Privitar, a U.K. startup that helps companies embed privacy protection into their data projects, has raised $80 million in a series C round of funding led by Warburg Pincus, with participation from Accel, Partech, IQ Capital, Salesforce Ventures, and ABN AMRO Ventures.
Founded in 2014, London-based Privitar enables companies to extract value from data without compromising their customers’ privacy and confidentiality. At its core, the platform is all about allowing companies to leverage large, sensitive data sets while adhering to regulations and ethical data principles.
For example, Privitar can embed invisible watermarks into protected data so that if any of the data is distributed without authorization it can be easily tracked back to the responsible party — this essentially deters rogue behavior from employees inside a company. Privitar also offers privacy engineering tools for de-identification, taking into account the context in which the data will be accessed. For example, companies may want to control which employees or third parties have access to specific data and ensure they can’t access other data sets that could be used in a “linkage attack” (when anonymized data from multiple data sets is combined to re-identify individuals).
The growing number of data privacy regulations, such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s CCPA, which came into effect earlier this year, have been a boon for privacy-focused startups. Back in July, InCountry raised $15 million to help multinational companies comply with data residency regulations, while Very Good Security raised $35 million to help financial and health care service providers protect their customers’ data.
Privitar’s latest raise comes less than a year after it closed a $40 million funding round, and its fresh $80 million cash injection is further evidence that investors continue to see privacy as a lucrative business. The company said it will use its latest investment to expand its platform capabilities, hire across its various departments, and focus on growing its presence in international markets.
“The advent of data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, combined with the increasing importance of data analytics in the enterprise, has created a growing need for a privacy solution that protects sensitive data while still retaining its business value,” noted Warburg Pincus managing director Cary Davis.
Privitar now claims 140 employees, spread across its hubs in London, Boston, Austin, Singapore, and Warsaw. It counts some big-name customers, including the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS).