Privitar plans to invest the $16 million it raised in a recent funding round in accelerating development of existing and new data privacy products, and extending its geographic footprint from Europe to the US and Asia-Pacific. The company was founded in 2014 and is now well placed to help data-driven organisations address data privacy concerns – including the damages of compromising privacy – and comply with legislation such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Jason du Preez, CEO at Privitar, says: “Data privacy can no longer be managed by dispensation, as use of dispensations can’t scale to support growth in the amount of personal data that is generated and collected by organisations. Technology is needed, not only to ensure data privacy and customer trust, but also to enable organisations to get the most out of sensitive data without compromising privacy and security.”
The company offers two software solutions and plans to use some of the investment money to strengthen these and add additional solutions to its portfolio. The focus on Privitar Publisher, which creates an anonymised copy of data so that individuals in a dataset cannot be identified, although the data can still be used for analytics, machine learning and sharing with trusted parties, is on the data anonymization element of the product. The differential privacy capabilities of Privitar Lens, which provides an application programming interface (API) to allow sensitive data to be queried without direct access to the data and without disclosure of any individual identities, will also be developed. Du Preez suggests additional products designed to produce a set of coherent capabilities for any data privacy problem will begin to enter the market within 12 months.
Privitar has 11 customers across Europe, the majority being financial services firms within the scope of GDPR, and intends to use another slice of the investment money to extend its reach into US and Asia-Pacific markets, where it is talking to prospects.
The timing and extent of an additional round of funding, led by Partech Ventures with participation from CME Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and existing investors IQ Capital, 24Haymarket and Illuminate Financial, could not be better for Privitar. As du Preez comments: “Organisations have been in the early stages of data privacy discovery over the pasts 12 months, but they are now changing gear and moving to delivery and execution. Data privacy is a top 10 item on the board agenda – it wasn’t six months ago.”