Amsterdam-based Rita Personal Data has raised €1 million in a pre-seed funding round. The company offers individuals the ability to track their data, and if so desired, request companies remove this data. The €1 million will be used to further roll out the company’s blockchain-based technology, up the user numbers, and expand the headcount.
If you’re anything like me, you tend to click past those consent banners faster than you can press the ‘skip ad’ button. Advertisers know this, in fact, they bank on it. Quite literally.
According to Rita, the average European internet user has shared their data with 197 companies, with most not knowing which enterprises have their data and which don’t, and more so, just exactly what information is being collected.
While GDPR was meant to fix this conundrum, the process of locating, requesting removal, confirming, etc., etc., etc., can be quite the exercise in itself, if not altogether futile.
This is where Rita steps in. Using a blockchain-based infrastructure, the app helps users visualise which companies are using their data, how they’re being targeting, which ads they’ve clicked on, and perhaps most eyeopening, the fiscal value attached to their data.
“Consumer data is being spread across the internet while they are left in the dark. Our app allows anyone to understand and take ownership of their data,” commented Rita CEO and co-founder John Arts. “Awareness around the use of personal data is on the rise, and people know they are being misled. Our aim is to bring transparency to the industry and put power in the hands of the individual.”
Providing users with a clear picture of where their data is being used, and the option to request companies to stop using it, is just phase one for Rita. Arts explained that the grand vision for Rita is to establish a trusted and ethical data marketplace, where users can not only view and control their data, but also reap the financial benefits of it.
Rita’s €1 million pre-seed funding round was led by Pitchdrive VC and saw participation from angel investors including Felix Van de Maele (Co-founder of Collibra) Hristo Borisov (Co-founder of Payhawk), and a number of undisclosed angel investors.
“The Rita Team are positioning themselves to be category leaders in the fast-changing consumer privacy landscape. Their strong mission and great initial traction make me confident about Rita’s future,” added Van De Maele.