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12 January 2018

Anon AI identifies $463,000 investment

The UCL Technology Fund has provided capital to data anonymisation software producer Anon AI alongside the London Co-Investment Fund, AI Seed and Ascension Ventures.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

UK-based data anonymisation software developer Anon AI raised £340,000 ($463,000) in pre-seed capital yesterday from investors including the UCL Technology Fund, the £50m university venturing fund of University College London (UCL).

The publicly owned London Co-Investment Fund, AI Seed and Ascension Ventures also participated in the round.

Anon AI is working on software to automate the anonymisation of data to allow for secure data sharing.

The technology is expected to gain in significant relevance as the EU enforces its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, which severely restricts what companies can do with personally identifiable data and which carries large fines for non-compliant businesses.

Anon AI will use the money to enhance its prototype model and build a developer tool in partnership with UCL academics. In particular, Fintan Nagle, a machine learning scientist in UCL’s Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, will help Anon AI boost the neuro-linguistic programming capabilities of its platform.

The UCL Technology Fund was launched in January 2016 with £24.75m each from the EU-owned European Investment Fund and Touchstone Innovations, the commercialisation firm spun out of Imperial College London. Fund manager Albion Ventures provided £500,000.

The fund has now backed four businesses, most recently supporting a $110m series B round for Orchard Therapeutics, a genetics spinout of UCL, last month.

David Grimm, investment manager of the UCL Technology Fund, said: “Organisations are drowning in data and will face extensive compliance requirements once GDPR comes into effect …

“Anon AI addresses the dual challenge of maintaining the security of mass personal data and preserving innovation. Its experienced team and cutting-edge AI software give it an excellent opportunity to take an industry leading position in a market which stands at £30m+ in the financial services industry alone.”

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