EntrD has developed a tool for smart anonymization and pseudonymization of privacy-sensitive data. All while keeping the data representative. With the arrival of the new European privacy legislation, the demand for the software will grow considerably. With help from the NOM and others, the Heerenveen-based company therefore wants to accelerate its growth plans.
EntrD's software ensures that organizations can work securely and compliantly with privacy-sensitive data outside their production environment. Or better: the software can edit privacy-sensitive data so that it is no longer traceable to individuals. This is good news for the rapidly growing number of organizations currently struggling with a data dilemma. On the one hand, there is a great need for reliable and representative data. For example, to test software, conduct medical research, detect fraud or provide training. On the other hand, privacy laws prohibit the use of that data for such purposes outside the production environment. If you do, there will be major consequences: a hefty fine and, especially if a data breach occurs, serious reputational damage. EntrD's software cleverly eliminates this dilemma.
Anonymizing and pseudonymizing
'We offer a solution that allows clients to anonymize or pseudonymize data while maintaining representativeness,' says Eric Hoefman, co-founder of EntrD. 'Anonymizing means that the privacy-sensitive data is made irreversibly irreducible. When it is important to make data traceable back to unique natural persons, pseudonymization is a better option. Consider medical analyses, where a physician sometimes needs to be alerted about an individual patient. We then leave a key part intact that allows only the client to go back to the real data. The beauty of our tool is that it is platform-independent and works for any type of database.
EntrD was founded in 2014 by Hoefman and his associate Hielke de Jong. For the first two years, the money was earned mainly through secondment and consultancy assignments. The company grew organically and saw the number of active clients steadily increase. Not surprising, since the data dilemma plays out in numerous sectors, especially in healthcare, finance, retail, government and housing associations.
With the advent of stricter privacy laws across Europe, other industries will also want to get started on anonymizing data. In 2016, EntrD therefore faced an important strategic choice. Do we continue the same way or do we want to accelerate national and international growth? They chose the latter. To accelerate, of course, funding was needed. And so EntrD sought contact with the NOM.
Solid shareholder structure
Laurens Kruize, Investment Manager of NOM, was immediately enthusiastic. 'It is a wonderful company, led by two entrepreneurs with a clear vision and focus and with already appealing customers,' he says. 'And because a partner model was chosen, it is easily scalable both nationally and internationally. For the NOM reason to provide growth capital and thus become a shareholder. What also appealed to me is that EntrD made a conscious decision to bring two informals, with a strong network and a lot of international experience, on board in addition to NOM. That combination makes it possible for the company to have a very solid shareholder structure.'
In the coming period, EntrD is working hard to further raise its profile in the Netherlands. Among other things, by expanding the number of partners. In sectors where we do not yet have a partner, we want to become even more visible,' Hoefman emphasizes. 'In addition, we are going to further develop the software. By adding functionalities we can make it suitable for even more target groups. And of course we are going to do everything we can to take the first steps abroad this year.'