Irish big data start-up Oblivious AI closes $1m seed round

1 Sep 2021

Co-founder and CEO Robert Pisarczyk. Image: Oblivious AI

The NovaUCD-based start-up intends to launch its first private data processing tools by the end of this year.

Dublin start-up Oblivious AI has closed a $1.05m seed funding round, the company announced today.

Participants in the round include Atlantic Bridge, Act Venture Capital, Hustle Fund and a number of angel investors.

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Oblivious AI is working to develop privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) that will allow private data to be analysed and processed without offering direct access to it. The start-up says its tech allows organisations to collaborate on sensitive data while maintaining the strictest legal, moral and ethical safeguards.

The company was founded in 2020 by Robert Pisarczyk and Jack Fitzsimons and is based out of NovaUCD at University College Dublin (UCD). It currently employs eight people and intends to launch its first products by year end.

Pisarczyk, Oblivious AI CEO, commented: “It’s terrific to have the likes of Atlantic Bridge, Act Venture Capital, Hustle Fund and our angel investors join us on our mission, as they bring far more than just their funding to the table. They are each established investors with invaluable institutional knowledge that we believe will help Oblivious AI grow into a strong and long-lasting company.”

He added: “With funding in place, our main goal is to continue to build a great team, continue to support our existing clients and publicly launch our tools for all developers to use in the coming months. We are entering into a number of new partnerships and have the best early-access users we could imagine, so it will be an exciting year ahead.”

Oblivious AI says that members of its team have, in the past, collaborated and published with the United Nations, the University of Oxford and ETH Zurich, among others.

NovaUCD has played host to a range of other notable Irish start-ups, including Zipp Mobility and Iamus Technologies.

Conor O’Sullivan, investment director at Atlantic Bridge, said: “Privacy enhancing technologies are fundamental to the next generation of data analytics, including enabling secure data collaboration between parties.

“At Atlantic Bridge we partner with exceptional founders that have unique technology and a drive to realise a big vision. We are excited to be working closely with the Oblivious team to help them deliver on their mission.”

Conor Mills, principal at Act Venture Capital, added: “PETs are a hugely exciting field of innovation that have the potential to not only transform how organisations deal with their data privacy obligations, but also unlock vast untapped revenue opportunities through increased data collaboration between parties.”

“The Oblivious team have already proven themselves as thought leaders on a global stage and we look forward to working with them to reduce the barriers to PET adoption and place the power of PETs into the hands of developers everywhere.”

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin

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