founder

Founder Profile: The Secure Dropbox

Summary

When Dropbox landed it’s IPO last year it was met with fanfare and excitement. The cloud document storage space has been growing leaps and bounds for years and continues to progress forward.

However, in this day-and-age, with major headlines around data leaks and privacy breaches, the need for truly secure data storage infrastructure is needed more than ever. This is what makes the Trustwire business so interesting.

We sat down with this Deal To Watch Founder & CEO, Hugh Hall of Trustwire to discuss how he and his team are bringing a new layer of security to the cloud document storage market.

Chris Lustrino

Hugh, can you provide us with your background and how that equipped you to found Trustwire?

Hugh Hall

I have been working in the cybersecurity and Internet freedom industries for over 16 years. Over the years, I gave hands-on cybersecurity training to many legal and journalism professionals on topics such as how to secure their communications, computers, and mobile devices.  

Even though these are very bright individuals, many people have difficulty grasping the concept of cryptographic technologies (e.g., public key encryptions) and how to use them properly.  

Tools like PGP/GPG are widely used in the tech sector; however, people without IT background would find it difficult and cumbersome to use. That was why I created Trustwire — to make strong encryption simple and accessible for everyday users.

Chris Lustrino

In one sentence, what problem is Trustwire solving for customers?

Hugh Hall

Trustwire offers an extremely secure and simple way for everyday users to share and store their most important files.

Chris Lustrino

Who is your core customer and how are you accessing this prospective user base?

Hugh Hall

Trustwire is available to the general public for free so that all Internet users can benefit from our secure file sharing and storage solution.  However, from a business standpoint, our core customers are businesses and professionals who need an ultra-secure way to protect their data.

These include lawyers, financial advisors/planners, accountants, researchers, investigative journalists, hi-tech companies, and healthcare providers.

Chris Lustrino

I’d imagine education is a key challenge in trying to gain adoption from customers. How are you overcoming these hurdles?

Hugh Hall

Besides giving presentations at conferences and events, we also plan to create a series of videos and printed literature to educate users the importance of digital security and how Trustwire can protect them without adding burden to their employees.  

Another aspect of the education is to show business owners/managers the real cost of ignoring security threats and potential damages to reputation and revenue.

Chris Lustrino

To that point, do you have a sense of customer acquisition cost?

Hugh Hall

Based on the number of users we currently have and the amount we spent in acquiring the users (such as labor cost and marketing expenses), our current customer acquisition cost (CAC) is about $5 per user.  

However, please keep in mind that the business is in its very early stage, and we do not have enough data to provide an accurate CAC for acquiring a larger user base.

Chris Lustrino

Outside of file sharing, what other offerings do you want to be able to provide customers in the future?

Hugh Hall

Trustwire currently provides secure file sharing and storage service to our customers.  In addition to accessing Trustwire through our website, we are also working on Trustwire apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android that will offer users even more features. In the long run, our goal is to release a suite of easy-to-use cybersecurity tools for businesses and consumers to protect their digital assets and privacy.

Chris Lustrino

In order to scale the business, I’d imagine you have to outsource the actual storage of the data to data storage farms. How do you ensure the data is still protected by outsourced vendors?

Hugh Hall

We take security very seriously and take precautions to ensure the safety of our user data. Files are encrypted on the client side before they get uploaded to the servers.  

This means that neither Trustwire nor our cloud computing vendors will have access to our users’ files. Our databases are also encrypted to provide an additional layer of protection for our user’s privacy.

Chris Lustrino

What do the next 12 to 18 months look like for the business?

Hugh Hall

Our primary focus will be on marketing for the next 12 to 18 months to build a larger user base and sign up new business customers. We also plan to release a new version of Trustwire and new apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Furthermore, Trustwire will seek HIPAA compliance to enter the healthcare market.

Chris Lustrino

Have you raised any capital to date? And how will the capital raised on Wefunder be utilized to grow the business?

Hugh Hall

Trustwire is self-funded up until now.  Our first ever fundraising campaign on Wefunder has raised over $100,000 in the first month.  

Our primary objective for this raise is to market Trustwire to our target audience aggressively and acquire new business customers. The more the capital we raise through Wefunder, the more comprehensive our marketing plan will be and hit our milestones faster.

Chris Lustrino

Do you think Trustwire will be exited via a corporate acquisition or as an IPO? If acquisition, what types of companies do you think would target you?

Hugh Hall

We have created a product roadmap to bring a suite of cybersecurity tools to consumers and businesses. Our primary goal is to become a highly profitable business with a comprehensive cybersecurity solution and take it through an IPO.

However, we are also open to other possibilities including an acquisition by the right acquirer with the right terms. For acquisition, the most likely strategic acquirers are cybersecurity solution providers and cloud storage providers. Whether it is an IPO or an acquisition, we will make decisions in the best interest of our shareholders.

Trustwire is meeting a growing need in business channels that most demand the need for more security and privacy. They have shown tremendous progress and have a management team we trust and believe in.

Be sure to invest HERE!

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About: Chris Lustrino

A Boston College Eagle for life, on a mission to democratize startup investing for all people at KingsCrowd, with a passion for Fintech, investing, social impact, doing well and doing good, and an avid runner, cyclist and writer.

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