Apheris, a deep tech company based in Berlin, has raised €2.5 million to enable corporate enterprises to collaborate and analyse data without compromising privacy. The round was led by British seed investor LocalGlobe, with Dig Ventures, the family office of MuleSoft Founder, Ross Mason, and Patrick Pichette, former CFO of Google and current board chairman for Twitter. Additional investors included another.vc, System.One, and angel investors Charles Songhurst, NaturalMotion founder Torsten Reil, and Songkick founder Ian Hogarth.
Founded in 2019, Apheris makes secure and private data collaboration and analysis possible. Too often critical data is locked away in silos, unusable or unshareable due to privacy, compliance, legal or security concerns. Due to the many complexities in sharing data, companies are often limited by working with their own narrow datasets, preventing valuable insights and new solutions.
Additionally, Apheris has recently shared its expertise and technology in privacy preservation to support the COVID-19 response by developing and publishing a code library with OpenMined, the largest community for privacy-preserving open-source AI, to enable more robust ways to do contact tracing that protects people’s privacy. Apheris is also one of ten founding signers of the Open COVID Pledge with Facebook, Amazon, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft, to make intellectual property, licenses, and copyrights available for free to support the fight against COVID-19.
Robin Röhm, Apheris CEO and co-founder, commented, “What this year has crystallised 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 uses cutting-edge technologies and techniques, including decentralised computing, federated learning, and cryptographic protocols to preserve privacy and protect data in environments with zero or low trust. Apheris’s international customers are using the platform for drug discovery, new product R&D, and supply chain optimisation to improve business processes, put new products into production, accelerate innovation, and unlock new insights from data.
Ross Mason, founder of MuleSoft and Dig Ventures, stated, “Enterprises are sitting on treasure troves of data that cannot be leveraged because it’s been an impossible task to open up data to third-party companies without losing data or diminishing its value. Apheris is taking a novel approach to data collaboration, allowing data to be shared with partners with zero trust, enabling collaboration without giving up or compromising the data.”
Apheris was founded by three-time collaborators Robin Röhm and Michael Höh, and has raised a total of more than €3.7 million, including a StartupSecure research grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for €750K.
Julia Hawkins, Partner at LocalGlobe, added, “Apheris is committed to building the next big tech company and has the ambition and team to do it. With its team of global experts in cutting-edge data science, cryptography, and privacy, Apheris has the potential to be the new standard for data collaboration that preserves privacy and security while enabling new insights and innovation.”
Apheris will use its seed funding to grow the company, hire world-class talent in engineering, R&D data scientists, and customer success, and address new industry use cases.