A Solid Investment: Why Glasswing is Backing Sir Tim Berners-Lee and inrupt

In 1991, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, then a fellow at CERN, created the first web browser and with it the World Wide Web. It is impossible to measure the huge effect his creation has had on the world. The Internet has forever changed how we learn, how we communicate and how we buy.

Tim’s new creation, Solid has the potential to be as influential and as monumental as his first. I first met Tim three years ago, when Solid was still an idea under development in the academia. I immediately recognized that his plan to re-decentralize the web was a very powerful idea. The mission to restore power and agency of individuals and bringing the web back to its original intention, had far-reaching implications for users and enterprises. This is why I, along with the Glasswing team, decided to incubate the idea and support the initial development of the Solid open-source project.

Throughout this time, we realized that achieving the decentralization mission would require more than a movement. We needed to build an entire ecosystem that could operate in this completely new way. Developing the platform, creating the momentum, and support the scaling and adoption of this new web requires more than an open-source project – it needs the focus, capital and grit that only a startup can provide.

This was the origin of the idea to create inrupt – a startup whose mission is to create a decentralized web by driving the massive adoption of the Solid platform by enterprises, users and developers alike. To make inrupt a reality, we connected and helped build a relationship between Tim and John Bruce, a business visionary and repeat CEO, who has worked closely with the Glasswing Team, most recently having successfully exited his company to IBM.  John is now Co-founder and CEO of inrupt, and through the blend of Tim’s technology vision and John’s entrepreneurial acumen, a revolutionary startup has been created.

Today, we are proud to announce that we have also provided the initial capital to make inrupt a reality, by leading its incubation round which will be used to support the development of the platform and drive adoption by enterprises and developers alike.

inrupt’s launch is most timely. Europe has instituted GDPR and California has introduced the California Consumer Privacy Act, and with multiple data breaches, the public has become aware of the value, and lack of control, of their personal data. inrupt returns that control to users. Through Solid and inrupt, Tim and John are empowering individuals and enterprises by giving them control of their data. By freeing data from its current siloed state, inrupt unleashes the potential for new applications that can deliver massive value to consumers while aligning their incentives with enterprises.

We are excited to be a part of the inrupt journey as we see a tremendous groundswell and demand for a more user-centric web. inrupt is building a fundamental platform for a human-first intelligent future and our investment in the company underscores our deep commitment to this vision.

To read John’s blog post, click here.