This Wilmington Team Wants To Fix Everything That’s Wrong With Email

Move over Gmail. The staff behind Telios believes they’ve a solution to all of our electronic mail woes and have created a safer, extra strong electronic mail service that’s higher geared up to assist us talk on future iterations of the Internet. 

Taking on the likes of Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and different main gamers within the electronic mail service area is an “admittedly daring assertion” for a startup out of Wilmington, North Carolina, mentioned co-founder Youri Nelson. But Telios noticed the necessity for a decentralized, encrypted model of electronic mail to assist customers higher talk whereas protecting their information secure.

Email is a main type of communication, identification, and verification, nevertheless it actually hasn’t modified a lot over the a long time. The conventional electronic mail mannequin is vulnerable to spam, hacks, and different cybersecurity dangers, co-founder Gareth Harte defined to Hypepotamus. Harte began fascinated by the concept whereas he was working as a software program engineer at Live Oak Bank, a number one SMB lender within the nation headquartered in Wilmington. While it was a facet undertaking for years, Harte was devoted to constructing a platform wherein customers may personal their information and have entry to an electronic mail service that wasn’t simply “mining for information and promoting adverts.”    

Email has different inherent issues we’re all accustomed to: It’s not nice for sharing delicate data and there’s a restrict on how a lot information a consumer can truly ship. It’s a ache level  Nelson skilled working as VP of Analytics at Live Oak Bank. “Whether it was internally and even with clients, we’d should arrange one other service with many steps to get folks to attach with safe recordsdata. It was all the time a really prolonged and annoying course of…and fairly frankly, it was a time suck.” 

Telios’ decentralized mannequin not solely solves electronic mail’s safety flaws, nevertheless it additionally offers customers the flexibility to ship “limitless” quantities of information. The solely limitation is the consumer’s personal bandwidth and arduous drive.  



Harte noticed the pandemic as a turning level for client privateness and safety issues, making it the fitting time to leap into the startup full-time.  

Telios launched its beta in October 2021 and initially gained traction by means of the privateness and security-focused communities on Reddit. It began as a desktop software, however advances in cell peer-to-peer community capabilities have expanded the startup’s roadmap plans for the approaching months. 

Telios works off a subscription mannequin with backup choices to make sure you don’t lose all of your electronic mail information in the event you lose your gadget. 

The staff has additionally constructed the platform to be open-sourced, which Nelson mentioned is about showcasing belief and permitting customers to confirm safety claims. 

Harte mentioned that Telios stands aside from different main gamers within the electronic mail area as a result of “not like a conventional electronic mail server that retains all of your emails within the cloud, we offer you your whole information and you retain all of it in your gadget the place it’s encrypted. If you wished to ship an electronic mail to me…our gadgets would join to one another by means of a peer-to-peer community with out an middleman.”  


The Telios Team

There are two completely different meanings behind the identify Telios.

As Harte informed Hypepotamus, it’s each a riff of the phrase telecommunications and is — as he came upon after the actual fact — a Greek phrase that roughly interprets to ‘full answer’. The staff believes this decentralized, encrypted model of electronic mail is a pure development and in the end the answer for a way we are going to talk within the decentralized mannequin of the Internet coming with Web 3.0. 

Alongside Harte and Nelson is co-founder Stephen Hayes, earlier SVP of Analytics at Live Oak Bank.

Live Oak Bank, alongside FinTech powerhouses like nCino, Apiture, and Canapi Ventures, have spurred a singular and budding startup group within the coastal North Carolina metropolis.

Nelson describes the present second within the Wilmington startup scene as “effervescent.” 

“It’s arduous to be within the Web3 area in downtown Wilmington proper now as a result of it’s nonetheless so new. But I can see in a few years there might be some vital traction right here, which is thrilling for us,” he added. 

While Web 3.0 startups are simply hitting the mainstream, the Telios staff mentioned they had been pleasantly shocked on the variety of startups in that vertical that took half ultimately week’s DIG SOUTH tech convention in Charleston, the place Telios took the stage to current their thought and imaginative and prescient. 

The staff raised a $275,000 spherical late final yr that coincided with its beta launch, however will search for additional funding to construct out its improvement staff within the close to future because it seems to enhance the very method all of us talk on-line. 


Feature picture offered by Jim Roberts. Other photographs courtesy of Telios.

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