Sitehop, a leader in networking encryption solutions, has raised £5m in seed funding.

The financing was co-led by Amadeus Capital Partners and Manta Ray Ventures with participation from Mercia Ventures, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), the founders of Event Horizon Capital & Osney Capital.

The investment also included a number of strategic angels, including Rick Lazansky, founder of Silicon Catalyst, and Illia Polosukhin, founder of NEAR.

Sheffield-based Sitehop was founded in 2022 by Ben Harper and Melissa Chambers and makes ultra-low latency, low power, hardware-enforced cybersecurity products for high-speed networks.

The company’s technology addresses a critical challenge in the digital age: that current software encryption solutions slow down communications networks by adding delay to the system.

Communications infrastructure providers face the choice of incurring significant additional costs by laying down extra fibre capacity to minimise the latency caused by encryption or to run lines without encryption which creates unacceptable enterprise risks.

Melissa Chambers, CEO, Sitehop, said: “This investment allows us to expand our global reach, with sales and support engineering staff in Brazil, the US, India, and grow our Yorkshire headquarters.

Former £4bn tech unicorn Hopin liquidated in UK

“We will be adding engineers and production workers and moving into a new Sheffield location.

“The investment will also enable Sitehop to pursue its technology roadmap – fleshing out the range of SAFE products securing all types of data-in-motion, and developing parallel products using our world-class skillsets in cryptography and programmable hardware design.

“We aim to get Sitehop’s products into the backbone of most of the world’s networks in the next few years.”

Nick Kingsbury, of Amadeus Capital Partners, added: “Sitehop is bringing a novel hardware-based approach to a fundamental challenge facing the providers of the essential network infrastructure underpinning our digital society.

“The flexibility and scalability of Sitehop’s data encryption technology makes it accessible to SMEs as well as large enterprises, meaning there need be no weak link in our defence against cyber criminality.”

Lawrence Barclay, managing partner of Manta Ray Ventures, said: “We are really excited to partner with Melissa, Ben and the Sitehop team in the next phase of their journey.

“We have been incredibly impressed at how thoughtful and effective an approach they have taken to the increasingly critical challenge of network security.

“We are past the point of dependency on data connectivity and need to ensure enough attention is put on how it is secured without compromise on performance and with important attention to energy efficiency.”

Sitehop helps businesses proactively handle the escalating threat level from increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals, with hardware-enforced enterprise encryption.

Its flagship product, SAFEblade 1100, is a significantly more secure alternative to software-based solutions being able to support over 4000 secure tunnels at once with an ultra-low encryption or decryption latency of less than 900 nanoseconds and at a data throughput of 100Gbps.

Pimberly targets US expansion with £4m investment