Announcing Our Investment In Portyr — A Finnish Startup Building a Future of Personal Data

We are excited to announce our fifth investment, this time into team Portyr and their vision of reaching the hard-to-reach: handling every piece of personal data — that is now stored a bit all over the place by many companies — in a way that actually makes sense.

The European Union’s upcoming General Data Portability Regulation (GDPR) is revolutionizing personal data rights and control, as it empowers individuals to request their personal data from any organization that stores it, regardless of whether the individual is a customer, employee or a sales lead.

This game-changing piece of EU legislation will require companies to fundamentally change how they process and use customer data. As the challenge is both legal and technical, there is a lot of uncertainty among organizations on how to approach compliance — which is exactly the puzzle that the diverse team of Portyr is ready to solve.

Tell me more about Portyr?

Portyr are a tight and interdisciplinary team of design, technology and legal experts focusing on developing fast, effective tools that solve

  1. Transparency
  2. Consent management and
  3. Portability

under GDPR. The lightning-fast-moving team is building an actually humane personal data management platform that helps companies connect with their customers, open up their customer data banks and manage the data relationship.

On a concrete level, Portyr’s platform allows businesses to publish and maintain their stored customer data in a unique, interactive profile, which is set to replace traditional legal texts with an intuitive interface. The startup aims to remove the fuzziness of the data compliance process by providing companies with a user-facing front-end through which to interact with customers, and by minimizing the amount of repetitive work in transferring the data.

What Made Us Invest?

This is becoming a trend; as with our previous cases, the investment in Portyr is definitely an investment in an exceptional team. The core team consists of an Australian CEO Sebastian Nemeth, a German PO Katharina Schilli, and a Finnish lawyer Otto Markkanen, whom we happened to meet when judging the pitching finals of an Aalto Ventures Program course in entrepreneurship at Aalto University.

The motivated, cross-competent team’s ability to approach problems from multiple different directions impressed us, and their openness for guidance and smart pivoting was not hurting either. In addition to the great team, we believe in the company’s strategy of primarily targeting SME’s that do not necessarily have the capabilities to implement the compliance in-house. We also share a vision of the GDPR offering not only challenges but opportunities to do things better when it comes to data. In this sense, while the topic might sound exceptionally dull, we believe the GDPR can actually be really revolutionary.

Timing is definitely on our side in this play, too — besides challenges and new business opportunities, the GDPR roll out in May 2018 makes for a thrilling speed race. Players in the race, including Portyr, are required to move faster and faster the closer the due date comes, and we bet the ride will be one of exciting and intense learning and building — and eventually, obviously, winning :)

We can’t wait to see what the upcoming months will look like for us and the co-investor Lifeline Ventures. The greatest news is that you also have a chance to be part of the race, as Portyr is now looking for:

1) new tech talent to join the team

2) pilot customers for their platform.

We warmly suggest you to go ahead and drop the team a line via!