Berlin-based deep tech startup Apheris AI has raised €2.5M in a seed funding round held in August 2020, led by LocalGlobe along with Dig Ventures, the family office of MuleSoft Founder, Ross Mason, Patrick Pichette (former CFO of Google and current board chairman for Twitter). Other investors included another.vc, System.One, and angel investors Charles Songhurst, Torsten Reil (NaturalMotion), and Ian Hogarth (Songkick).
Fresh funds obtained will be used to grow the startup, recruit top-notch talent in engineering, R&D data scientists and customer success, and look into new industry use cases.
Robin Rohm and Michael Hoh founded the startup in 2019. It offers secure and private data analytics and collaboration with other companies. Many times important data is sealed up in silos, and remains unusable or is not shared due to confidentiality, agreement, legal or security concerns. Due to the many intricacies in sharing data, companies are often restricted from working with their own narrow datasets, preventing valuable understandings and new solutions.
Co-founder Michael initially developed software setups for distributed data during his PhD at Forschungszentrum Julich and his stint at BCG. CEO Robin has a background in algebraic theories for data linkage and data privacy and has himself experienced the difficulty of integrating sensitive personal healthcare data firsthand in one of his previous start-ups.
Apheris AI has lately shared its proficiency and technology in privacy protection to support the COVID-19 response by creating and publishing a code library with OpenMined, the prime community for privacy-preserving open-source AI. This has brought forward more vigorous ways to do contact tracing that protects people’s privacy. The startup is also one of the ten founding signers of the Open COVID Pledge with Facebook, Amazon, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft, to make intellectual property, authorizations, and copyrights available for free to support the battle against COVID-19.
It uses trailblazing technologies and techniques, including regionalized computing, coalesced learning, and cryptographic procedures to protect the privacy and preserve data in settings with zero or low trust. Apheris’s international clients are using the platform for drug discovery, new product R&D, and supply chain optimization. This helps them to improve their business developments, place new products into production, quicken innovation and expose new visions from data.
Rohm was quoted to say, “What this year has crystallized is that the world’s largest problems – from fighting pandemics and disease spread to developing life-saving drugs and reducing climate change – require collaborative efforts to solve. Access to the right data should not be the limiting factor to finding solutions and accelerating R&D and innovation. Apheris is the solution to enabling new ways to solve the complex problems of our time without sacrificing privacy or security.”
Apheris AI has to date secured €3.7M, which includes a StartupSecure research scholarship from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for €750K and the latest funding round.
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