Source: Microsoft

Dathena, a Singapore-based company that provides AI-based data protection and privacy solutions, announced it has raised a $12 million Series A. Part of the funding will be used to expand Dathena’s co-sell partnership with Microsoft in the United States, which is targeted to Azure Cloud and Microsoft 365 customers who need to comply with new data privacy regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The funding was led by Jungle Ventures, with participation from Caphorn and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, a government agency that supports entrepreneurs. Existing investors Cerracap Ventures and MS&AD Ventures also returned for this round. This brings Dathena’s total raised to $18 million.

Founded in 2016, Dathena says it currently has more than 200,000 users and enterprise clients. Its software scans and organizes data stored on-premise or in the cloud, identifies sensitive information, and then monitors access and potential security risks.

Dathena also automates compliance with data protection regulations around the world, like the European Union’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, which is useful for clients who have operations in different countries or are in highly-regulated industries like healthcare, finance or defense.

Dathena CEO and co-founder Christopher Muffat told TechCrunch that the new funding will also be used to grow the company’s R&D efforts to build a self-service and plug-and-play platform, and hire more sales, marketing and customer support staff for users in North America and Europe. The company recently opened its U.S. headquarters in New York City.

Muffat identified Dathena’s main competitors as DocAuthority, MinerEye and Exonar, which also organize and protect enterprise data. Dathena strives to differentiate by being data-source agnostic, so any ETL (extract, transform, load) tools can be plugged into its platform, allowing data sets from almost any source to be imported. It is also deeply integrated into Microsoft software, including Microsoft 365 E3 and E5, Azure Information Protection and Microsoft Cloud App Security.

Muffat added that Dathena is also simple to use, while its AI-based software makes data security tasks more time efficient and scalable.

“Most data privacy tools are made for IT folks and are too complex to navigate for other members of an organization, yet managing compliance with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA often falls under the purview of legal or other non-IT business functions,” he said.

As people continue working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Muffat says this creates new vulnerabilities, including access to corporate systems over mobile or home computers that their employers may not have full control of; less visibility over where company data flows, making it harder to protect; and workers potentially using unsecured Wi-Fi networks or accessing their email through web portals instead of desktop apps.

Remote employees may also use their Office 365 or Gmail credentials to access cloud apps, increasing the risk of breaches.

To address that, Dathena has been focusing on Microsoft customers and cloud deployment, and now provides managed services to operate the Dathena platform, helping clients get more use out of the product.

In a press statement, Jungle Ventures founding partner Amit Anand said, “Dathena’s global growth positions the tech leader to capitalize on the rapid evolution of the $120 billion data protection market. It’s a shining example of our investment in global tech companies emerging out of Asia and we’re excited to continue to support their rapid growth.”

Singapore-based data protection startup Dathena raises million Series A