Secure data exchange startup Data Republic has announced it has raised a $10.5 million in a Series A round from Qantas Loyalty, National Australia Bank’s NAB Ventures, and Westpac’s Reinventure Fund.
As part of the funding the three organisations will become strategic partners for the startup, which stated the funding will help facilitate its expansion into the United States later this year.
Paul McCarney, cofounder and CEO of Data Republic, said, “With this important investor support, we can continue to help businesses unlock the value of their data and drive more relevant products and services, but in a way which prioritises customer privacy.
“There’s enormous social and business productivity benefits to opening up data for exchange, but the privacy, security and rights of the consumer have to come first.”
Founded in 2014 and launched last year, Data Republic has created a platform that allows for companies to securely share data with each other and other users, who are able to submit requests for access to specific data along with what it will be used for. The startup also allows clients to more easily monetise their data assets, working through issues such as data security, regulatory compliance, commercial sensitivity, and the gaining of approval from customers.
With the potential for the application of big data seemingly endless, Data Republic’s target market is broad. McCarney explained, “The productivity impacts from governed data exchange extend way beyond business, and into social benefits like improved insight into areas such as mental health and public education.
“This isn’t just about better marketing; it’s about empowering business, government and social organisations to unlock the value of data and drive more accurate socio-economic reform and decision making.”
Of course, the involvement of Qantas, Westpac, and NAB as strategic partners shows that they also see the benefits of the platform for their own organisations, with Data Republic and Westpac partnering to develop a “data banking service” that they stated will allow corporate clients with the appropriate permissions from their customers to securely separate and store customer information on dedicated bank-grade security infrastructure while also authorising broader data insights for analysis and exchange.
Danny Gilligan, cofounder of Reinventure and Data Republic, said that given the increasing prevalence of data-sharing between organisations, the creation of such a service is “critical to moving towards a data-driven economy.”
Todd Forest, managing director of NAB Ventures added, “Data Republic is doing some really innovative work to improve the personalisation experience for customers. This strategic equity partnership gives us a seat at the table to help develop Data Republic’s capabilities and ultimately improve the experience for NAB customers in the future.”
Lesley Grant, CEO of Qantas Loyalty, echoed these sentiments. The investment in Data Republic is the first of its kind in the 95 year history of the Qantas Group.
Grant said, “Co-investing in Data Republic with NAB and Westpac provides a great opportunity for further innovation by allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of what our customers want.”
Image: Paul McCarney. Source: ASX.