We need the internet in our daily lives, but navigating it is anything but safe, and one company wants to change this. Cloaked Services wants to enable anyone to be private and secure. It does so by combining current services with promising blockchain technology.
With one year of existence, Cloaked Wireless has seen impressive growth. They not only have raised capital, but they are also on pace to complete some important milestones before closing the year. To help them achieve it, the startup looked for help and found Slidebean.
"For us, it was a no-brainer to have Slidebean take the deck I drafted and make it look professional," Jeremy Hill, co-founder, explained. With Slidebean's help, Cloaked Wireless raised $425,000 in pre-seed capital, with more coming up.
In 2000, Jeremy Hill and Jonathan Wilkins first encountered digital privacy and security. They helped develop one of the first browsers aiming to provide anonymous and private access to the internet. Two decades later, the two know there's still an issue with security and privacy.
In our current times, our security is jeopardized in plenty of ways. One of the most frequent security breaches is through SIM swaps, which affect more than 250,000 people in the US annually.
Hackers want to swap the SIM on your phone with theirs. If they succeed, they control your phone number and can use it to steal your assets or personal data. This can include using SMS two-factor authentication to access your bank accounts.
Another prevalent security risk is navigating the web. Unfortunately, even though we use the internet daily, things haven't improved much since 2000.
"The Tor browser has been deanonymized, and VPNs don't work, leaving no viable private option. We wanted to solve that once and for all", Hill explained. So, he and Wilkins founded Cloaked Services one year ago.
Cloaked Wireless offers two solutions to protect people online and in real life. First, Cloaked Wireless provides a mobile service designed to prevent SIM swaps.
The startup achieves this by only allowing the authenticated user to modify the information within a user’s account (including authorizing SIM swaps). Even their support staff can not alter accounts. This is how Cloaked Services provides the only phone service where unauthorized SIM swaps are effectively impossible.
The second product Cloaked Services plans to offer is a privacy browser. It uses blockchain technology and open source software to help users navigate in anonymity. Plus, it also uses bitcoin for payments. This sets it apart from the competition and raises some challenges for the startup.
Cloaked Wireless faced one interesting challenge when talking to VCs. Hill and Wilkins knew they had to reach out to as many investors as possible and grasp their attention fast. In addition, the startup needed a way to present complex information easily.
"Slidebean took a good deck and made it look slick, clean and professional. It was really presentable to the VCs."
"Slidebean's online content helped me shape the deck," Hill explained. After the deck, he turned to Slidebean for much more.
"No startup should hire four or five people and produce something of quality in a short period of time. For us, it was a no-brainer to use Slidebean's pitch deck services", he elaborated. "Slidebean took a good deck and made it look slick, clean and professional. It was really presentable to the VCs."
Jeremy Hill already had experience with startups and reaching out to VCs. So, he understood the importance of captivating investors from the start.
"People don't realize how many times you need to reach out to a VC. You might have 100 or 150 VCs that you think might be interested in your offering. You're gonna contact all 150 and maybe 5-10 of them respond", Hill said.
"You're gonna follow up with another 100. Three more are going to get back to you. Knowing that VC will only meet with less than 10% of companies that reach out (and invest in less than 1% of those). You do the math. You’re going to reach out to hundreds to get a half dozen meetings", he exclaimed.
"When you get those 4-6 meetings, it's important that you walk in and tell them everything that they want to know," Hill highlighted. "You've got to pique their interest. Slidebean does a great job in their videos. It walks you through what should be in your deck and what VCs want to hear".
In Hill's case, the VCs heard solutions to a security problem. Plus, they understood a complex financial model with ease. That's how the company raised $425,000 in seed capital in an oversubscribed funding round, and it didn't stop there.
Cloaked Wireless's unique offering includes complex technical requirements and partnerships with multiple vendors. Therefore, it must be as straightforward as possible, not only for the VCs but also for the sake of regulation.
"When you launch a wireless company, there are a lot of moving parts. You need to go through FCC regulations and a very intense vetted process to get regulation approved", Hill explained.
According to Hill, finding a platform to help them make this content accessible wasn't easy.
"The services that Slidebean offers are really unique," he explained, that they're not things that software can do by itself. "The outcome of the services that Slidebean offers is the combination of a lot of cool tech and smart people."
So, when it was time for the cofounders to go over the forecast and business model, the decision to use Slidebean was easy.
"I don't know anyone else out there that is offering this type of service. So, for a startup, it's great to have access to these types of tools because it's like getting a fractional accountant to work on a business model for you."
The business model is a vital step for Cloaked Wireless as the startup is going through rapid growth. The startup is close to finalizing a $3 million funding round. As for milestones, Cloaked Wireless plans to complete all the necessary steps to launch its wireless service by Q4 of 2022. After that, Cloaked Wireless is set to launch the browser by Q2 of 2023. With these two goals complete, it plans to pave the way for the world's first distributed, secure and private communication services across the US.
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