The news was first broken by Lavaboom developer pzduniak(new window) on Reddit(new window).
Since we are also working on bringing privacy back online, we can understand better than most the many challenges that must be overcome to build a secure email service. The truth is, email is difficult, especially as you scale. Today, when discussing storage infrastructure at the Proton Mail office, the units of conversation are Terabytes and Petabytes. On top of all of this, you add the complication of properly implementing end-to-end encryption. Other aspects of emails such a spam filtering and email deliverability also need to be tackled. Of course, there are also mobile apps to build.
These challenges are indeed daunting, which is why we brought together a dozen incredibly smart scientists and engineers from CERN, MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Caltech, and ETH Zurich to pull it off. Such a monumental undertaking also requires resources. This is why we raised 2 million Swiss Francs to supplement the 500,000 Swiss Francs we raised through crowdfunding. With this institutional support from foundations backed by the State of Geneva and the Swiss Federal government, we have a strong balance sheet. Proton Mail has more than enough financing to continue development until we introduce paid premium accounts.
For the Lavaboom users searching for an alternative, we are happy to tell you that email privacy is alive and well. We know many of you are looking to transition quickly so we are happy to provide priority access to existing Lavaboom users. Simply sign up for a Proton Account(new window) and then email us at email@example.com and we will expedite sending you an invitation.
You will be joining over half a million people from around the world who have already signed up for Proton Mail to get free and easy to use secure email. While we have purposely limited the size of our beta, in the coming months, we will opening up Proton Mail to millions of others worldwide who want to take back their online privacy. With your support privacy is not only surviving, it is thriving.