London-based New Vector has secured $8.5m of new funding to accelerate the growth of its commercial services and ongoing development of its Matrix protocol.

The Matrix protocol, an open source project designed to be secure and decentralised global communications network, is designed to allow users to collaborate securely via instant messaging and VoIP applications while retaining ownership and control of their data.

Founded in 2017, New Vector said that it provides an alternative to services such as Slack and WhatsApp by allowing users to choose who they trust to host their communications data, while still participating in the larger network.

The French Government chose Matrix as their official communications platform and have worked with New Vector to roll it out across all 16 ministries to 5.5 million users.

New Vector is also working with US Government departments, as well as the NHS, Mozilla and other high profile public sector organisations and enterprises.

The $8.5m Series A investment follows a $5m investment last year, which New Vector said it used to deliver over 400 per cent growth in Daily Active Users.

It now said it expects to see a similar leap forward with the new capital, targeting businesses and governments globally.

New Vector CEO and Matrix co-founder Matthew Hodgson said he believed it could be a catalyst for further adoption.

“Ensuring there are Matrix apps out there which provide a credible alternative to Slack and WhatsApp will make it the natural successor to today’s instant messaging applications,” he said.

“New funding will allow New Vector to keep investing in Matrix products and services that will fuel growth of the network.”

Brent Hoberman, co-Founder & General Partner at firstminute capital and former Co-Founder & CEO of lastminute.com added:

"Slack and WhatsApp have shown just how important instant messaging is for workplace productivity, but combining this convenience with total sovereignty and security over data is more valuable than ever.”

“The French Government has already deployed New Vector’s apps, with other governments and large corporates currently being onboarded. The US has seen its fair share of successful messaging platforms - we are excited to back the first European-led team in this space since Skype."