Despite wider market volatility, Tern (LSE: TERN) has made a solid start to 2016.  Indeed, even though its shares have underperformed the wider FTSE AIM All-Share index by 22% year-to-date, Tern has still managed to raise £1.1m to further its investment policy and growth plans.

And Cryptosoft, which is Tern’s largest investment, has also made a substantial start the year. The company has announced that it will provide authentication and encryption services for the internet of things with Symantec Corp, one of the world’s largest software and information technology companies.

Just the beginning

Tern’s future hinges on the success of Cryptosoft’s offering. As while Tern has other investments aside from Cryptosoft, Tern has £300,000 invested in the company for 95% of its equity. This investment makes up around 18% of Tern’s year-end 2015 net asset value, or just under half of the company’s equity investments.

So, Cryptosoft’s success is key to Tern’s future and Cryptosoft’s deal with Symantec could be just the beginning of the company’s growth. In a world that is increasingly concerned about online security, Symantec’s digital certificates (which are used to power strong authentication) and its encryption and digital signing applications are highly sought after. By partnering with Symantec, Cryptosoft will be able to leverage the company’s existing reputation to grow its own reputation and learn from its larger peer. The company could be set for big things.

Exploration news 

Like Tern, 88 Energy (LSE: 88E) has also had a great start to the year. Shares in the company have risen just under 750% year-to-date, and there could be more gains to come.

Today the company announced the successful completion of Phase I for Project Icewine, which has resulted in a substantial de-risking of its flagship HRZ play. The analysis shows that the HRZ play has many similarities to US shale wells. As a result, the company believes that the prospect “will be highly amenable to fracture stimulation operations”.

88’s flagship project has already been described as being a thermal maturity “sweet spot,” which contains “low viscosity vapour phase hydrocarbons modelled to flow at a ‘material rate’ based on the porosity and permeability results”. Simply put, this means that 88 Energy’s Alaskan project has some very attractive well economics. 

And with today’s news confirming that fracking is a realistic way of getting access to the oil, it shouldn’t be long before 88 starts to generate sales. One of the great things about shale oil plays is that they can be brought online relatively quickly. There is no need for drawn out periods of fundraising and drilling the wells themselves is a relatively low-risk operation.

However, 88 could be struggling on the funding front as the company has conducted two equity issues so far this month. Alongside today’s exploration news, the company also revealed that it was issuing three million new shares to keep the lights on.

Hitting the jackpot 

Our analysts here at the Motley Fool have put together this strategy to help YOU unearth those massive, market-thrashing opportunities that could put you on the path to substantial long-term wealth. The strategy is designed to help you build a million-pound fortune by following strategic steps. 

The report explains how spending just 20 minutes a month could help you create a portfolio that could bring you closer to financial freedom for life.

Click here to check out the report - it's completely free and comes with no further obligation. 

Rupert Hargreaves has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.