Privitar, a software startup that helps enterprises and others engineer privacy protection into their data projects, has raised $40 million in a series B round of funding led by Accel, with participation from Partech, Salesforce Ventures, IQ Capital, and 24Haymarket.
Founded out of London in 2014, Privitar is designed to let companies analyze potentially sensitive data while respecting customers’ privacy and confidentiality. In effect, the platform facilitates companies’ ability to leverage large, sensitive data sets while ensuring compliance with regulations and ethical data principles.
The company offers three core products. Privitar Publisher — which features “privacy engineering techniques” such as data-masking and k-anonymity, a property of anonymized data — is aimed at helping non-technical users author and manage data protection policies while also tracking data lineage.
Privitar Publisher can also embed invisible watermarks in protected data so anything distributed without authorization can be more easily traced back to the responsible party — a deterrent for “unauthorized behavior.”
Privitar also offers Privitar Lens, which is touted as a platform for building “privacy-preserving access to sensitive data sets,” and Privitar SecureLink, a data-linking system designed to thwart data silos and “overcome trust barriers” between multiple organizations looking to share information with each other.
With companies increasingly shifting to the cloud, laws such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect, and technology giants like Facebook hitting the headlines for questionable data-harvesting practices, it’s clear the demand for data privacy smarts will only grow. Indeed, a number of companies are already capitalizing on this demand — a few months back, InCountry launched with $7 million in funding to help multinational companies store customer data locally and adhere to data sovereignty regulations. And last year, BigID raised $30 million to grow its automated data privacy management platform for enterprises.
“There has been a noticeable increase in enterprises’ appetite for buying data privacy technology in recent years,” noted Accel partner Seth Pierrepont. “Through the team’s deep domain expertise and close ties to academia, Privitar has positioned itself as a thought leader in privacy innovation.”
Privitar already claims some big-name clients, including the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS), HSBC, and BT, and with data privacy emerging as a major focal point across governments and the broader technological landscape, Privitar is well positioned to build on the foundation it has cemented over the past five years. Indeed, it now has offices in New York, Boston, Paris, Munich, and Singapore, in addition to its native London. Privitar had previously raised around $23 million, and with another $40 million in the bank it plans to continue pushing its platform out globally.
“The world is increasingly aware of the importance of protecting private information, and privacy engineering is becoming intrinsic to the way organizations manage and share data,” added Privitar CEO Jason du Preez. “This investment will enable us to scale rapidly in response to global demand and help our customers realize the enormous benefits of data-driven decision making, much faster and with less risk.”