SA data-sharing startup Omnisient raises pre-Series A funding round

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South African secure data-sharing startup Omnisient has raised an undisclosed amount of pre-Series A funding to help it serve a rapidly growing market.

A Cape Town-based Privacy-by-Design startup, Omnisient specialises in secure data-sharing for businesses. The startup’s intersect.ai platform enables businesses to unlock the benefits of data collaboration while protecting customers’ data privacy and intellectual property. 

Since launch, the platform has gained major traction amongst South African businesses, including leading banks, insurers and retailers, and Omnisient is now plotting growth after landing pre-Series A funding from Nedbank CIB, Investec and Compass Venture Capital. 

With South Africa’s information regulator pushing for the remaining provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) to be finalised and to come into effect by April 1 this year, after which companies will have 12 months to get their systems and processes in place to comply with the Act, there is an opportunity for platforms like Omnisient’s to play a role here.

“With rigorous new data privacy regulations coming into effect, businesses across sectors have to put secure data sharing systems and infrastructure in place,” said Jon Jacobson, chief executive and technology officer at Omnisient. “Savvy business leaders are quickly recognising the imperative to act now, and are looking to integrate world-class technology that simultaneously drives growth through data monetisation.”

Janade Du Plessis, head of alternative investments and venture capital at Nedbank, said Nedbank CIB was at the forefront of investing in disruptive technologies that make a meaningful difference to people’s lives, including data privacy initiatives.

“Our investment in Omnisient will support the company’s scaling of their team to capitalise on their first-mover-advantage in Africa. We are confident that the intersect.ai platform will be beneficial to our corporate clients that are looking to monetise their data or improve unique client value propositions, in a safe and compliant way,” he said.

Investec’s mandate for Emerging Companies is to identify and invest in innovative, early-stage companies that demonstrate high-growth potential.

“Our strategy is to invest in and enable the growth of established, reputable entrepreneurs,” said Akash Maharaj, of Investec Emerging Companies, an equity mandate, which forms part of Investec Private Capital

“Our investment in Omnisient is informed by the strength of the team and the innovation we believe they will bring to the tech ecosystem and the increasingly important field of data protection and privacy. More importantly, our partnership seeks to leverage Investec Private Capital’s expertise and experience to empower Omnisient’s team in unlocking the potential of their unique vision.”

Bastien Maucet, partner at Compass Venture Capital, said ensuring that intersect.ai was compliant with POPIA and GDPR was a major concern to Compass as a Mauritius-based investor.

“Enforcing the highest security and privacy standards on the platform is paramount to driving its adoption amongst global companies operating from Mauritius,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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