Privacy violations are not only bad for users, but also costly for technology companies. For example GDPR fines now total $1.7 billion, and earlier this year, Twitter had to pay $150 million for misrepresenting the security and privacy of user data. Based in Pune, India and Delaware, Privately wants to make it easier for developers to keep user data secret.
The company announced today that it has raised $14 million in Series A financing led by Sequoia Capita India and Insight Partners. Together Fund and Emergent Fund, which led Privado’s $3.5 million starting round in January 2022, also returned for the new funding.
Privado’s Series A enables it to grow its technology, expand its team to 25 people, and grow its open source community. It is post earnings and has signed six figure contracts. The pricing model is based on the number of code repositories, or products, that are scanned and checked.
Privado currently monitors over 600,000 code commits and its customers include Here.com, Thrasio, and Zego. It was founded last year by Jasdeep Cheema, Prashant Mahajan and Vaibhav Antil, who previously worked in product and engineering teams. They were motivated to launch Privado after interviewing product and engineering teams at an e-commerce company that needed to find a way to monitor data usage and how it was changing with each new software release.
The founders told londonbusinessblog.com in an email that “to comply with any of the privacy laws, the first step is to understand how personal data is collected, used, and shared across thousands of apps and services (Netflix is known to have more than 1,000 services) ) powering a technology company Even if companies accomplish this mammoth task, realistically, it’s nearly impossible to maintain visibility when code changes happen every week.
They added that many of the current tools on the market are manual tools that are not scalable and become obsolete once there is a product change, or automated tools that only focus on discovering where data is stored, opening the possibility of missing issues around data collection, use, sharing and leakage of personal data.
“There are a lot of privacy technology companies today and some of them have launched big rounds like OneTrust, BigID,” said Antil, CEO of Privado. “Current tools fall short because they fall outside the development lifecycle where decisions about collecting, using and sharing data are made.”
Privado addresses these issues by connecting to source code management tools, including GitHub and privacy scan code. It is able to monitor data usage, identify data streams and notify developers of privacy issues, including excessive user permissions or data leaks to logs.
“See us as grammatical to your code,” say the founders. “We’ll give you a data privacy score for existing products and point out privacy and data security issues as you write new code.”
It also created a free tool for Android developers that generates Play Store data security reports used by developers including Automattic and Blinkist. Privado is now expanding it into an open source privacy code-canning project.
“We tell engineers to build code and ship functions quickly, and we tell them they are responsible for privacy,” says Antil. “As we give them the tools to increase their engagement, we also need to give them tools to increase their privacy at the same time.”