The Israeli Startup, Mine, enabling consumers to reclaim their personal data and reduce personal data privacy risks, today launched its product to all U.S. consumers and announced a $9.5 million Series A round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund (their first investment in an Israeli startup), with participation from e.ventures, MassMutual Ventures, and existing investors Battery Ventures and Saban Ventures. The round, raised entirely remotely in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will allow Mine to build out new products enabling consumers worldwide to fully control how their personal data is used and allow businesses to automatically process “Right-To-Be-Forgotten” requests. Following a successful European launch earlier this year, Mine has facilitated more than one million data reclamation requests in 2020 alone.
Mine was founded, based on the insight that on the one hand, the ‘Internet without risks’ has yet to be invented and that information and data breaches are an established fact that will continue to plague online users for a long time to come; while on the other hand, users are eager to continue to enjoying everything that the Internet has to offer, even at the cost of exposing some of their personal data such as identification and credit details, etc. In order to bridge this tension between the need to share our personal data when using online services and the concern of our data being exposed through data breaches or hacking Mine decided it was time to offer users easy-to-use tools that would allow users to continue benefiting from the Internet, without changing their online behavior. Their solution allows consumers to discover what companies hold their personal data on an ongoing basis and gives them full control to decide where they want to keep their data and gives them the option of submitting a deletion request (The Right-To-Be-Forgotten) for services they no longer use. In this way, Mine’s solution focuses on providing full transparency and choice, and helps users to control the way in which their online information is used.
With the growth of social networks and personal data collection worldwide, privacy has become a concern for many, with 87% of Americans now viewing data privacy rights as a human right. Despite this concern, on average, 350 companies (450 companies among Israeli users) hold a given consumer’s personal data such as their identity and financial information. These digital traces pose significant identity theft risks for consumers and are abused daily by hackers and nefarious organizations, even though in about 80% of the cases, this data was given for a one-time interaction. Mine exists to empower consumers to discover and manage their data by giving the tools to request the removal of their personal data automatically from any company allowing transparency and choice online. The team at Mine poses a fair question: Why should we leave our personal data in places that do longer provide us with value? They believe that the best way to protect yourself from data breaches that occur daily, is by removing your data from places where you don’t need it, especially as you can always sign-up or purchase a service again.
With lawmakers enacting GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California, technologies and consumers have been unable to keep up with the intricacies and details of these complicated laws. Mine provides an easy-to-use platform, powered by AI, to allow the average consumer to manage their personal data across the internet without needing to change their online behavior.
“Data privacy is without a doubt a mainstream concern, but most people don’t know how to control who holds their personal data. We want to change this by making privacy regulations accessible and easy for everyone, so consumers can set their own terms and draw the line on what data they are willing to share” said Gal Ringel, Co-founder, and CEO of Mine. “By streamlining the “Right-To-Be-Forgotten” processes we are bridging the gap between consumers and companies which will shape a new future of data ownership.
To date, since the product was officially launched in Europe less than a year ago, more than 100,000 users have already used Mine in order to reduce their digital footprint by sending more than 1,300,000 data reclaim requests to over 150,000 businesses worldwide. These figures include over 15,000 “Epic Save” cases where people using Mine removed their personal information from commercial databases, a short time before those databases were breached by hackers, for example as happened with EasyJet. Mine found that the local services that Israelis have most frequently asked to remove their data from are : Yad2, Walla! Shops, Arkia, Pelephone, HOT, and the public sales website winwin.
Darian Shirazi, General partner at Gradient Ventures, which led the current financing round, said: “We’re very excited to partner with the team at Mine to give consumers visibility and choice over their personal online data. Mine allows the average consumer to access and control over their personal data, and as a result, allows companies to maintain a higher standard when it comes to responsible data collection and security. Many companies promise users they can trust their standards and Mine is the consumer check on that anticipated balance between custodians and providers of data.” Shirazi added that to date, the fund had not yet invested in Israeli entrepreneurs and they are happy to be making their first investment in the Israeli ecosystem, and which is an important investment for Internet users throughout the world.
“Data privacy and transparency are top priorities and concerns for consumers in Germany and the broader European Union,” said Christian Miele, Partner at e.ventures. “This is why we truly believe that the future of privacy is giving consumers more control over their personal data online. e.ventures is proud to partner with Mine to fuel data ownership to millions of people worldwide and make their digital life safer.”
“Data privacy is a growing concern for both consumers and businesses,” said Mark Goodman, Managing Director, MassMutual Ventures. “With its technical sophistication and ease of use, Mine is quickly becoming the leading solution in this space, and MassMutual Ventures is excited to join its world-class team. We look forward to providing Mine with guidance and access to MassMutual’s in-house expertise around data governance and protection.”
In addition to the Series A and launch, David Hoffman, Chief Privacy Officer at Intel, and a renowned global privacy guru joins Mine’s Advisory Board to strengthen the company’s strategy and position in the market.
Mine was founded in late 2018 by three experienced entrepreneurs from the cybersecurity and consumer space. Mine empowers people worldwide to become owners of their personal data and minimize online risks without changing their online behavior. Its AI-based product works as a smart data assistant that enables digital users to discover and manage their personal data online. Mine brings a new future of equal choice and control to the internet by bridging the gap between people and companies and making privacy regulations accessible to everyone. To learn more, go to saymine.com