5th of July, 2017. That’s when Xiphera was officially founded.
But the beginning of the story goes back all the way to 2002, when the two co-founders of Xiphera, Matti Tommiska and Kimmo Järvinen, started to work together in an academic cryptographic project for Helsinki University of Technology. Although their ways parted career-wise in 2004, they kept in touch. In 2016, Matti and Kimmo started to discuss a vital issue: an evident gap between the theoretical cryptographic expertise and the implementation of cryptographic security solutions.
That formed the basis for Xiphera’s core purpose, and the business idea has remained intact until today: to design and license cryptographic IP cores for FPGAs and ASICs.
Matti and Kimmo rented Xiphera’s first office in September, 2017 in Espoo, Tapiola. Although Tapiola Central Tower’s rather compact office space was Xiphera’s home for only five months, the time in Tapiola left a memorable mark – still today, the co-founders reminisce about Xiphera’s first months spent there.
“Everything was new and exciting back then – even a bit frightening at times”, Matti and Kimmo recall. “The first customer meetings and business trips and the interest that were shown toward Xiphera’s products solified the feeling that we were on the right track.”
Back to the roots
In the beginning of 2018, Xiphera joined Aalto Startup Center, or ASUC, in Espoo, Otaniemi. ASUC, located in the A Grid office building in the heart of Aalto University’s student campus, represents the entrepreneurial values that are in the core of Aalto University’s student communities. Being part of ASUC felt like being part of “an entrepreneurship-minded community”, Kimmo described in our article published in November, 2020. As a part of the ASUC community, Xiphera had access to business advisement in for example sales, finance, and marketing, which was an important benefit at the time.
By moving to ASUC in the A Grid premises, Matti and Kimmo had returned to the same building they had worked together fourteen years ago. “Returning to Otaniemi, where we had both studied and worked previously, felt like going back home and brought up numerous memories”, the co-founders describe.
Being located in Otaniemi has brought Xiphera closer to the Aalto University as well. In addition to the background of the co-founders related to the former school of Aalto University (Helsinki University of Technology), we have collaborated through visitor lectures, recruiting, and course developments, to name a few. Xiphera holds great value to the collaboration opportunities with Aalto University both in academic and non-academic worlds.
The story continues
The past years have been fruitful for Xiphera. Business trips to the United States in 2019 and 2022 have generated contacts and positive response to our company. Xiphera has also taken significant steps in R&D – with product launches and the first patent received in 2020. During 2021-2022, we have announced big news: new partnerships, first financing round, accelerator programs and fundings, and novel concepts including our webinar series.
None of this would be possible without the capable and motivated team behind Xiphera. Our headcount has grown from two to nine employees and two sales representatives in only two and a half years, and we are continuously seeking for new talents and experts to join our success story. The office has moved away from ASUC in late 2020, to the same building’s other end, and it is starting to get crowded already as the team continues to grow.
Xiphera has five years behind, and many more ahead. Kimmo and Matti are hopeful about what the future brings: “We are expecting to keep growing, find new colleagues to join the team, launch new interesting products and projects, and to see the outcome that Xiphera creates by providing peace of mind in a dangerous world.”