Privacy management software firm OneTrust has become the world's most widely used privacy, security and third party risk management platform, according to the growing company - demonstrating the incredible rise of the global organisation that recently closed a $200 (£160.34) million Series A investment and was awarded the 2019 Enterprise Startup of the Year at Techworld's the techies awards.

OneTrust was created in 2016 by CEO and founder Kabir Barday, who was paying close attention to the privacy problems that companies were facing when using high levels of personal data.

Image: Kadir Barday, CEO/ founder, OneTrust
Image: Kadir Barday, CEO/ founder, OneTrust

"I started OneTrust and the timing was absolutely perfect as the market was really receptive to the idea, the GDPR was just about to come on board and people were starting to realise that privacy is important to them and they need to hold the companies they work with accountable," Barday told Techworld.

Although originally founded in the US, OneTrust quickly expanded to the UK. However, working from two different countries has brought about a mixture of benefits and challenges.

For instance, the difference in regulations between the US and the UK means the ways of working may differ yet the privacy laws still remain the same wherever the location.

"Globally, there's a complexity where every state everywhere in the world has a different law, but the common technology to solve it is the same and we just layer in that intelligence to be able to scale globally," he added.

"If we had to do something different in every country we wouldn't be able to scale as a global organisation, but certainly what makes us great at what we do is because of our regulatory and with the research database we have we can build a very common layer of technology but apply a regulatory intelligence that is specific to every country in the world."

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How it works

OneTrust provides software that includes a built-in regulatory database so it can be updated on a daily basis, with added guidance on privacy and security laws.

The platform, which has quickly racked up patents with close to 50, and offers over 300 plugins, is available in 60 languages for customers around the world to access quick, smart compliance to embed privacy, security and third-party risk in an easy way.

"We also have a big ecosystem of professional services and people that can help our customers get up and running," Barday said. "We have over 2,000 third-party consultants certified on our platform and over 100 in-house support technicians that help our customers get up and running, so we really bring together all of the privacy and security professionals all over the world into a community to share best practices and build the future of the industry."

According to Barday, the platform is designed in a way to support everyone from startups to large businesses with various pricing and feature options available depending on the size of the business.

"For mid-sized companies, we have a medium package solution and for big companies we have very modular solutions and then depending on the industry, we have expertise as well so it has been very impactful," he explained.

"The most impactful thing for me was getting out on the road and getting in front of customers and talking to people to find out their actual challenges to make sure we internalise that. It's really about listening to our customers and letting the market take us in the right direction."