Osano, an Austin, Texas-based startup developing a platform to help companies manage their data privacy, today announced that it raised $25 million in a Series B funding round led by Baird Capital with First Ascent Ventures, Jump Capital, LiveOak, NextCoast and TDF.
In an interview with TechCrunch, CEO Arlo Gilbert said that the cash will be put toward expanding Osano’s engineering, product development and sales departments, investing more in R&D and building a channel program.
“All of this will help serve Osano’s goals of expanding its product suite, continuing to service its customers’ needs and maintaining its high customer service satisfaction,” Gilbert told me via email. “With this funding, Osano will scale the team to deliver on the company’s mission and goal of simplifying privacy compliance for its customers as they continue to grow in their privacy program maturity — and becoming the leading data privacy platform.”
In light of high-profile hacks and data breaches, as well as regulations like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, privacy awareness and investment continues to grow among organizations. The risk’s certainly growing. Companies are now spending an average of $11.45 million per year in remediation costs related to insider data breaches, per Proofpoint. And among organizations who must comply with the GDPR, 38% reported a breach in 2019 — compared to just 16% in 2018.
It’s not surprising, then, that 40% of organizations plan to invest in additional security service spending, according to a 2020 Gartner survey. It’ll likely be well worth it. In its Data Privacy Benchmark study, Cisco found that more than 40% of organizations are seeing benefits at least twice that of their privacy spend.
Osano aims to be companies’ go-to solution for privacy management.
Gilbert co-founded Osano in 2018 with Scott Hertel, inspired by Gilbert’s observation that organizations were misunderstanding data privacy. From inception, Osano offered products dedicated to data privacy, but later grew into a platform and suite of products to build, automate and scale their privacy programs.
“Osano is a data privacy platform helping organizations build, manage and scale their privacy programs from the ground up,” Gilbert explained. “Osano’s global team of privacy experts continuously monitors the privacy landscape, from new laws to data protection authority rulings, to ensure the platform is always up-to-date.”
Osano can be integrated with any website, Android app or iOS app to add data controls. The platform, which uses AI to help firms locate and classify the storage of protected information among their various data stores, offers an array of privacy-centered data management tools, including tools for cookie consent (the act of giving users the choice of whether to allow data-collecting cookies) and subject rights (rights granted to users in relation to personal data or information processed about them).
Osano also provides a dedicated team of attorneys via its “regulatory guidance” feature. Customers get an updated database of key laws, the reasons why they matter and what their response should be in order to stay compliant.
In addition, organizations using Osano are granted access to a framework and guide designed to improve their privacy comprehension, as well as identify gaps and — with any luck — elevate their privacy programs.
“Unlike others in the industry, Osano has built its own products and is concentrated only on privacy,” Gilbert said. “Privacy regulations are complex and constantly evolving. Keeping pace with the latest regulatory developments can be a challenge and takes an immense amount of specialized expertise and effort — which Osano delivers.”
Gilbert claims that Osano, which has raised a total of $44.4 million in capital to date, has more than 40,000 users on the platform and is delivering over 1 billion cookie consent banners every month. He credits the startup’s laser focus on privacy with its success.
“In our market, we go head to head with competitors that commit to providing enterprise data privacy software solutions — such as DataGrail and Securiti,” Gilbert said. “While some in the space have built their platform offerings through acquisition or bled into other industries like security and environmental, social and governance, Osano has committed to data privacy; we don’t stray beyond our expertise. And we’re an industry-agnostic solution, serving many different industries, including, but not limited to, financial services, e-commerce, healthcare, media, retail and consumer-packaged goods.”
One thing’s for sure: Osano occupies a large and growing market. Markets and Markets estimates that the privacy management software segment will grow from $2.7 million in 2023 to $15.2 billion by 2028, an impressive climb within the span of just a few years. No doubt, newly enacted privacy laws — and increasing consumer awareness of those new laws — is at least partially to thank.