Egress departs from the beaten track of building software companies
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Egress departs from the beaten track of building software companies

Data encryption is a hot topic in the age of privacy hypersensitivity. The file sharing and synchronization field is enjoying similar thermals, given the mania for collaboration. So putting the two together should be the recipe for a hit, right?

Tony Pepper thinks so but then he is the CEO and co-founder, with CTO and former Reflex Magnetics colleague Neil Larkins, of Egress Software Technologies, a UK company that has both those assets. Egress recently rebranded, in part to encourage more cross-selling between the two capabilities in the belief that the need to share files and to share them securely makes these complementary areas.

So what’s the bigger picture and goal? To be the “category leader in managing the risk of unstructured data”, hence the combination of file sharing and file/email encryption that’s “glued together with machine learning”, the Liverpudlian adds.

It’s a formula that delivered about £15m ($19m) in annual recurring revenue for the last financial year with 60 per cent year-on-year growth. And, unusually, this has been done “the hard way”, he says, that is, without major funding from third-parties. All told the company has taken only about £5m on board – chicken feed by the standards of Silicon Valley.  

That absence of venture capital and modest revenue stream makes Egress a minnow compared to the likes of Dropbox and Box, each of which took on hundreds of millions of dollars to fund spectacular expansion. But now is the time to pursue growth and Pepper has been assembling a management team to that end, including the veteran CMO Tim Pickard who has held similar roles at the likes of RSA Security and Mimecast, the email encryption company that, like Egress, originated in the UK and has prospered nicely since floating in 2015.

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