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    Niobium Secures $5.5 Million in Venture Financing to Commercialize FHE Accelerator Chip

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    Niobium today announced the completion of a $5.5 million seed fundraising round, marking a substantial step towards its future growth and development. This achievement is accompanied by the expansion of its Board of Directors, further strengthening the company’s leadership and strategic capabilities.

    Niobium, a leading custom silicon provider, is revolutionizing the field of Zero Trust Computing with its innovative cryptography hardware. A fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) hardware accelerator is at the forefront of its product portfolio. This cutting-edge technology allows for computing on encrypted data, providing a mathematical guarantee of data privacy. Niobium’s purpose-built hardware acceleration for FHE is performance-led for the fastest FHE acceleration, unlocking new possibilities for the data economy.

    Niobium is a spin-out from Galois, a consultant group leading advanced cryptography and privacy research and development. The Niobium founders built a dedicated team of the world’s most advanced cryptography experts and world-class chip designers to bring its FHE accelerator chip to market. Over the past two years, Niobium has received significant non-dilutive capital through federal programs focused on the development of the first dedicated hardware capable of advancing FHE into commercial applications.

    Niobium’s fully integrated custom silicon for FHE is a PCIe card based on Niobium’s FHE System on a Chip (SoC) that can be inserted into any existing cloud server to accelerate the performance of FHE software solutions by up to four orders of magnitude while keeping data completely private and confidential and eliminating the possibility that encrypted data could be stolen at the moment of processing. The company will demonstrate the solution for customers and begin pilots starting in Q4 2024.

    Niobium will leverage this new funding to develop commercial applications for FHE acceleration, including healthcare and pharmaceutical research, financial fraud detection, blockchain public ledgers, digital advertising, and other use cases where sharing and analyzing data while maintaining complete privacy is paramount. Niobium also plans to grow its software engineering team, expand existing IP protection, and continue to optimize its FHE hardware products.

    Niobium will open its Early Access Program (NEAP) in late Q2 2024 to interested companies. The program will have limited availability. If your company is interested in an invitation to join, please visit https://niobiummicro.com/ to learn more.

    “Securing this financing validates the groundbreaking work we’re doing at Niobium and propels us into the next critical phase of bringing our FHE accelerator chip to market. Our vision of redefining data privacy and security through advanced cryptography is now closer to reality. This investment enables us to fast-track the exploration of applications that require absolute data privacy, opening new possibilities for confidential computing across various industries. We are thankful to our investors for sharing our vision of a more secure and private digital future,” said Kevin Yoder, president and CEO of Niobium.

    The funding was led by Fusion Fund, a venture capital firm known for backing technology companies that leverage data advantages. As part of this funding, Niobium welcomed new board member Shane Wall, Fusion Fund partner and president of CXO Network, former CTO of Hewlett Packard, and Global Head of HP Labs. Notable investors including Morgan Creek Capital, Rev1 Ventures, Ohio Innovation Fund and Hale Capital, also contributed.

    “I am thrilled to join the board of Niobium, a company that stands at the forefront of privacy technology with the world’s first FHE accelerator chip. The potential of computing encrypted data without compromising an individual’s privacy is immense, and Niobium is leading the charge in making this a practical reality for businesses worldwide. Fusion Fund is proud to support Niobium’s journey towards commercializing their technology, which we believe will play a crucial role in shaping the future of secure computing,” said Shane Wall, Niobium’s Chairman and Fusion Fund partner.

    About Niobium:

    Niobium is blazing a new path for the data economy by developing custom hardware solutions for Zero Trust Computing. Niobium is pioneering the first dedicated hardware capable of advancing fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) into commercial applications. This technology keeps data encrypted even during computing, enabling a new class of multi-party machine learning and statistical analysis applications with mathematically guaranteed privacy. Niobium is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, and has offices in Columbus, Ohio, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, California. More information is available at niobiummicro.com.

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