Data privacy start-up Ethyca raises $4.2m

26 Jul 2019548 Views

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Ethyca, which was co-founded by Irish engineer Cillian Kieran, has raised $4.2m to expand its team and its product.

Yesterday (25 July), data privacy start-up Ethyca announced that it had just closed its latest funding round, raising $4.2m.

The New York-based company was set up by Miguel Burger-Calderon, who was part of Elite Daily’s founding team, and Irish engineer Cillian Kieran, who previously founded BrandCommerce and digital consultancy firm CKSK.

The funding round was led by IA Ventures and Founder Collective, with Table Management and Sinai Ventures also participating. Cheddar’s Jon Steinberg and Moat co-founder Jonah Goodhart also contributed to the fund.

Ethyca will use this round of funding to build out its team and product. Director of MIT’s Internet Policy Research Initiative, Daniel Weitzner, will also join the company as an adviser.

The data privacy start-up provides developers and product teams with infrastructure to ensure consumer privacy throughout applications and services design.

It claims to act as an alternative to the existing privacy solutions, which the start-up labels as “retroactive band-aids that do not solve the root problem”.

TechCrunch broke down exactly how Ethyca works: “[It] helps companies discover sensitive data, then provides a mechanism for customers to see, edit or delete their data from the system. Finally, the solution enables companies to define who can see particular types of data across the organisation to control access. All of these components are designed to help companies comply with GDPR regulations.”

Kieran told TechCrunch that users do not need to be concerned about a third party accessing this data, as Ethyca never actually sees the raw data. “We are a suite of tools that sits between business processes. We don’t capture raw data. We don’t see personal information,” he said.

Data protection regulation

This funding round comes as the US Congress discusses introducing privacy regulations similar to Europe’s GDPR and LGPD in Brazil. Failure to comply with such regulations can result in major consequences for companies of all sizes.

In a statement regarding the funding, Kieran said that data protection is a huge issue for companies right now: “Data protection and privacy is no longer an issue that can be taken for granted. It is imperative that companies act now to ensure they’re compliant.

“Working with a number of global-facing brands at BrandCommerce, we saw the need for a solution that gives peace of mind to legal teams and allows engineers to iterate on their products with the same flexibility they always had. Ethyca will ensure online businesses have the highest standard of data protection for their customers, who are increasingly voting with their feet.”

Weitzner, who is joining the start-up as an adviser on online privacy, cybersecurity, internet copyright and trade policies, added: “Privacy begins with good values and a commitment to follow the law. Consumers are demanding changes in privacy practices from business.

“Ethyca recognises the need for privacy-sensitive handling of personal data, while also allowing engineers to iterate and stay innovation-focused. I’m happy to advise and support this global solution to a global issue.”

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com