Big data privacy start-up Privitar raises over $1 million in funding round

By Nicole Miskelly | 15 July 2015

UK start-up Privitar, a tech company that is looking to transform the way banks use big data, whilst keeping customer information private, raised over $1 million in a seed funding round earlier this week.

The oversubscribed funding round saw Privitar raise over a million dollars in seed funding from a number of high-profile investors including Tom Glocer and Peter Job, both former CEOs of Thomson Reuters, Rockspring CEO David Gammon and First Derivatives CTO Gerard Buggy.

The tech company is already working with institutions in financial services, telcos and the Internet of Things experts and aims to act as a ‘stamp of approval’ for companies, which demonstrates good data security and privacy practice with high data protection compliance standards.

Privitar says it facilitates the use, collaboration and trade of big data while adopting an uncompromising approach to protecting personal or sensitive information. The firm’s patented design for keeping data private uses algorithms to conceal user identities by merging individual entity data into ‘crowds’ that are undetectable and do not compromise data if it is leaked or revealed.

Recent ICO data reveals that 85% of people are concerned about how their personal information is passed or sold to other organisations and 77% are concerned about organisations not keeping their personal details secure.

In light of this, many companies are mindful of the large fines and reputational damage that data leaks can have which is why organisations are seeking to minimise their exposure to data breaches, whilst retaining the ability to store and analyse customer data to improve products and services.

Speaking about the company, Jason du Preez, CEO, Privitar says: “We’ve found a way to satisfy an individual’s need for privacy alongside an organisation’s desire to predict and capitalise on behaviours through big data analytics.”

According to John Taysom, Co-founder and Investor in Privitar, organisations need to incorporate privacy into their data handling processes if they don’t want to risk exposing customer information. “Unless organisations incorporate privacy into every aspect of the data supply chain they run the risk of impeding innovation and exposing their customers to harm. We know that organisations are motivated to change. Forrester predicted that enterprises would consider privacy a key competitive differentiator in 2015 and we are seeing clear evidence that they were right.”