In 2014 TEKES, today’s Business Finland, contacted Eljas Saastamoinen, cofounder of Bitwards, while he was still working at Flexim Security because a US-based company was looking for clients in the Finnish market. The company had been working on MP3 technology with the Fraunhofer Society, a German research organization focusing on different fields of applied science.
The Fraunhofer Society had been broadly researching mobile access security and was trying to patent a model. Eljas visited the headquarters in Germany many times, and Flexim Security and the German institute started a collaboration.
Eventually, the Fraunhofer Society published the results of their research. Still, there was no proof of concept, and while the cooperation lasted for some time, it didn’t bring the wanted results. However, this Fraunhofer collaboration was a small but important step in the development of Bitwards.
AssaAbloy acquired Flexim Security in 2015. At the same time, Eljas had come across the research by Jan-Erik Ekberg, who had published a scientific article “The Untapped Potential of Trusted Execution Environments on Mobile Devices”. At that point, Eljas and Niklas Kaustinen decided to start up their own business and 2016 saw the creation of Bitwards.