Digital privacy broadly refers to the use of internet and connected services without compromising personally identifiable and sensitive data. The proliferation of internet-based services in our daily lives creates a constant flow of sensitive information from the user to these services, which has inspired regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to emerge to protect consumer privacy.
Technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) allow companies to automate compliance-related tasks such as discovering and classifying personal information at a large scale and fulfilling data subject rights requests.
The rise of privacy regulations, spearheaded by the GDPR, is driving demand in this space, combined with the increasing cost of a data breach, and consumers becoming more aware of the risks associated with sharing their personal data with third parties. Failure to comply with privacy regulations can result in penalties that could reach millions as evidenced by the recent fines slapped to tech giants such as Amazon and Facebook.
Covid-driven digital transformation has increased demand for solutions that enable remote collaboration and secure access to sensitive data all while remaining compliant with relevant regulations.
Very Good Security doubled its customer base and increased the volume of data it handled by tenfold.
Tonic saw its revenue increase by 600% in 2020 with Harbr also reporting a rapid increase in demand.
Online retail sales grew by over 32% during the first nine months of 2020, resulting in higher volumes of user data passed on to online retailers.
Authorities indicate that existing regulations (such as the GDPR and CCPA) will continue uninterrupted. In an unexpected move, Brazil reversed its decision to postpone implementation of its privacy regulations.
Privacy concerns have deterred mass adoption of contact tracing technology, which have allowed some governments to track and curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The digital privacy space includes companies which cater to both enterprises and end consumers. Most of the companies offering solutions to enterprises are in the business of providing solutions to comply with regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA, with several other companies offering solutions to collaborate on, store, and carry out data processing on sensitive information without compromising privacy.
The industry has seen a hike in the number of new startups, with close to 60% of the startups founded after 2016 and more than two-thirds currently in the early/growth stage. This increase is driven by the emergence of the GDPR and other regulations that have followed. The disruptors offer a wide range of patented and AI-based solutions to support organizations across various areas of privacy compliance and have seen their revenues grow significantly over the last three years. In September 2020, Inc. magazine named OneTrust the fastest growing company in the US, recording revenue growth of more than 48,000% from 2016 to 2019 and reaching USD 70 million revenue in 2019. OneTrust was also the highest valued disruptor, with its last funding round in April 2021 placing a value of USD 5.3 billion on the company.
The incumbents largely include IT consulting giants that have ventured into this space through a mix of in-house development and acquisitions.
The disruptors for compliance solutions largely include companies that were founded after 2016, in line with the emergence of the GDPR and other privacy regulations. These companies are pure-play privacy solution providers, unlike most of the incumbents, and provide a solution/platform that leverages technologies such as AI and machine learning algorithms to automate tasks related to privacy compliance.
Disruptors are also offering privacy-preserving solutions for companies to manage, access, share, and process sensitive data without compromising privacy. For enterprises that do not want to maintain their own compliant storage infrastructure, disruptors are also offering data storage solutions that come equipped with enough protection to comply with privacy regulations and other data residency requirements.
Lastly, the disruptors in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space provide applications that end-users can sign up and use to enhance their privacy online. Some companies in this section already provide a similar product for enterprises. The single-user version for consumers is provided for free or a nominal charge.
OneTrust provides compliance solutions that leverage AI tools and automation across all areas of privacy compliance. OneTrust Athena, the company’s AI-powered solution, provides automation in the areas of data discovery, data subject rights management, consent management (with a user-facing preference center for greater control), data protection impact assessments, third-party risk management, incident response reporting, and monitoring. The company also provides regulatory research software that companies can use to train staff and even benchmark their own privacy programs. The company’s Government Records Request Automation solution helps government organizations intake requests, automate data discovery and redaction, and provide a secure two-way communication portal that demonstrates compliance with FOIA, PRR, and the Privacy Act.
OneTrust has strengthened its position in the digital privacy space through several acquisitions in recent years. In March 2021, OneTrust acquired DocuVision, an AI-powered data redaction platform to bolster its data subject rights capabilities through automatic redaction of non-relevant sensitive information. During the same month, OneTrust acquired Convercent to enhance its platform through advanced ethics and compliance capabilities, and helpline and disclosure management. OneTrust acquired the security assurance and certification platform Tugboat Logic in September 2021, to automate its InfoSec assurance and certification processes. Other notable acquisitions include Privacy Core e-learning, DataGuidance, and Integris Software.
Funding and financials
In September 2020, OneTrust was named the fastest-growing privately held company in America, with revenue growth of more than 48,000% over three years. In addition to the US, OneTrust also operates in the UK, France, Germany, India, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Australia.
The company employed 3,000 people, served more than 12,000 customers (including 75% of the Fortune Global 500 companies), and its solutions are backed by 200 patents, as of January 2022. In June 2022, OneTrust laid off 950 employees (~25% of its global workforce) across its departments in Atlanta (US), Bengaluru (India), and London (UK), due to worsening global financial crisis and to balance between growth and profitability.
In December 2020, OneTrust raised USD 300 million in Series C funding at a valuation of USD 5.1 billion, almost doubling in value from its previous round in February 2020. The investment was led by TCV, with participation from OneTrust's existing investors, Insight Partners and Coatue. This preemptive funding round was expected to be spent on research and development as well as expanding its sales, marketing, and engineering teams worldwide. In April 2021, the Series C round was extended by another USD 210 million in Series C1 funding from SoftBank Vision Fund and Franklin Templeton, bringing its valuation to USD 5.3 billion. The company expected to use SoftBank’s backing to cement a geographical position in Japan.
Compliance and privacy management infrastructure:
Privacy-preserving data processing:
The incumbents in this space include established companies such as TrustArc and Ensighten which were already operating in the digital privacy space, and companies such as Accenture, IBM, and other technology consulting giants that have expanded offerings to provide compliance related services either internally or through acquisition. Each incumbent here provides their own variant of a platform/solution for organizations to achieve compliance with privacy regulations. Incumbents have working partnerships with other companies (including disruptors) in the space.
No investor data is available