Data anonymisation platform Hazy (formerly Anon AI) has raised $1.8 million in a seed funding round.
The round, led by the UCL Technology Fund with participation from Nationwide Building Society, Pentland, Amadeus Capital Partners, AI Seed, and more, follows a previous seed investment of $1 million from M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) and Notion Capital back in May.
The earlier funding came as part of Hazy being named the European winner of Microsoft’s Innovate.AI global startup competition. The company also received £340k in pre-seed funding in an October 2017 round led by the UCL Technology Fund.
Companies are now looking to implement ethical data practises not just because they have to, but because it’s the right thing to do.
– Harry Keen, CEO, Hazy
Hazy, which is based in London with another office in Shrewsbury, has strong links to UCL, having been founded back in January 2017 as a spin-out of the university by software entrepreneurs Harry Keen (CEO) and James Arthur (CTO), and UCL machine learning researcher Dr Fintan Nagle.
Both Keen and Arthur formerly held roles at Opendesk, where Arthur was CTO. Keen holds two nanodegrees in machine learning from Udacity and Stanford University, and Dr Luke Robinson, who holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Cambridge, is the company’s Chief Scientist and has a seat on the company’s board.
Hazy’s cloud-based platform, which has already been launched, uses an AI engine to help businesses share data efficiently while automatically identifying and anonymising personal information contained within. Its potential to aid in GDPR compliance efforts has been particularly touted.
“Fundamentally we are helping companies treat data responsibly,” Keen said in an interview with the Telegraph. “If you want to instill trust in clients rather than being reactive to GDPR you can use it as a positive thing.”
In a blog post, he announced that the new funding would be used to build out the company’s product offerings, and to expand the company’s employee count, which recently doubled from six to twelve.