Thursday 22 August 2019

Dubliner's privacy startup raises €3.8m seed funding

Cillian Kieran
Cillian Kieran
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

A data privacy software startup, co-founded by former Dublin digital agency co-founder Cillian Kieran, has raised $4.2m (€3.8m) in seed funding.

New York-based Ethyca's software claims to automate data privacy, making it easier to meet compliance obligations under a raft of new privacy law, including GDPR.

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Built as an API, it's designed to be developer-friendly "in the same way Stripe has made payments easy for internet businesses" - allowing privacy to be integrated at an early stage in a company's product suite.

IA Ventures and Founders Collective led the funding round with Table Management and Sinai Ventures also participating. Jon Steinberg of Cheddar and Moat co-founder Jonah Goodhart - through his investment vehicle WGI - also invested.

Mr Kieran is the previous founder of the Dublin-based digital agency CKSK as well as BrandCommerce, a New York-based consultancy.

The other co-founder of Ethyca is Miguel Burger-Calderon, previously part of the founding team of the online news platform targeting women, Elite Daily.

"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," said Mr Kieran. "Ethyca will ensure online businesses have the highest standard of data protection for their customers, who are increasingly voting with their feet. Ethyca takes that pain away from developers and allows them to concentrate on building core products."

According to his company biography, Mr Kieran is an "engineer and physics dropout" who previously co-founded CKSK, with Simon Keane. CKSK had a number of high profile clients, including Heineken, Three and VHI.

However, it ran into difficulty and was liquidated earlier this year. The collapse is blamed on a combination of cancelled contracts and Brexit.

The funding for Ethyca will be used "to build out the team and product", according to Kieran.

Ethyca's funding round comes in a week where privacy is in the international spotlight, with Facebook agreeing to pay a €4.5bn fine to the US Federal Trade Commission for shortcomings in its privacy practices.

The social media giant, which employs 3,000 people at its European headquarters in Dublin, has also agreed to add new corporate restructuring to better safeguard user privacy.

Irish Independent

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