UCL Spin-out Hazy adds $1.8 million in seed funding
Funding led by the UCL Technology Fund with participation from: Nationwide Building Society, Pentland, Amadeus Capital Partners and AI Seed
Hazy, the London-based AI company enabling ethical, effortless and GDPR-compliant data sharing for responsible businesses, has announced an additional $1.8 million seed funding led by UCL Technology Fund, alongside Nationwide Building Society, Pentland, Amadeus Capital Partners, AI Seed and other investors.
This takes Hazy’s total seed funding to $2.8 million following a $1 million investment from M12 and Notion, awarded to the company in May, after Hazy was declared the European winner of global startup competition Innovate.AI.
Hazy, founded less than 18 months ago, was spun out of UCL (University College London), and raised £340,000 pre-seed in October 2017 in a round led by the UCL Technology Fund, which is managed by Albion in collaboration with UCLB.
Its online platform is the only product on the market to allow businesses to share data responsibly and securely through a workflow tool that automatically anonymises and adapts to changing datasets. Hazy’s artificial intelligence engine is able to seek out and anonymise personal data buried in datasets, ensuring companies stay fully GDPR-compliant when sharing data. Businesses using Hazy’s tool can confidently reassure customers that their data is being handled legally, securely and anonymously.
GDPR legislation means that use of an anonymisation tool like Hazy has become essential for businesses looking to share data for development and analysis or retain for future applications. The company has already launched its initial product, which allows businesses to share data securely under GDPR-compliant legal agreements, and will use the new funding to develop its automated data-anonymisation tool that will be able to optimise privacy for each use case.
Unlike its competitors, which target enterprises with bespoke solutions, Hazy is a cloud-based platform that requires no technical integration. As such, it is suitable for a range of businesses, from small companies to large multinationals. Despite being little more than a year old, the company is already working with customers ranging from startups to international banks and the UK government. Hazy projects that the global market for data liquidity could grow to as much as $3 trillion as companies look to ensure data compliance.
Hazy counts a number of the world’s leading artificial intelligence experts on its board, and was founded by Harry Keen, an experienced engineer, alongside James Arthur, the former CTO & co-founder of Opendesk, and Dr. Fintan Nagle, a visual neuroscientist at UCL specialising in machine learning and statistical modelling.
Harry Keen, CEO of Hazy, said: “In recent months we have seen a seismic cultural shift around data. Consumers are acutely aware of the importance of data security and GDPR legislation means that businesses rightly now consider safe data-handling as mission-critical.
“Our technology ensures that huge, unwieldy data sets are GDPR-compliant. Recognising that most companies don’t have data experts, Hazy has been built to require zero technical integration, or any technical expertise. We are proud to be working with organisations ranging from major banks and building societies, to small businesses and UK central government and we are excited to continue developing our solution as we launch our product more widely.”
David Grimm, Investment Director, Albion said; “Big data analytics offers unparalleled opportunities for start-ups and corporate giants alike, but also puts data security at the top of the agenda for the world’s regulators. Hazy’s solution is a game changer, enabling businesses to automatically anonymise complex datasets without the need for a lengthy technical integration with internal systems. We are excited to support the team through the next phase of growth.”