Irish start-up Dataships bags $3m funding led by US investors

28 Sep 2021

The Dataships team. Image: Dataships

Dataships co-founder Michael Storan said the company’s tech helps SMEs navigate ‘the happy path of compliance’ when it comes to data privacy.

Dublin start-up Dataships has raised $3m in seed funding from US and Irish investors to scale its data privacy tech.

Currently taking part in the NDRC accelerator at Dogpatch Labs, Dataships develops tech to automate data privacy compliance and help SMEs with privacy policies, cookie consent tools and GDPR.

The fresh funding round was led by the US-based Urban Innovation Fund and Lavrock Ventures. Other backers include entrepreneur and Smurfit Kappa Group CEO Tony Smurfit and FL Partners co-founder Peter Crowley.

Dataships also received a €100,000 investment from the NDRC accelerator programme at Dogpatch Labs, which is designed to help tech start-ups scale. The funding announcement was made during the accelerator’s midpoint demo day today (28 September).

“Start-ups and SMBs generally have no idea how to begin approaching the myriad of new data privacy laws and standards being issued,” said Urban Innovation Fund managing partner Julie Lein. “We’re excited to see Dataships step in with their seamless solution for companies like Kerrygold and Zipp Mobility.”

This ‘one-stop shop for data privacy’ secured €500,000 in funding last year and participated in Acceleprise, a SaaS start-up accelerator based in Silicon Valley. Following Acceleprise, founders Ryan McErlane and Michael Storan redesigned and relaunched Dataships in June 2020.

It now has more than 70 customers including, Thérapie and Icon Accounting.

Shift to first-party data

With Google planning to ban third-party cookies as soon as 2023 and Apple making changes to its policies, Dataships aims to help SMEs make their own first-party cookie strategy.

“Between GDPR, cookies and major forces such as Google and Apple constantly changing the rules of engagement, data privacy compliance has become unnecessarily confusing for business owners and marketers,” said Storan.

He added that Dataships is looking to unravel these complications and show companies the “happy path of compliance” and the benefit of having compliant first-party data policies.

“The future will be defined by having first-party access to your customers so it’s table stakes to have healthy data relationships with them, or as we call them: Dataships,” he said.

Earlier this month, Dataships was announced as one of eight Irish companies shortlisted for the inaugural Ireland qualifier of KPMG’s Global Tech Innovator competition. The top spot was eventually taken by Belfast tech start-up CattleEye.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic