“We are changing the game by protecting information and identity, the two most valuable assets of an enterprise. Where does the information reside, how does it travel, do not matter. Once ‘chained’, we will be able to secure the information throughout its lifecycle.” These were the words of Ajay Jotwani, Co-founder and CEO of i2Chain, Inc., a cyber security company at a recent Plug and Play Fall Summit 2019 in Sunnyvale, California.
Started in May 2018, i2Chain is a San Francisco Bay Area startup focused on securing information and identity using immutable ledger, access rights, and advanced cryptography.
Jotwani gave a pitch summarizing what i2Chain offers to hundreds of investors and corporate partners invited by Plug and Play, an early stage investor, accelerator, and corporate innovation platform based in Silicon Valley.
Jotwani looked excited and was pleased about what Plug and Play had offered. He told indica, “It’s an accelerator that offered us more than expected. The Plug and Play value has been incredible as it has enabled 7 to 8 customer meetings in the last three months, which is a big deal for us. It’s part of a corporate membership and one of the customers is likely to sign the deal,” he added.
Jotwani pointed out that i2Chain is also part of a University of California incubator that has provided an engineering office in Santa Clara, Calif. and facilitated advisory services from U First Capital, a venture arm for leading corporates.
In addition, referring to another accelerator formed by Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) alumni, IIT Startups, which supports engineers turned entrepreneurs, he said, “I am an alumnus of IIT Delhi, and IIT startups enabled us to hire the team and generate investor interest.”
But sounded more impressed and thanked Plug and Play, said, “There are a few deals in pipeline, and they introduced us to a series of banks, and we also won the Citizens Bank global challenge grand prize.”
“It’s a startup and every day is a thrill,” he said with a smile, referring to i2Chain. Prior to i2Chain, Jotwani, as a global Vice President of product management, incubated Digital Workplace Services at IBM and delivered a billion dollars in signings run rate in a year.
“We are excited about what we are doing, and I think the new privacy laws are helping us,” he said. The California Consumer Privacy Law (CCPA) is a gold standard in regulating businesses to secure the privacy rights and takes effect on January 1st, 2020. Prior to CCPA, Europe announced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) effective August 2018 that mandates enterprises must be responsible for personal data or pay up to 4% of revenues as penalties.
Sharing about coming up with the concept and some of the challenges he faced, he said, “Sometimes when you come up with a new idea, the biggest challenge is how you communicate that with a lot of enterprises.”
Jotwani came to USA in 2000 to launch a startup that aggregated voice, video, image and other traffic on internet protocol, that today is known as ‘unified communication’. The startup merged into its parent MultiTech Systems after Sept 11th, 2001. “I find my drive and focus on go to market so much more improved now”, said Jotwani.
Jotwani has assembled a high-energy experienced team with expertise in go-to-market, engineering, architecture and product management.
His Co-founder and CTO, Sanjay Jain, an expert in identity and information security did his bachelors in EE from BITS Pilani, and master’s in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Science (IISc.).
Sanjay’s creativity, commitment and engineering competence are helping shape i2Chain as a world class information security application. Prior to i2Chain, Sanjay has held lead architect roles at VmWare, Microsoft, Yahoo, Oracle and others.
i2Chain is in the process of filing multiple patents, and Jotwani claims that i2Chain is different from traditional cyber security providers. “If you want to secure your information today,” he said, “most will ask to keep it in their cloud or storage or domain. But in our case, we secure the information in the domain and cloud of your choice—making us the only non-intrusive, storage agnostic player in the market. In addition, the ability to track every action on the information in an immutable ledger is a big difference we are able to offer today.”