DataGuard raises €61 million Series B from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital
September 22, 2022
22. September 2022
DataGuard, Europe’s leading data privacy, information security and compliance platform for small and mid-sized enterprises (SME) and corporates, has raised a €61 million Series B round led by San Francisco-based Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and existing investor One Peak. Further investors in the round include strategic angel investors such as SaaS unicorn founders Bastian Nominacher (co-founder / co-CEO of Celonis), Hanno Renner (co-founder / CEO of Personio), and Carsten Thoma (co-founder of Hybris), as well as Kreos Capital.
Launched in 2018 by Thomas Regier and Kivanc Semen, DataGuard’s SaaS platform now helps over 3,000 organisations implement privacy, information security (“infosec”), and compliance. Customers use DataGuard’s solution to achieve compliance with national and international regulation and to obtain industry-standard certifications (including GDPR, CCPA, ISO 27001, TISAX, SOC 2, and many more). The Company’s customer base includes thousands of SMEs – many of them fast-growing scale-ups such as Taxdoo, Flipdish, and Xentral, as well as numerous corporate customers such as ABB, Canon, SUSE and Unicef.
Digital transformation and the rise of cloud computing have produced vast amounts of data. Meanwhile, the EU has spearheaded a global push for more robust data protection and enforcement, issuing fines in the billions. Large tech companies in particular have come under scrutiny for their mismanagement of personal data. As cyber attacks escalate in the wake of global conflict, many businesses and governments fall victim to hacks and data breaches. Large enterprises are asking their suppliers to demonstrate regulatory compliance and adherence to security standards.
DataGuard was founded to help SME and corporates navigate this reality. Thomas Regier, co-founder and co-CEO at DataGuard, says: “We exist to help organisations build trust. And we’re delighted to be the trusted partner to over 3,000 customers operating all over the globe. With millions of businesses subject to ever-changing legislation and technology, we believe that this is just the beginning. The capital we raised will be used to help many more organisations achieve their business goals through stronger compliance and security.”
DataGuard’s all-in-one approach to compliance and security
By combining powerful full-stack technology with human expertise, DataGuard offers the only data governance solution a company should ever need. An initial data discovery audit identifies gaps and risk areas. Companies then receive detailed process documentation and dashboards with action items to achieve compliance with regulation such as GDPR or CCPA and obtain security certifications such as ISO27001, TISAX or SOC 2. DataGuard’s platform serves as a single source of truth and automates compliance workflows such as data subject requests, consent and preference management, handling data breaches and external audits. Additionally, Dataguard Academy, an online training platform, offers regular compliance and security training courses for customers’ staff.
A team of experts provides customers with on-demand and industry-specific support. That removes the need for businesses to spend money bringing in costly consultants or hiring in-house specialists. It is this unique approach, underpinned by proprietary technology, that has seen DataGuard become a leading end-to-end provider for more than 3,000 businesses and the 40 million people that sit behind the data they process. DataGuard customer Duncan Waugh, Head of IT for First Group, says: “DataGuard’s platform is great and has helped us reduce risks and boost our GDPR compliance, saving us countless hours of tedious manual work. But using their privacy and consent product has also driven up revenues and marketing Return on Investment. We have recently expanded into their infosec product, too, as being ISO 27001 certified is crucial for us to build trust with customers and partners.”
Kivanc Semen, co-founder and co-CEO at DataGuard, said: “Organisations of all sizes are handling vast amounts of data across countless processes. Privacy, infosec and compliance are inextricably linked – and customers do not want several point solutions but rather a single vendor that offers them a fully integrated experience. This fundraise will turbocharge the further development of our solution, bringing more workflow automations, integrations and selected product partner offerings (such as penetration testing) to the DataGuard platform.”
Series B building on strong growth and capital efficiency
DataGuard has seen its customer base triple over the past two years and, as it has moved up market to larger customers, recorded an 7x annual recurring revenue (ARR) increase in its Mid-market/Corporate segment. Growth is accelerating and the business has added 8x as much ARR over the last six months as over the same period in 2020. The company has grown the team to almost 250 employees to keep up with the demand from customers. The remote-friendly business has team members based in 20 countries (with offices in Munich, Berlin, London and Vienna) and will keep hiring across all functions.
For the first two years, DataGuard was bootstrapped without institutional capital. Following the Series A investment in 2020, the company has been investing in high and sustainable growth, becoming multi product, acquiring a UK-based consent and preference management software business, and launching in new geographies. This Series B takes the total amount raised over the last two and a half years to €80 million. The funding will be used to further accelerate its product development and its expansion across Europe and the US.
“Data privacy, information security and compliance are areas of increasing focus for regulators, enterprises and consumers globally at a time when the quantity of sensitive data that businesses must process in order to operate is growing exponentially,” said Lincoln Isetta, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. “It is clear from our diligence that DataGuard’s unique, all-in-one platform allows customers to move beyond simple ‘check-the-box’ compliance, information security and data privacy practices and instead manage data as a competitive differentiator. We are thrilled to be joining the DataGuard team and look forward to helping them build on their success.”
David Klein, Managing Partner at One Peak, and Christoph Mayer, Partner, added: “DataGuard has seen strong growth since our initial investment which speaks to the drive and execution capabilities of the founders and their leadership team. DataGuard has helped create a new category that is both extremely sizeable and business critical. Over the next decade, companies will invest tens of billions of dollars into compliance and security to become and remain trusted partners. We were the first institutional investor in DataGuard back in 2020, and we are thrilled to be doubling down on our investment to support the Company in further accelerating its growth trajectory and expanding its geographical reach.”
DataGuard is a Software-as-a-Service company focused on privacy, information security, and compliance. We are the trusted partner to over 3,000 mid-sized enterprises (SME) and corporates operating in over 50 countries. Customers use our platform to comply with regulation (e.g., GDPR, CCPA, EU Whistleblower Directive) and obtain information security certifications (e.g., ISO 27001, TISAX, SOC 2). Our end-to-end solution drastically reduces the time and money companies spend to keep their personal data protected, their information and assets secure, and their business processes compliant. This enables them to build trust, mitigate risks, prevent breaches, and achieve their business goals. We have almost 250 team members globally with offices in Munich, Berlin, London, and Vienna.
Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital is the growth-focused private investment platform within Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital targets growth equity and credit investments within technology, healthcare, consumer, digital media and other high-growth sectors. For over three decades, Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital has successfully pursued growth investment opportunities and has completed investments in over 200 companies, leveraging the global brand and network of Morgan Stanley.
About One Peak
One Peak is a leading growth equity firm investing in technology companies in the scale-up phase. One Peak provides growth capital, operating expertise and access to its extensive network to exceptional entrepreneurs, with a view to help transform innovative and rapidly growing businesses into lasting, category-defining leaders. In addition to DataGuard, One Peak’s investments include Neo4j, DocPlanner, Spryker Systems, PandaDoc, Cymulate, Keepit, Paysend, Ardoq, Quentic, HighQ, Coople, Brightflag and many more.