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DataGuard locks down $61 million to protect data as a service • TechCrunch


Companies are facing hundreds of millions of dollars In fine these days for do not obey with data protection and data privacy rules and that is driving the wave of organizations and their users to take data protection more seriously. One of the by-products of that is the emergence of new technology to accommodate that increase in activity.

DataGuard is a Munich-based startup that has relied on a SaaS-based business model to provide privacy, information security, and other data protection as a range of “as a service” tools. on-demand, cloud-based businesses for small and medium-sized businesses, and today it announced that it has received $61 million in a Series B funding round led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital to doubled in the market.

The investment also includes One Peak, the UK VC that led DataGuard’s last fundraiser was 20 million dollars in 2020, the startup’s first external funding. Bastian Nominacher (Cofounder/Co-CEO of Celonis), Hanno Renner (Co-founder/CEO of Personio) and Carsten Thoma (Founder of Hybris) are also participating.

DataGuard does not disclose its value. But as another marker of how it’s doing, despite the broader contraction we’ve seen in the tech sector, this startup continues to grow. It currently has more than 3,000 customers in more than 50 countries, and they are providing tools to more than 40 million individual users – employees, customers, and other stakeholders. This is more than three times the 1,000 customers it had in 2020. Although DataGuard doesn’t disclose specific revenue numbers, it says revenue has also increased, about 10 times over the last year. Its definition of SMB is somewhat flexible and includes larger end-users in the mid-market: its client list includes familiar names like Canon, Hyatt, and Unicef.

DataGuard provides a range of privacy, information security, and compliance tools that can assess the different ways data is being used by an organization. It analyzes this data to determine if a company is compliant with various certifications (e.g. GDPR, CCPA, ISO 27001, TISAX or SOC 2); and if not, what does it need to do to become compliant.

The basic idea behind DataGuard is that while larger enterprises may have teams of in-house employees – lawyers, engineers, and data scientists – working to monitor, implement, and regulate policies. an organization’s compliance, privacy, and data protection policies (a strategy, even with a lot of people and budgets piled up on it, often still wrong); Smaller organizations may have fewer human resources but also have great mandates.

Thomas Regier says its target audience (above, left, co-CEO and co-founder Kivanc Semen, right), is “people who may have only one IT security officer”, who may be a cybersecurity expert but not data security. Some of their clients may not have an in-house security expert at all, he added: the task of how to ensure data protection is done legally and properly rests with the marketing team: that’s because interacting online with individuals is one of the main areas where data protection is meant to cover, so in some cases the people using that data may be duty to ensure that it is done correctly.

“We built this for the common people,” he said.

To be sure, marketing – especially the interfaces for cookie consent and marketing-related data and “analytics” – is for many of us the clearest face of privacy. privacy and data protection over the past few years. Driven by GDPR and other regulations, we now see those consent windows on a daily basis, and many companies lament how the prevalence of “deny all” has impacted the bottom line. how. And the big headlines we’ve read about data protection breaches tend to be the same: in an example from earlier this month, Instagram is fined more than 400 million dollars for abuse of child data under GDPR rules in Europe.

But Regier says that these days, adding to this are additional pressures beyond the very bad publicity companies receive from investigative leaks in the media:

“Marketing is a big part of the puzzle, but the second part is companies are protecting customer data,” he said. “They need to reinforce that. They have no choice because otherwise they will now lose those customers. It has gone beyond the fig leaf and into the core of the business. ” With, network insurance premiums have skyrocketed, another indication of how financially impacted businesses are when they fail to implement strong security and data protection. (It can be determined whether those premiums are effective for other reasonshowever.)

The third major driver that DataGuard is seeing among its customers is commercial pressure. That is, organizations are now more proactive in checking partners to make sure they are held accountable, on a proactive and reactive basis when things go wrong.

Interestingly, using a mechanism that sounds similar to how data brokers work, DataGuard can also see how a company’s data may be used by third parties and customers, to locate possible non-compliant or conversely warn such third parties in the event that any data has been compromised. Getting the big picture is becoming increasingly important as part of the checks companies go through as they make purchases, which highlights that it’s not all ensure that, for example, the business-critical nature of the work.

Corporate compliance, is a newer area, but one where the company will use some of these investments to continue to grow. It also potentially opens the door for DataGuard to provide similar services to test other aspects of data security and protection, such as as it transitions to data networks and endpoint management.

That, plus the fact that DataGuard has grown to its fullest with very little outside funding, are all reasons why investors keep knocking on doors.

“Data security, information security and compliance are areas that are increasingly focused on by regulators, businesses and consumers globally,” said Lincoln Isetta, CEO of Morgan Stanley. at a time when the amount of sensitive data businesses must process to function is growing exponentially. Capital expansion, in a statement. “It is clear from our diligence that DataGuard’s unique all-in-one platform enables customers to go beyond simple ‘check the box’ compliance, information security and privacy practices data and instead manage it as a competitive differentiator. We’re excited to join the DataGuard team and look forward to helping them build success. “

“DataGuard has seen strong growth since our initial investment, which speaks to the momentum and execution of the founders and their leadership team. DataGuard has helped create an incredibly large and business-critical new category,” David Klein, managing partner at One Peak, and Christoph Mayer, partner, added in a joint statement. “Over the next decade, companies will invest tens of billions of dollars in compliance and security to be and remain a trusted partner. We are the first institutional investors in DataGuard in 2020 and we are excited to double our investment to help the Company further accelerate its growth trajectory and expand its geographic reach. . “



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