On 31 January 2017 Tech startup and HSD Premium Partner Red Tulip Systems received €300,000 from UNIIQ investment fund. The investment is for product optimisation of WorkFone, a new virtual mobile communication service for clients such as government and law enforcement agencies. The decision to invest was announced by Richard Franken, Executive Director of The Hague Security Delta (HSD), where Red Tulip Systems is located.
Multiple separate telephone numbers on a single smartphone
Red Tulip Systems is a tech startup from The Hague and was founded in 2015 by Rob Sutter (previously employed by the US government) and Josh Petras (an experienced business director from the private sector). Based on his own personal experience, Sutter saw a gap in the market for WorkFone. The product delivers multiple identities with separate telephone numbers on a single mobile device to government and law enforcement agencies. The WorkFone solution means that professionals no longer need carry numerous phones. In August 2016, Red Tulip Systems became a Premium Partner of HSD. With help from InnovationQuarter, the company soon after relocated its headquarters to the HSD Campus.
Access to Capital
UNIIQ helps entrepreneurs to create a business out of their innovation. It is an investment fund in Zuid-Holland for the proof-of-concept phase of new technologies. UNIIQ is an initiative of Erasmus MC and HSD partners Technical University Delft (TU Delft), Leiden University and the regional development agency InnovationQuarter. The fund assists entrepreneurs in Zuid-Holland to bring innovations faster to market. This is in line with the Access to Capital strategy which we try to provide for our partners. On 12 April 2017 there will be organised an Access to Capital day again.
Secure and easy communication with shielded contacts
Many professionals in government, security services, journalism, the financial and legal sectors and various other fields need to communicate with their contacts in a safe and secure manner. WorkFone makes this possible via a convenient virtual mobile service with only one physical handset to manage.
With WorkFone, a large number of virtual identities can be assigned to one smartphone through a cloud-based platform. Using a secure connection between the cloud and the user’s physical handheld device, all these identities can be accessed from a single phone. Users can therefore maintain contact with each of their associates using their own smartphone.
Between June and September 2015, Sutter and Petras participated in the Startupbootcamp Mobile programme in Copenhagen. During the event, the two partners established contact with a large police force, who have since played an important advisory role in the design of WorkFone. Several pilots involving WorkFone are currently underway on 3 different continents.
Red Tulip Systems will use the UNIIQ investment to bring production levels of stability to their WorkFone product. “Our customers use WorkFone for mission-critical communications,” says CEO Rob Sutter. “They need to know that every single communication will be delivered in time to enable them to deny or disrupt criminal acts.”
Richard Franken, Executive Director of HSD “We are delighted that our HSD partner Red Tulip Systems has received an investment from UNIIQ to further develop Workfone, their innovative solution to create a secured data environment for mobile devices”. “It is good to see that Red Tulip Systems is actively pursuing the cooperation with different partners among which the end users being several government agencies. Not just as end customers but also to incorporate their needs in the final solution. Cooperation between private companies, governments and knowledge institutes truly enforces the innovation and knowledge development in the field of security”, said Franken.
“With WorkFone, we can now add our second investment in the safety and security sector to our portfolio,” says UNIIQ Fund Manager Liduina Hammer. “WorkFone enables security bodies, as well as other sectors where secure communication is of vital importance, to communicate safely using multiple identities on a single smartphone. WorkFone fulfils an important unmet need within this sector,” concludes Hammer.