Irish-founded privacy start-up Ethyca secures $7.5m in funding

4 Nov 2021

Ethyca CEO Cillian Kieran. Image: Ethyca

After raising fresh funding, the start-up is making its privacy tech tools open source.

Privacy tech start-up Ethyca has raised $7.5m from LGF and Table Management.

The New York-based company, co-founded and led by Irish engineer Cillian Kieran, said the fresh funding would support the roll-out of its open-source developer tools for privacy.

The financing is an extension of Ethyca’s $13.5m Series A round last year, and brings its total funding raised to date to $27.5m.

Ethyca was founded in 2018 by Kieran and Miguel Burger-Calderon. A former Start-up of the Week, it describes itself as a “privacy-by-design” tech company.

It has been developing tools to help companies discover and manage sensitive data that they hold, and aims to make it easier for organisations to build ethical data-driven systems and adhere to privacy guidelines such as GDPR.

In an announcement at Web Summit in Lisbon this week, Kieran confirmed that the start-up is making its privacy tech and tools open source.

The company is now launching the first release of Fides, which it described as a “lightweight open-source description language and toolset” for privacy.

“Until now, privacy has been the preserve of legal and policy experts or a handful of highly specialised privacy engineers that understand policy, human computer interaction and software development,” Ethyca wrote in a blog post.

“Since the beginning of this journey three years ago, we believed that any viable solution to privacy must be open source.”

Fides will allow developers to build privacy tools and monitoring mechanisms directly into their codebases, such as automating privacy checks and requests and generating privacy reports.

“It’s our belief and ambition that Fides can form the basis of a commonly adopted standard to simplify privacy for developers and their users,” Ethyca added.

Killian told The Irish Times at Web Summit that the new funding would also go towards doubling the company’s headcount. It currently employs 44 people.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic