Submit Content

Former Attorney Trying to Make Email More Secure

Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Nveloped's secure email deliveryNikhil Palekar’s angel-funded startup was born with a fax.

A few years ago, Palekar had to send some files to his doctor, and because email wasn’t secure enough for medical records, Palekar had to send a fax. Living in a one-bedroom apartment as a student in law school, he had no fax machine, but he didn’t see why there wasn’t a way to securely send files — or information — from his Gmail account.

“It seemed like there was a need for the service,” Palekar said. “I didn’t know why there couldn’t be an easy way to send stuff like this over email.”

Palekar had a background in computer science before he decided to attend law school, so he set about thinking of how to create a secure email service. After graduating law school and taking a job as a patent lawyer in Washington, D.C., Palekar started develop prototypes for his eventual product. In 2011, he left his job and started working full-time to launch Nveloped.

Nveloped founder and CEO Nikhil Palekar

Palekar has a practiced explanation for how Nveloped works. Normal email, he says, gets sent from one address, copied numerous times and delivered to the recipient. With Nveloped, clients instead send email recipients the equivalent of “an empty container.”

“When you open the message, that’s when we deliver the content,” Palekar said. “We provide access to that content dynamically.”

Before Palekar built anything, he said he had to look holistically at the problem he was trying to solve.

“It was trying to understand the deficiencies of regular email, which is really coming to light these days,” he said. “The first step was fully understanding why it was broken. The next step was how do you solve this in a way that’s easy for the sender and the receiver. Preserving a pleasant user experience was very important.”

In the summer of 2012, Palekar moved from his Arlington apartment for three months to Seattle to grow Nveloped at TechStars, a technology accelerator that provided Palekar with mentorship and connections that have proven vital.

Nveloped email expiration optionHe’s since moved back to the area, and with the help of people he’s met through TechStars, as well as the D.C. area startup community, Nveloped has raised $400,000 in angel funding and he said he has 10-20 clients. Palekar is the only full-time worker for the company, but he does have part-time and contract help for his growing business. He’s in the process of looking for a coworking office space in Arlington or D.C.

Most of Nveloped’s clients are in healthcare and financial services, and there are also clients with proprietary content — think of a news site that charges for its content — who wouldn’t want its subscribers forwarding email anyone could open without paying.

Despite TechStars’ reputation — it has accelerators in a half-dozen cities around the country — Palekar said finding clients who entrusted him with their email security was a challenge, but perhaps not as difficult as some would expect.

“The early stages are difficult, but there are people who know they need a solution to this problem,” he said. “Part of this process was giving people context for your product and showing them its value.”

Even though Palekar was already in the D.C. area, he said this is the best city in the country for his particular tech startup. His clients are from all over the country, he said, but as he takes on new business it’s likely it comes more from this region.

“D.C. is really growing as a startup community,” he said. “As things develop further, there are going to be areas where D.C. is very strong, and cybersecurity is one of them.”

Recent Stories

The pandemic, now nearly 2.5 years old, has bent time in weird ways. For many, a prolonged period of mostly staying at home — particularly in 2020 — made time…

A man allegedly got mad and drew a gun when an employee at a local car wash asked him to move his vehicle. The incident happened around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday…

(Updated, 8:50 p.m.) The company behind several Arlington bars is launching a membership service that aims to position its portfolio as a casual social club, of sorts. The D.C.-based hospitality…

October is National Arts & Humanities Month and Arts Focus highlights the NAHM 2022 Poster Competition now accepting submissions.

Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, trauma or anger? Are
you ready to make a change?

Lauren K. Nickum, LCSW, CSAC from Peaceful Mind Solutions is now taking new
clients for psychotherapy. Lauren has over 10 years of experience treating
mental health disorders and general life stress in adults and adolescents. For
more information visit

Submit your own Community Post here.

As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.

If you’re looking for a shorter commitment, we also have a full schedule of workshops, Art Nights, and Morning Art Socials. If you haven’t discovered Art House 7, please check us out! We offer classes throughout the year, taught by a range of fantastic teachers. You can buy art supplies next door. We’re near the Lee Harrison shopping center, and free parking is outside our door.

Art House 7
5537 Langston Blvd.Arlington VA 22207

Submit your own Community Post here.

Rental Property Investing: Part One

Have you ever considered purchasing a rental property but weren’t sure where to start? This free webinar will go over the basics of how to invest in real estate, how to choose rental properties, and a market overview. Our Director

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Todd Riley (Comedy Central)

A night of live standup comedy, with some of the best comedians from the DMV and beyond!

Todd Riley – Headliner

From the moment Todd Riley stepped onto that stage in 2008, he knew comedy is what he wanted to


Subscribe to our mailing list