On a mission to make data work for everyone and give people control over the data accumulated on them, Rita Personal Data has just secured €1 million in pre-seed funding. The 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 additional undisclosed angel investors.
Based in Amsterdam, Rita was founded in 2020 by John Arts and Guglielmo Schenardi to empower people with the value of their own data. The startup has built a mobile app in which people can view, understand and control their data.
We live in a data-driven world, and there’s no doubt that the data insights accumulated on us can paint a very vivid picture of our lives. According to Rita, the average European internet user has shared their data with 197 companies, but, most people don’t know which companies have their data and are unaware of the information being collected. Rita changes this, by offering a safe and easy way for people to learn about their data, and take control.
The app allows users to track their data in a dashboard showing, among others, how much money the data is worth, how companies target them, which ads they have clicked on, and their level of data safety. After viewing which companies have their information and how it’s being used, Rita users have the possibility to ask companies to remove their data, by exercising their GDPR rights.
John Arts, Co-Founder and CEO, explained: “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. 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.”
The fresh funding for the young company will be used to expand the team, which currently with a headcount of 6 employees from 6 different nationalities. It’ll also be used to roll out the blockchain-based tech infrastructure and scale the user base. To date, the app has more than 55k active users.
Investor Felix Van de Maele added: “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”
In the future, Rita envisions a trusted and ethical data marketplace, where users can view, control, and also earn from their data. Companies would reward consumers for sharing their data instead of paying data brokers for unethical access to data with a change of breaking consumer trust.
Wim Derkinderen, Managing Partner at Pitchdrive VC: “We believe that Rita’s user-centric approach to data will sky-rocket in the near future. This, combined with the go-getter attitude of both founders, made us believe that Rita Personal Data has what it takes to take control of this new playing field.”