Opaque Raises $9.5M For Encrypted Data Analytics


Opaque provides solutions that make it easier for enterprises to analyze confidential data through secure means, unlocking a $3 trillion market.

Opaque, the secure data analytics platform company, announced $9.5 million in seed funding, led by Intel Capital with participation by Race Capital, The House Fund, and FactoryHQ.

Opaque helps organisations to analyse encrypted data in the cloud using popular tools like Apache Spark, the open-source analytics engine while ensuring that their data is not exposed to the cloud provider. This funding will expand Opaque’s contribution to the open-source and data security community.

A majority of data sits in private hands – by 2025, it is predicted that 80 per cent of data worldwide will reside in enterprises and the global data economy is pegged at $3 trillion. Opaque is rapidly driving the adoption of secure data analytics to Fortune 500 organisations and data scientists, and its technology has already been used by organisations like Scotiabank, IBM, Ant Group and Ericsson.

“Gartner predicts that by 2025, 50 per cent of large organisations will adopt privacy-enhancing computation. The reason is that vast amounts of confidential data are locked down at many organisations due to privacy concerns, and with it, tremendous value is lost,” said Raluca Ada Popa, co-founder of Opaque Systems.

“Our vision is to set free the value of this data by providing privacy-enhancing analytics and machine learning on confidential data regardless of where it is coming from. Opaque will have a profound impact on society — banks can collaborate to fight money laundering or human trafficking, hospitals can collaborate towards better disease diagnosis and treatments, all while keeping their confidential data not visible to each other,” added Popa.

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“We’re very excited about Opaque’s solution, and how easily it integrates with popular data and machine learning libraries like Apache Spark and XGBoost. I have seen many situations where users cannot share or analyse data because of privacy concerns, yet they could greatly benefit from data sharing. Opaque will accelerate the move of sensitive workloads to the cloud, and help achieve compliance to the new and stricter privacy regulations,” said Ion Stoica, co-founder of Opaque and co-creator of Apache Spark and co-founder of Databricks.

“We’ve had a very successful collaboration with the Opaque team. By enabling secure data sharing between multiple banks, Opaque’s technology has the potential to tackle several challenges, including credit risk assessment and detecting financial crime,” said Benyu Zhang, Chief Scientist, Secure Collaborative Intelligence (SCI) Lab, Ant Group.

Opaque Systems leverages a novel combination of two key technologies layered on top of state-of-the-art cloud security—secure hardware enclaves and cryptographic fortification. This combination ensures that the overall computation is secure, fast, and scalable. Major cloud providers such as Azure, AWS, and GCP have recently started to offer secure enclave capabilities, well-positioning Opaque to capitalise on this technology.

The team also invested heavily in its platform by adding new data analytics, data training and aggregation capabilities designed to help organisations fully leverage data on the cloud while protecting the most sensitive data set like Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data.

“Enterprises struggle to find value in data across silos due to confidentiality and other concerns. Confidential computing unlocks the full potential of data by allowing organisations to extract insights from sensitive data while also seamlessly moving data to the cloud without compromising security or privacy. Opaque bridges the gap between data security and cloud-scale and economics, thus enabling inter-organisational & intra-organisational collaboration,” said Mark Rostick, vice president and senior managing director, Intel Capital. “Intel has collaborated with the Opaque team since its inception at the RISELab and is excited to see the level of enterprise collaboration it enables. We in Intel Capital are honoured to continue the partnership and help accelerate enterprise adoption.”

“Using secure analytics and machine learning on encrypted data will open up huge opportunities and unlock a market worth trillions of dollars. I believe Ion, Raluca, Rishabh, and the Opaque team will redefine how to secure data analytics should be done. Their expertise in this area will change the way we utilise data in the future and we’re excited to partner with the exceptional Opaque team in driving this incredible platform,” said Alfred Chuang, General Partner at Race Capital.