Belgian startup Datavillage has raised €1 million to put consumers back in control of their data, while getting companies the data they need to sell more effectively. The funding, a mix of equity and grants, will help the company refine its platform and grow the team. So how does the platform protect consumer privacy but also divulge consumer behaviour and match it with products? Through transparency, consent, and a 'digital twin' of the user. Co-founder Frédéric Lebaeu explains: “We do this by creating a digital twin of each consumer. This twin is stored in a personal data store (PDS) that is managed by the consumer himself. Consumers can give companies access to their digital twins in order to offer personalized services - from content preferences to customized job offers, work-out schemes and so on – but the consumer always holds the key to the vault and stays in control of his or her own data.” With a user-centric approach like Datavillage, organisations don’t need to spend as much time and money trying to comply with GDPR and other privacy policies. The Brussels-based startup says the approach helps local and regional players, too, allowing them to band together in so-called ‘user-centric data ecosystems’. These companies can combine their services in order to stay competitive compared to internet giants.
A former IT innovation manager in the banking sector, Lebeau and entrepreneur Quentin Felice founded the company together in 2019.
Photo by Jérémy Monin: Frédéric Lebeau and Quentin Felice