Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s start-up raises $30m

Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s Inrupt start-up has reportedly raised $30m in Series A funding.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s start-up raises $30m
Photograph: H Heyerlein on Unsplash.

Forte Ventures is leading the start-up’s new financing round, with existing investors including Akamai Technologies and Glasswing Ventures participating.

Inrupt was established by Berners-Lee and John Bruce and its aim is to “reshape the internet” by putting users in control of their data.

“Business transformation is hampered by different parts of one’s life being managed by different silos, each of which looks after one vertical slice of life,” said Berners-Lee in a statement. “Meanwhile, that data is exploited by the silo in question, leading to increasing, very reasonable, public skepticism about how personal data is being misused.”

Input will allow users to store their data in Personal Online Datastores (PODs), which will work along similar lines to the infrastructure used by companies such as Visa for credit card processing.

“This approach allows consumers to take control of their data while giving governments and companies - and their app developers - a more seamless transition into a new internet era and regulatory regime (e.g., GDPR),” writes Forte Ventures’ principal, Hunter Hartwell, in a blog post.

“Our thesis for the investment in Inrupt is a simple one: consumers, governments, and many companies are eager to move towards a truly open and collaborative web (aka Web3), and Inrupt’s enterprise Solid server (ESS) represents the most technically advanced and commercially viable path to realizing that future. Embedded in our thesis is the belief that this top-tier team is uniquely qualified to meet the requirements and expectations of government and corporate partners, as well as the broader public,” he added.

Existing customers include the governments of Sweden and Argentina and Hartwell writes that the firm is seeking to expand its “global footprint of Solid deployments in both the government sector and the commercial sector.”

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