How one firm in Abu Dhabi is changing the data security game

4th September 2020 (Last Updated September 7th, 2020 09:15)

Sponsored by Hub71 Sponsored by Hub71 Visit Company
How one firm in Abu Dhabi is changing the data security game

With the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union as well as the findings of firms such as Cambridge Analytics that even major companies are not protecting our data as they should, data security is at the forefront of many people’s minds.

And that’s where InCountry comes in: the San Francisco-based firm is changing the way we store data, hopefully, says founder Peter Yared, for good.

“I’m quite lucky in that I grew up in a lot of other countries,” he explains via Zoom. “Because when GDPR happened, a lot of people in Silicon Valley just didn’t take it seriously – they thought it would be temporary, that things would go back to the way they were.

“But my team and I, we’d travelled so much and we knew it wasn’t temporary and that we could help companies get the jump on this, especially because no one else stateside and in the Valley was taking it seriously.”

The natural assumption of many US companies, Yared shares, was that America and American companies were going to continue to manage the world’s data. But now, two years after GDPR began to be enforced, the world has realised that data security has changed wholesale. What Yared’s company does is allow each company in any country to store their data locally, complying with the ever-growing list of worldwide data residency regulations.

As proof that the company was on the right future track, a year after GDPR’s implementation, InCountry struck gold – three investors from three very different parts of the globe showed an interest in the company and what it could do for their country’s data handling.

“We’d had investment from US companies, but things really started rolling when international investors started to take notice and realise that what we were doing is important. We had Mubadala Investment Company in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Founders Capital from Berlin, Germany; and Arbor Ventures in Singapore,” Yared explains.

“The three of them said, ‘Hey, we have this problem in the Middle East, we have this problem in Asia, and we have this problem in Europe’ – and they came together and invested in the company.”

“And it became clear pretty quickly that the Middle East, particularly the Arabian Gulf, was where we were getting most of our business. So we decided, you know what? Let’s go. And we opened up our office officially in Abu Dhabi, partnering with a tech hub they have there called Hub71,” says Yared.

What he’s referring to is the Abu Dhabi government’s tech accelerator, a network comprising major players such as Microsoft, Techstars and Facebook, as well as young unicorns and rising stars such as InCountry.

“One of the great things about working in Abu Dhabi has not just been the way that being part of Hub71 helps with networking, licences and so on,” Yared shares, “but just the way the [UAE] government has responded to this health and financial crisis with Covid. You know, their response made me feel safer there than a lot of other countries, and it was so impressive to see. And honestly, when we tell people we’re part of Hub71, they’re like, ‘Oh, wow, great, let’s talk’, so it’s opened up a lot of doors for us.”

The data security wunderkind is now set up in both California and Abu Dhabi, and just this week, the young Californian firm secured another $18M in funding from Caffeinated Capital and Mubadala Investment Company.The next steps are for them to continue to scale up and help countries store data safely and compliantly, with minimal fuss and headache.

Something that, with fake news and data breaches popping up seemingly everywhere, the world will continue to need.

More information here about InCountry’s offerings.


Free Whitepaper


How Abu Dhabi is attracting top tech startups from across the world

Named after the UAE’s formation in 1971, Hub71 is a tech ecosystem located in Abu Dhabi that brings together several key elements for startup success: access to capital, access to market opportunities, access to talent and a favourable business environment.

Hub71 has unique selling points that have made investors and entrepreneurs worldwide take note. Its rapid growth is one proof of its success and within 12 months of launch, it has had 348 applications from startup founders in 47 different countries, showing how much demand there is for holistic tech ecosystems that support startups in their early stages.

With 75 startups in its vibrant ecosystem today, Hub71 has introduced new programs for startups, corporations and investors. Being sector-agnostic has meant that healthtech startups rub shoulders with big data companies, with cross-sector innovation and transferrable skills shared ad hoc or more formally, via webinars and meetings.

By clicking the “Submit” button above, you accept the Terms & Conditions and acknowledge that your data will be used as described in the Hub 71 Privacy Policy

We will also collect and use the information you provide for carefully considered and specific purposes, where we believe we have a legitimate interest in doing so, for example to send you communications about similar products and services we offer. We will always give you an option to opt out of any future communications from us. You can find out more about our legitimate interest activity in our privacy policy here. ‘We’ includes Verdict Media Limited and other GlobalData brands as detailed here.