enable enterprises to adopt multi-party computation and multi-factor authentication through a unique fusion of cryptography and signal processing IPs. Their mission is to build a developer focused cryptographic stack, motivated to democratising non-trivial libraries, which would facilitate a plethora of new applications and business cases by other enterprises.
Learn more about their work: https://silencelaboratories.com
About pi Ventures:
pi Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund pioneering AI and deep tech investments in India. The fund backs disruptive tech ventures solving global problems thus creating 10x differentiated businesses. The VC fund portfolio includes world leading technology companies like Wysa, Pixis, Locus, Agnikul and Niramai among others.
For more information, visit http://www.piventures.in/
About the Singapore University of Technology and Design
The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is one of the first universities in the world to incorporate the art and science of design and technology into a truly holistic interdisciplinary education and research experience that culminates in real-world design innovations. SUTD seeks to advance knowledge and nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs. SUTD also topped a list of emerging engineering schools in the world in a study commissioned by MIT.
A research-intensive university, SUTD is distinguished by its unique East and West academic programmes that incorporate design thinking, human-centred innovation, entrepreneurship, coupled with local and international industry collaborations. SUTD’s key focus areas are Healthcare, Cities and Aviation, with Artificial Intelligence/Data Science and Digital Manufacturing capabilities across all of them. Multiple post-graduate opportunities are available. Skill-based professional education and training courses are also available at SUTD Academy. www.sutd.edu.sg
Silence Laboratories, headquartered and incorporated in Singapore, currently employs a lean engineering and business team in APAC, Europe and USA.
How SL Started and the Team: SL comes from multiple years of research and development conducted by the core team and partners with incredible industry and academic pedigree. While CEO Jay Prakash, IIT BHU (Varanasi), India and SUTD, Singapore alumnus holds PhD in design of authentication protocols, the CTO Andrei Bytes has deep expertise in application and critical infrastructure security (area of PhD) with SUTD, Singapore. SL advisor Professor Tony Quek from SUTD, with a PhD in Computer Science from MIT, USA, is a globally renowned expert in wireless networks design and algorithms who leads the scientific strategies at SL.