Nov 30, 2021
6 min read

We raised a $6.5M seed round, including from 11 unicorn founders, to fight privacy incidents

Soveren raised a seed round to help businesses detect and resolve privacy incidents and stay compliant with GDPR and other regulations.

TL;DR

  • 10 million companies globally are at risk of violating GDPR and other regulatory obligations because of their failure to detect and resolve privacy incidents and risks 
  • Soveren’s technology helps Engineering and Security teams implement continuous and automated privacy incident detection and remediation
  • 11 unicorn founders, as well as Sir Richard Branson’s family and the Chairman CEO of Palo Alto Networks backed Soveren in a $6.5M seed round, led by firstminute capital

We are well funded to deliver on our ambitious vision

All of us at Soveren are super thrilled to announce the round and move out of stealth. We’ve got some of the world’s most desirable investors backing us:

  • 11 unicorn founders, including SaaS and security gurus like Ross Mason of MuleSoft, Oli Pomel of Datadog, and Guy Podjarny of Snyk 
  • Global executives like Nikesh Arora, Chairman CEO of Palo Alto Networks, and Brendon Lynch, former Chief Privacy Officer at Microsoft
  • Sir Richard Branson’s family
  • London-based firstminute capital, who led the round, and global VC Northzone
  • Plus other amazing founders, angels, and VC investors


Soveren is helping high-growth startups and medium businesses replace manual, time-consuming data privacy measures with automated, continuous personal data monitoring and control, at a fraction of the complexity and cost.
Nikesh Arora
Chairman CEO of Palo Alto Networks and former CBO of Google

From my experience working with MuleSoft customers, I saw a clear and pressing need to solve the data usage and risk problem of sprawling datasets, not knowing what was where and how data got used. Soveren is taking a unique approach to this. It's built from the ground up to listen, learn, and report on data inflight without having to access existing systems or personal data.
Ross Mason
Founder of MuleSoft and Dig Ventures


We believe our investors are so excited about Soveren because we are tackling one of the biggest challenges of this decade: shifting privacy from statements on paper to continuous, automated privacy as an engineering discipline.

Security and legal measures are not enough to protect data

Privacy compliance is now a requirement for everyone, everywhere. Today, 10M businesses globally are at risk of violating GDPR, CCPA, and other regulatory obligations.

This is because there is a huge privacy void between the legal measures and security software which most businesses rely on when it comes to personal data. There are two reasons for that:

  • Legal measures alone can’t guarantee compliance — even the best privacy policy is just a piece of paper that doesn’t protect personal data from being exposed
  • Security software (like NGFW or DLP) successfully addresses security threats, but has a limited impact on addressing privacy challenges because — unlike other confidential data that can be easily isolated and sealed — personal data is actually meant to be accessed, used, and shared in-day-to-day business operations

This gives rise to privacy incidents that can result in unacceptable brand and financial damage, as well as regulatory fines, with GDPR fines averaging $1.8M.

Such privacy incidents today fall between the cracks of the existing security and legal measures, and lead to compliance violations and personal data risks. 


Frankly, privacy is no longer a question of just GDPR or CCPA compliance. Privacy incidents damage your brand, growth, and ability to attract capital. With Soveren, it just got easier to protect yourself from privacy incidents and risks.
Alex Bouaziz
Co-Founder & CEO at Deel


Let me give you just a couple of practical examples what a privacy incident is:

  • Not properly classifying and hence not handling personal data correctly
  • Storing sensitive data in systems which weren’t designed to keep it safe
  • A single data consumer starting to receive significant volume of personal data
  • Not detecting access to personal data by a valid third-party via an API
  • Writing personal data into persistent (server) logs


These privacy incidents and others are fully preventable with Soveren.

Privacy is being embraced by engineering and security teams

These insights are deeply rooted in our first hand experience with the problem as entrepreneurs when we built our previous business in e-commerce, now with $1B+ in revenue. We experienced how personal data protection and compliance today is manual and takes more money, more time, and more effort than it should. 

This is what inspired us to start Soveren with a strong belief that privacy has to be embraced by engineering because legal measures are totally insufficient to prevent privacy incidents. In fact, we believe that privacy is the new security and demands similar continuous and automated detection and remediation practices to replace manual, ad-hoc processes. 

We are already witnessing that engineering and security teams in many companies are joining forces with privacy professionals. Privacy engineers are emerging within big tech. In the very near future, privacy engineers will be common across the tech space.

Our vision is to facilitate this shift from privacy on paper to privacy as an engineering discipline. 

I have always believed that developers will eventually assume responsibility for Privacy within organizations. Soveren provides them with the monitoring and control tools to get this job done.
Guy Podjarny
Founder of Snyk


Soveren's privacy incident detection and remediation technology

To sum it up, the privacy void is wide open. Security and legal measures are not sufficient. The consequences of privacy incidents can ruin a company's finances and reputation. And there is a significant need for purpose-built privacy tools in order to implement continuous and automated privacy incident detection and remediation.

This is precisely where Soveren steps in to help. 

We are pioneering real-time protection of personal data used in day-to-day business operations. This differentiates us from the many tools that can de-identify analytical data or protect sensitive data like credit card numbers, which can be easily stored in a vault or outsourced to a third-party. 

Soveren’s technology makes it easy to implement continuous privacy incident detection and remediation. And here’s how:

  1. Soveren analyzes real-time data flows inside your infrastructure to discover personal data used in day-to-day business operations
  1. Soveren detects privacy incidents and risks, and provides actionable intelligence to resolve them
  1. Engineering and security teams can now spend less time addressing privacy gaps to stay compliant with GDPR, CCPA, and other regulatory obligations


In short, we provide actionable intelligence into personal data, detect privacy incidents, and suggest effective control measures. The result is a seamless, automated, continuous compliance at a fraction of the complexity and cost.

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The spread of personal data across a company’s applications, services, and APIs has become near impossible to track. Soveren's technological edge results in the ability to easily discover personal data, identify privacy risks, and suggest effective control measures.
Sergey Barysiuk
Founder & CTO of PandaDoc

The road ahead

People who believe that a shiny privacy policy is sufficient to protect personal data today will be disappointed tomorrow. 

Besides the prohibitive risk of regulatory fines, GDPR has unleashed a tsunami of requirements that customers and investors alike now expect businesses to comply with. Privacy standards akin to SOC-2 and ISO will soon become prerequisites to do business. Like in the case of security, they will mandate active controls to be put in place with respect to privacy.

Our mission is to help businesses protect personal data and stay compliant with existing and upcoming requirements by empowering engineering and security teams with automated detection and remediation solutions. 

We are grateful to our investors, lighthouse customers, and advisors for their support. And we invite more customers and team members to join us on this exciting journey to making privacy what it should be.

Stay tuned :) 

Author
Peter
Peter is Founder and Co-CEO at Soveren. He previously founded a e-commerce company, now with $1B+ in revenue. A former Goldman Sachs banker turned entrepreneur, he is a Harvard Business School graduate and holds a bachelor degree in Applied Mathematics from the Moscow State University.

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