Startups Venture

Ethyca Raises $13.5M For Data Privacy Automation, Compliance

Ethyca’s new self-service privacy compliance platform has attracted investor backing as companies face pressure to comply with government privacy regulations.

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The 2-year-old company, founded by Cillian Kieran and Miguel Burger-Calderon, is enabling businesses to implement comprehensive privacy management, without a lengthy onboarding process.

“Ethyca powers companies’ data privacy in the same way Stripe powers payments,” Kieran told Crunchbase News.

The New York-based company raised $13.5 million in Series A funding led by IA Ventures, which followed on its previous investment in the company with Roger Ehrenberg joining Ethyca’s board of directors, he said.

Others that participated in the round include SciFi VC, entrepreneurs Michael Ovitz, Neil Blumenthal, Dave Gilboa, Jeff Raider, Joey Zwillinger, Scott Belsky, former Chief Data Scientist of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy DJ Patil, Lachy Groom, and Abstract Ventures.

Ethyca’s total funding raised since 2018 is $20 million, including a $4.2 million seed round in July 2019, Kieran said.

Data security

Companies with a focus on helping clients keep data private continue to attract investors. On June 10, San Francisco-based Transcend, a data privacy infrastructure giving users control over their personal data, announced it raised $25 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures alongside Accel, with participation from South Park Commons.

Back in January, we examined investment in the sector and reported that close to $10 billion was invested in privacy and security companies in 2019, an all-time high in the last decade–up more than fivefold from $1.7 billion in 2010.

We also reported on companies such as BigID, which raised a $50 million Series C extension in January to keep customer data secure and meet privacy regulations. Meanwhile, Dathena Science landed a $12 million Series A in May for its AI-powered self-service and plug-and-play data protection platform.

Meanwhile, Kieran said the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and especially the California Consumer Privacy Act, set to go into effect July 1, have businesses racing toward the deadline and facing some challenges in:

  1. Understanding what personal information they collect and how.
  2. Setting up processes to provide data collected to consumers and erase data, when requested.
  3. Knowing if their business sells data.

Penalties for violating the CCPA will range from $2,500 to $7,500 for each infraction, according to the act. In addition, individuals can bring a civil lawsuit against the business.

“The risk of this is very real,” Kieran said. “It is expected that the attorney general is going to come down heavy on this.”

Ethyca’s platform helps businesses assess their user data and provide an automated “map” of where it is stored and generates reports, so if a user requests their data it can be delivered in days instead of months.  It can also instantly erase data and opt-out processes.

Next steps

Armed with the new funding, Ethyca plans to grow its team–hiring engineers, sales and support. It also plans to build out its executive team, Kieran said. The company has 15 employees and would like to gain another 10 by year end.

In addition, the company will expand its tools, such as developer resources for engineers to support security and audit processes. He said new laws limit how engineers can build and deploy company applications, and Ethyca has internal checks to monitor that activity.

“By nature, I don’t believe engineers are malicious, and culturally, our industry has been told to move fast and break things,” Kieran said. “We want to enable engineers to go quickly, but do it safely.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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