Oblivious announces today its Pre-Seed round funding of $1.05m led by Atlantic Bridge and ACT Venture Capital. The funding will allow Oblivious to build out its core team, further develop its initial product offering, and continue to work closely with its early customer base.
Why Privacy Technology?
If you've been following the news over the past year, you may have noticed the spate of cybercrime and data leaks occurring globally. The privacy of dozens of Irish patients' data, 90 million Mexican registered voters, and over half a billion Facebook users has been lost.
But what can be done about it? Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet, but the newly popularized domain of privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) may play a crucial role in reducing risk while creating new insights for data owners.
There are essentially two broad categories of privacy-enhancing technologies; (i) input privacy, which allows you to process potentially siloed data with security guarantees that no one will have direct access to the data, and (ii) output privacy, which guarantees that aggregate information and statistics do not enable the reverse engineering of original sensitive inputs.
"Reducing the barrier to entry and making these technologies ubiquitous is our focus at Oblivious," explains Robert Pisarczyk, the CEO of Oblivious. "When you combine these privacy technologies, governments, businesses, and researchers can analyze and process information with unparalleled security guarantees.
"Too often when we think of security and privacy, it feels like another cost that needs to be absorbed by data owners. A technical bureaucracy of sorts. However, what the team and I have found is quite the opposite; projects, collaborations, and partnerships that were previously redlined are now getting the go-ahead!"
Why Privacy & Why Now?
Over the past few years, tech giants such as Intel, Amazon, and Microsoft have poured hundreds of millions into developing PETs, building the underlying infrastructure that enables organizations to implement privacy safeguards at scale. But a lack of tooling means the technologies have been difficult to apply in practice. Studies have revealed that the overwhelming majority of developers struggle to integrate privacy considerations into simple applications, such as web-based healthcare applications.
"We give the developers tools that they can launch with one-click from their cloud environment, significantly reducing the barrier of entry to PETs," adds Rob, "we see our role as innovating, enabling, and evangelizing the use of privacy technologies. Our joint publications with the UN Committee of Experts for Privacy-Preserving Technologies and with top academics, echo our commitment towards a collaborative and transparent approach in pursuit of these goals."
Our Latest Backers
Earlier this year, we raised $1.05m from a strong pack of established European and US VCs, alongside prolific angel investors including Charlie Songhurst (Investor and former Head of Strategy for Microsoft) and John Kenevey (Silicon Valey Operator and Investor) amongst others.
“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”, Robert says.
We have also been fortunate to join a thriving community of startups based in NOVA UCD. Another great academic link in Ireland, joining our established relationships with Oxford and the University of Bristol.
How to Get Involved
With funding in place, we will be continuing on our mission. We are currently building a fantastic team of developers and technologists, but non-technical roles will also be available in the months to come.
We also have a number of existing collaborations with open-source communities, developers, and research institutions. So if you are interested in collaborating now or in the future, we'd love to hear from you.
Finally, if you would like to join our early access program, drop us a line or enter your details on our home page and we'll get you up and running in no time! If you're interested in any of the above or would like to get involved with Oblivious for any other reason, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.