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Data analytics platform Opaque Systems raises $9.5 million seed from Intel Capital and Race Capital to unlock encrypted data with machine learning

Opaque Media Relations
5 min read

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

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE) — July 7, 2021: Opaque Systems, the secure data analytics platform company, today announced $9.5M in seed funding, led by Intel Capital with participation by Race Capital, The House Fund, and FactoryHQ.

Opaque helps organizations to analyze 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% 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 organizations and data scientists, and its technology has already been used by organizations like Scotiabank, IBM, Ant Group and Ericsson.

“Gartner predicts that by 2025, 50% of large organizations will adopt privacy-enhancing computation. The reason is that vast amounts of confidential data is locked down at many organizations 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.

“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 analyze 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 Databricks, and co-creator of Apache Spark.

“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 capitalize on this technology.

“Opaque’s combination of enclaves and cryptographic fortification enables it to be orders of magnitude faster than purely cryptographic approaches such as homomorphic encryption,” added Popa.

The team also invested heavily in its platform by adding new data analytics, data training, and aggregation capabilities. They are designed to help organizations 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 organizations to extract insights from sensitive data. At the same time, they can also seamlessly move data to the cloud without compromising security or privacy. Opaque bridges the gap between data security, cloud scale and economics, thus enabling inter-organizational & intra-organizational 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 honored 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 secure data analytics should be done. Their expertise in this area will change the way we utilize 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.

About Opaque Systems

Born out of UC Berkeley, Opaque Systems offers a service for secure data analytics and machine learning in the cloud. Opaque commercializes the open source MC2 Platform, which 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. MC2 has already seen adoption by several institutions, such as Ant Group, IBM, Scotiabank, and Ericsson.

About Intel Capital

Intel Capital invests in innovative startups, targeting artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, data center and cloud, 5G, next-generation compute and a wide range of other disruptive technologies. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested US$ 12.9 billion in more than 1,582 companies worldwide, and 692 portfolio companies have gone public or participated in a merger.

Intel Capital curates thousands of business development introductions each year between its portfolio companies and the Global 2000. For more information on what makes Intel Capital one of the world’s most powerful venture capital firms, visit www.intelcapital.com or follow @Intelcapital.

About Race Capital

Race Capital focuses on investing in exceptional founders who are building market-transforming companies in the data, enterprise, infrastructure, and fintech sectors.

Our team includes Alfred Chuang (founder of BEA Systems acquired by Oracle for $8.6 billion), Phil Chen (ex-Horizons Ventures), Chris McCann (ex-Greylock Partners), and Edith Yeung (ex-500 Startups). Our previous investments include Slack (NYSE: WORK), Agora.io (NASDAQ: API), Solana (valued at $15B), and many other great companies.


Rishabh Poddar
[email protected]

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