Mostly AI has developed a new type of anonymization procedure that converts original data into synthetic data, which maintains the high informative value of the original data, but at the same time prevents the re-identification of actually existing individuals. Via the innovation hub wayra Germany, the start-up successfully deploys its solutions for Telefónica and increases its innovative strength. In financing round, Mostly AI was now able to raise an additional USD 5 million in capital to drive development and growth.
Munich, February 27, 2020 – AI specialist Mostly AI, a start-up resulting from the Munich Open Innovation Hub wayra Germany, has completed a financing round of 5 million US dollars. The round was led by European VC Earlybird with 42 CAP and Push Ventures who had already invested in the start-up in 2018.
The Vienna-based start-up Mostly AI has been part of the portfolio of Telefónica's Open Innovation Hub wayra Germany since 2019 and is dedicated to solving one of the biggest problems faced by many private and public organizations today: to be able to freely use existing data sets while at the same time ensuring that the privacy of customers and users is reliably protected.
Usually, when data is anonymized, sensitive information is stripped from the data records. However, this requires the removal of almost all relevant data, so that the data points remaining for use hardly provide any information about the real customer base. Besides, researchers warn that conventional anonymization methods do not protect against re-identification of the data subjects in the original data set despite a large amount of information deleted. The anonymization approach developed by Mostly AI, on the other hand, makes it possible to obtain almost all the information in a data set while at the same time making re-identification impossible.
Being based on the proprietary Synthetic Data Engine, the solution Mostly GENERATE allows to provide highly realistic and representative synthetic data, which are generated from an original data set using automatically learned patterns, structures and variations. The synthetic data correspond to the characteristics of the original data set but are generated from scratch, making it impossible to re-identify actual users. In this way, companies receive highly realistic, granular, but completely anonymous data that can be used freely and without data protection concerns.
"We are very pleased to have been able to win over strong partners with Earlybird, 42 Cap and Push Ventures through our approach. The financing will be used to develop the Mostly GENERATE solution in particular further and to launch a Software-as-a-Service model on the market. At the same time, we are accelerating the growth of the synthetic data engine in the USA," says Michael Platzer, CEO and co-founder of Mostly AI.
With the support of wayra Germany, Mostly AI has established a lasting customer relationship with Telefónica that extends far beyond pilot project status. In essence, anonymized customer data from Telefónica's CRM Datamart is synthesized by Mostly GENERATE and is therefore not retroactive. This allows the data to be used for analyses and AI applications, while at the same time ensuring the privacy of each individual customer. However, the evaluation of this valuable amount of data enables groups such as Telefónica to significantly increase customer understanding, to adapt products more closely to customer needs and at the same time to take a pioneering role in dealing with the requirements of the DSGVO.
"Our solution is designed to be particularly useful when it comes to Big Data. Thanks to Wayra's support, we were able to optimize the Synthetic Data Engine for use in large corporations such as Telefónica," says Michael Platzer.
The financing round will be used to further expand the cooperation between Mostly AI and wayra Germany. The start-up of Telefónica will help to implement innovations even faster in future: Mostly GENERATE could enable the telecommunications group to pass on several million customer data records, completely anonymized and not re-identifiable, to other start-ups from the Munich Open Innovation Hub wayra. This would enable them to test and improve their ideas and solutions under almost real conditions using simulated customer data and prepare them for implementation in the Telefónica environment. This would enable the telecommunications group to simplify significantly and above all, accelerate the integration of innovative solutions.
"Mostly AI has demonstrated quickly how innovative approaches can benefit a group like Telefónica. This makes it all the more exciting that the start-up will help wayra to make the cooperation of other start-ups in our hub with Telefónica even smoother and more effective in the future," says Florian Bogenschütz, Managing Director of wayra Germany.
About Mostly AI
Mostly AI was founded in 2017 by a group of experienced machine learning experts, aiming to make a positive social impact utilizing Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. With a team of highly-talented scientists in mathematics, physics and consumer behaviour, they help organizations to exploit their data potential while protecting the privacy rights of individual customers and users.
Further information is available at https://mostly.ai/.
About Wayra Germany
Wayra Germany is the open innovation hub of the telecommunications group Telefónica. As an early-stage-investment-arm, wayra scales technology-oriented start-ups and pursue a "venture client" model in which the parent company Telefónica acts as a customer for the start-ups' products. With the Wayra-as-a-Service program, the corporate venture provider supports Telefónica as well as other groups in their cooperation with young companies.
More information at https://de.wayra.co/