Data Republic's new global challenge
Danny Gilligan: Encryption laws have been an inconvenience, and distraction for customers
Sydney-based scale-up Data Republic is readying for a new global push into new markets with a brand refresh and a refocused enterprise product appeal.
Co-founder Danny Gilligan says the company’s technology roadmap of the past 12 to 18 months reflects a transition away from a more traditional marketplace approach to a distributed enterprise software approach.
Mr Gilligan said Data Republic had evolved from being a data marketplace to an enterprise software player that enabled “enterprises to conduct data collaboration with people within their trusted networks securely and privately.” The new branding reflected these changes as part of the company’s global planning.
While the company may have built its growing business as a data exchange, Mr Gilligan said the business was not being impacted by Australia’s controversial encryption laws, although he concedes the issue is an inconvenience.
“Firstly, and unequivocally [the encryption laws] have no impact on us as a company because we do not hold any communications, [personal information] on any customers, or information that I understand that the Bill is interested in. And we never do. We’re not relevant to the legislation. If any notice were to be served, it’d be on our customers, not us,” Mr Gilligan told InnovationAus.com.
“However, that doesn’t stop some customers from asking questions about it. It’s a real shame that we know really clearly that the legislation never intended to capture us, but because of the way it has been drafted and communicated, that clarity is not made to market,” he said.
“Uncertainty is just the enemy of any startup customers’ minds. It’s just another unnecessary burden startups don’t need when they’re trying to grow their business. It’s a travesty.
“I would love there to be revision [of the legislation] that provides an absolute clarity and certainty around who it doesn’t apply to,” Mr Gilligan said.
Mr Gilligan’s frustrations comes as Data Republic enters its next growth stage with the launch of a new brand identity and logo since raising $22 million in Series B funding last December.
As part of the brand refresh, Mr Gilligan said Data Republic had evolved significantly toward an enterprise focus.
“Our technology roadmap in the last 12 to 18 months has transitioned to reflect that as we move away from a more traditional marketplace approach to a distributed enterprise software approach,” he said.
Mr Gilligan attributed the strategic shift was underpinned by customer demand.
“We were responding to customers about what they wanted to achieve and how we could help them.”
Data Republic has also commenced acquiring customers beyond Singapore, which has served as an introductory market for Data Republic since September 2018. Conversations with Data Republic’s first US and European-based clients are now in advanced stages, Mr Gilligan said.
Mr Gilligan also applauded the federal government on the Consumer Data Right – a policy that has been spearheaded by Scott Morrison when he was Treasurer and continues to spearhead as Prime Minister.
He said introducing a CDR signals the first steps of seeing Australia build out a data economy that can drive microeconomic and social reforms in Australia and create opportunities for global data trading.
“I’m glad to see Consumer Data Right is back, front and centre and is happening at full speed. I think that it’s going to be a pretty foundational policy to the data economy. I think it’s going to be a model that other markets are going to follow,” Mr Gilligan said.
“Given those foundations, the real opportunity, learning from our experience in Singapore, is getting more coordination across different departments – state and federal level – can really be amplified what can be created within a data economy with those foundations.”