86% of business leaders agree that there is a growing concern about privacy and data usage. In response, governments are introducing new regulations to address and alleviate these concerns. However, these directives can serve as an impediment and undermine the ways in which we use technology to drive progress and innovation. AI is at the center of this conundrum as it requires vast amounts of data to improve accuracy and collecting suitable data to develop machine learning models or even test new data technologies while remaining compliant with legal requirements is challenging. Hazy is a synthetic data platform that uses data generated by a computer rather than real-world records on demand and at scale. Driven by algorithms working on source data, Hazy is able to parse out statistical properties, correlations, and data structures so that its platform can generate data that is semantically identical to the sample data without compromising customer privacy. The company works with global brands like BMW, Wells Fargo, PWC, Accenture, and Nationwide to ensure they are able to harness their data, making it accessible, usable, and secure.
London TechWatch caught up with Hazy CEO and Cofounder Harry Keen to learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, which brings the company’s total funding to $14.8M, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Hazy’s round was led by Conviction VC and was joined by existing VC investors including UCL Technology Fund and M12 (Microsoft). The round also includes several strategic investors including Wells Fargo, Nationwide Building Society, ACT Venture Partners, Terra VC, and Neva SGR, the Intesa Sanpaolo bank venture capital company
Tell us about your product or service.
Hazy is the leading synthetic data company, re-engineering data to be faster and safer to use. With growing privacy demands and regulation, most enterprise data is unusable. Hazy enables organisations to generate artificial data retaining the statistical properties of real data, unlocking data for enhanced propositions while protecting customer privacy.
What inspired the start of Hazy?
Whilst working at a digital manufacturing startup in 2017, our cofounders saw how difficult it was for organisations to share and extract value from data whilst respecting the privacy of the individuals and regulatory constraints. Agreeing that there should be a solution to this data privacy issue, Hazy was founded.
How is it different?
Hazy has been developed for tier 1 enterprises, with enterprise integrations, on-prem or cloud deployments, and built-in privacy guarantees, to empower your organisation with usable data and drive business value.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
Synthetic data is sector-agnostic but we currently target regulated enterprise firms across Financial Services, Healthcare, Utilities, Telecommunications, Transportation (e.g. airlines), Public Administration and Defence, Retail, and Market Research.
Our Target regions are initially the UK, Europe, and North America as these are accessible and have the most advanced data privacy regulations.
For companies within these regions and industries, weighted by propensity to spend on IT, the target addressable market is $12.6B
What’s your business model?
Licensed annual software, scaled by usage
How are you preparing for a potential economic slowdown?
Hazy has a strong existing enterprise customer base. The challenge for the synthetic data category is to prove that the product can be scaled enterprise-wide. At Hazy, we’re focusing on solving that challenge with our tier 1 customers.
What was the funding process like?
In amongst the tech valuations slow down it definitely made the funding process harder than perhaps it would’ve been a year earlier. But being in the Generative AI space, which is a hot trend at the moment that is attracting a lot of investment, we were fortunate to avoid some of the impact of the slowdown.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
- Proving that Hazy has a product poised for scale
- There’s absolutely no challenge with explaining the value, potential, and size of the opportunity of synthetic data
- More of the challenge was convincing investors that we are the ones that are going to win it
What factors about your business led your investors to write the cheque?
Enterprise focus and specialism have proven to investors that we can scale in complex, enterprise use cases and therefore are the team that is most likely to win this category.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Scaling synthetic data with our customers through product development will unlock more automation, self-service, and scale as well as unleash on-demand synthetic data across the business.
What advice can you offer companies in London that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Remain capital efficient, really focus on the milestones that matter, and eliminate any distractions that deviate from the strategy.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Hazy will continue to grow existing customers, win new business and expand internationally. We expect to hit critical milestones to raise a Series B in early 2024.
What’s your favorite coffee shop or location to hold a meeting?
The Hoxton Holborn.