Privacy breaches are not only bad for consumers, but also costly for tech companies. For example GDPR fines now a total of $1.7 billionand earlier this year, Twitter had to pay $150 million for misrepresenting the security and privacy of user data. Based in Pune, India and Delaware, Privado wants to make it easier for developers to keep user data private.
The company today announced that it has raised $14 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capita India and Insight Partners. Together Fund and Emergent Fund, which led Privado’s $3.5 million seed round in January 2022, also returned for the new funding.
Privado’s Series A will allow it to develop its technology, grow its team to 25 people and grow its open source community. It’s after revenue and has signed six-figure contracts. Its pricing model is based on the number of code repositories or products it scans and monitors.
Privado currently tracks over 600,000 code commits and its clients 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 start Privado after interviewing product and engineering teams at an e-commerce company who needed to find a way to monitor data usage and how it changed with each new software release.
The founders told TechCrunch in an email that “to comply with any privacy laws, the first step is to gain visibility into how personal data is collected, used and shared across thousands of apps and services (Netflix is known to have over 1000 services ) powering a technology company. Even if companies achieve this mammoth task, it’s realistically almost impossible to continue to have visibility when code changes are happening every week.”
They added that many of the current tools on the market are manual, which don’t scale and become obsolete as soon as there is a product change, or automated which focus only on discovering where data is stored, opening up the possibility of missing issues around collection, use, the sharing and leakage of personal data.
“There are a lot of privacy technology companies out there today and some of them have raised big rounds like OneTrust, BigID,” said Antill, CEO of Privado. “Current tools fail because they stand outside the development lifecycle where decisions are made about data collection, use and sharing.”
Privado addresses these issues by connecting to source code management tools including GitHub and privacy code scanning. It can monitor data usage, identify data flows, and notify developers of privacy issues, including excessive user privileges or data leaks in log files.
“Think of us as Grammarly for your code,” say the founders. “We give you a data privacy assessment for existing products and point out data privacy and security issues as you write new code.”
It also created a free Android developer tool that generates Play Store data safety reports that are used by developers as well Automatically and Blinkist. Privado is now expanding it into an open source privacy code preservation project.
“We tell engineers to build code and ship features quickly, and we tell them they’re responsible for privacy,” Antill said. “If we’re giving them the tools to increase engagement, we need to give them the tools to increase privacy at the same time.”