California Remains a Privacy Bellwether
Hello all, and happy Thursday!Read Now
August 10, 2023
Hello all, and happy Thursday!
Following our twin announcements made just a few weeks ago, we’ve got more exciting news to share: Osano has secured $25 million in Series B financing!
Led by Baird Capital, with participation from Jump Capital, LiveOak Venture Partners, NextCoast, TDF Ventures, and new investor First Ascent Ventures, this capital infusion will provide us with the resources we need to focus on our goal of becoming the leading data privacy platform powered by the best team in the industry. While competitors are frantically trying to keep the lights on and taking massive reductions in valuation, this financing represents a substantial step up in Osano’s valuation.
At Osano, we are committed to growing in a responsible, capital-efficient manner. Prior to the tightening of fiscal policy by the Federal Reserve, it was relatively easy to secure large amounts of venture capital funding at inflated valuations with little to no diligence by investors.
When market conditions changed in March of 2021, in response to interest rate increases and the expectation of a recessionary environment, suddenly those startups that raised too much capital too fast were forced to shutter their businesses, accept funding at fractional valuations, and/or lay off large swathes of their employees.
Osano took a different approach—a thoughtful, conservative, resilient approach to growth that’s enabled this most recent funding round. After all, our job at Osano is to be conservative and consider the consequences of all decisions on our customers, investors, employees, and society at large. While we watched from the sidelines, scratching our collective heads as other companies treated capital raising as a status symbol, Osano has always remained focused on building a company where our customers and our team are the stars of the show. As the CEO responsible for fundraising, it is my duty to check my ego at the door.
In addition to building great products and solving real problems for customers, we want to deliver an exceptional employee experience that encourages workplace innovation and celebrates a healthy work/life balance.
Our commitment to employee well-being factors significantly into the standout customer experiences we are known for providing. We know that if you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers.
We’re also taking care of our customers by supporting their compliance efforts. Rather than using this funding to branch out from the enterprise data privacy and compliance space, we’re leveraging it to double down on our mission to provide best-in-class service that supports our clients’ regulatory compliance—without overcomplicating the process.
Osano is dedicated to keeping our customers prepared for the challenges of the data privacy landscape. How? By helping organizations develop, implement, and manage robust privacy programs that empower them to do the right thing. Our product roadmap is steadily aligned with the industry’s evolving needs, and we’re always watching the regulatory landscape to proactively address new developments.
This Series B also provides our engineering and product teams with the resources needed to accelerate feature development for the best customer experience. Our customers can expect to see new products and significant continued product improvements. We strive to be industry innovators, and this new investment allows us to bolster our product development initiatives and continue to advance fresh ideas.
As we look to the future, we would like to thank all of Osano’s supporters—our customers, who remind us why our work is worthwhile; the 40,000+ weekly subscribers to the Privacy Insider; our investors, who see our mission’s value; and our thoughtful, authentic team of wonderful humans who are committed to doing the right thing for our customers and society.
Recently, Zoom updated its terms of service to include language stating that it may use “Service Generated Data based on Customer Content” for “machine learning or artificial intelligence (including for the purposes of training and tuning of algorithms and models).” The change raises concerns that ostensibly private Zoom calls, such as for private meetings, therapy sessions, telehealth visits, and the like, could be used for generative AI development. Zoom denies that user content would be used in such a manner, yet their terms of service permit it.
A judge recently ruled that Google will have to face a lawsuit from plaintiffs who accuse the Chrome browser of tracking users while they use incognito mode. According to the plaintiffs, Google still allows websites to collect personal information on users even if they turn on incognito mode.
UK intelligence agencies have been increasingly using AI technologies to analyze data sets, including bulk personal data sets (BPDs), which can often contain sensitive information about people not of interest to the security services. These intelligence agencies currently have to gain a judge’s approval to examine and retain BPDs, which the agencies have described as “disproportionately burdensome.”
The European Data Protection Board said it had reached a binding decision on TikTok over its processing of children’s data. The decision follows an investigation, opened in 2021, by the data protection commissioner in Ireland into TikTok’s level of compliance with the EU’s general data protection regulation and how it handles the data of children aged 13 to 17. As a result, TikTok faces a fine of potentially millions of pounds, to be announced within the next four weeks.
The Indian parliament recently approved the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, which regulates how tech companies process users’ data and gives the government greater control over those tech companies' data processing activities. Although the bill must still be approved by the President of India before it can be enacted into law, this final step is widely perceived to be a formality.
The DPF represents the third attempt by the EU and U.S. to establish an international data transfer framework. What does this mean for businesses? Will this framework succeed where others have failed? Find out more in this blog.
If you’re interested in working at Osano, check out our Careers page!
Arlo Gilbert is the CEO & co-founder of Osano. An Austin, Texas native, he has been building software companies for more than 25 years in categories including telecom, payments, procurement, and compliance. In 2005 Arlo invented voice commerce, he has testified before congress on technology issues, and is a frequent speaker on data privacy rights.