DataGuard, which provides GDPR and privacy compliance-as-a-service, raises $20M

Watchdogs have started to raise the issue that new working
practices and online activity necessitated by the spread of the
coronavirus pandemic are creating new sets of privacy, security and
data protection challenges. Today a startup is announcing a growth
round of funding to help online businesses navigate those issues
better.

DataGuard, a Munich-based
startup that provides “GDPR-as-a-service” — essentially a
cloud-based platform to help those doing business online ensure
that they are compliant with various regional regulations and best
practices around privacy by analysing customers’ data processing
activities, offering options and suggestions for improving privacy
compliance, providing them with the ability to modify their IT
infrastructure and internal processes to do so — has raised $20
million, money that it will be using to continue expanding its
business across Europe and the Americas and to continue investing
in building out its technology.

The funding is coming from a single investor, London’s
One Peak, and is the
first outside funding for the company. We’re asking but it looks
like DataGuard is not disclosing its valuation with this round.

The news is coming at a critical time in the world of venture
funding. We are seeing a mix of deals that either were closed or
close to closing before the worst of the pandemic reared its ugly
head (meaning: some deals are just going to be put on ice, Zoom
meeting or not); or are being done specifically to help with
business continuity in the wake of all the interruption of normal
life (that is, the business is too interesting not to help prop it
up); or are closing specifically because the startup has built
something that is going to demonstrate just how useful it is in the
months to come.

As with the strongest of funding rounds, DataGuard into a couple
of those categories.

On one hand, it has demonstrated a demand for its services
before any of this hit. Today, the startup provides privacy policy
services both to small and medium businesses as well as larger
enterprises, and it has picked up 1,000 customers since launching
in 2017.

“Millions of companies are striving to comply with privacy
regulation such as GDPR or CCPA,” said Thomas Regier, (pictured,
left) who co-founded the company with Kivanc Semen (right), in a
statement.

“We are excited to partner with One Peak to help many more
organizations across the globe become and remain privacy compliant.
Our Privacy-as-a-Service solution provides customers with access to
a proprietary full-stack platform and services from a dedicated
team of data privacy experts. This enables customers to gain
insights into their data processing activities and to
operationalize privacy and compliance across their entire
organization.”

Regier tells us that the company was bootstrapped to 100
employees, which also underscores the company’s capital
efficiency, also especially attractive at the moment.

On the other, the wholesale shift to more online and remote
working, combined with a giant surge in online traffic caused by
more people staying at home to reduce the number of new Covid-19
cases, is driving a lot more traffic and stress testing to
websites, apps and other online services.

All that creates precisely the kind of environment where

we might, for a period, overlook
some of the trickier and more
exacting aspects of privacy policies, but which are
nonetheless important to keep intact
, not least because
malicious hackers could take advantage of vulnerable situations, or
regulators eventually refocus and come back with heavy fines, or
consumers respond with bad PR and more.

“We have a truly horizontal product that has the potential to
become an integral part of the tech stack in enterprises and SMBs
alike,” said Semen in a statement. “We will use the funding to
deliver on our product roadmap. We will achieve this in two ways:
By increasing automation levels through improvements of the machine
learning capabilities in our privacy software suite and by speeding
up our development of new product categories.”

DataGuard is one of a number of startups that have emerged to
help businesses navigate the waters of privacy regulations, which
are usually not the core competencies of the companies but have
become an essential part of how they can (and should) do business
online.

Others include OneTrust, which also helps companies provide and
run better data protection policies; and
InCountry
, which is specifically focused on providing services
to help companies understand and comply with data protection
policies that vary across different regions. OneTrust last year

passed a $1 billion valuation
, speaking to the huge opportunity
and demand in this space.

OnePeak believes that DataGuard’s take on the proposition is
one of the more effective and efficient, one reason it’s backed
the team. “We are incredibly excited to back DataGuard’s
world-class founding team,” says David Klein, Co-Founder and
Managing Partner at One Peak, in a statement. “We are convinced
that DataGuard’s cutting-edge software suite combined with its
comprehensive service offering provides both enterprises and SMBs
with an end-to-end solution that fulfils their data privacy needs
across the board.”

Source: FS – All Tech News 2
DataGuard, which provides GDPR and privacy compliance-as-a-service, raises M