Secure data exchange platform Data Republic has secured over $10 million in its first major funding round from three of Australia’s bluest Blue Chips, Qantas, Westpac and NAB.

Specifically the investors are Qantas Loyalty, NAB Ventures and Westpac’s ReInventure Fund.

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The deal is significant for a number of reasons, most particularly for the evidence it provides that Australia’s biggest businesses continue to extend their vision of the boundaries of their corporations in the new digital economy.

Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant for instance noted said the investment in Data Republic is the first of its kind in the 95 year history of the Qantas Group.

“At Qantas we’ve seen the benefit that customer-led innovation can provide to businesses and their customers,” Ms Grant said. “Co-investing in Data Republic with NAB and Westpac provides a great opportunity for further innovation by allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of what our customers want.

“We hold the privacy of our customers and their data with the highest respect, so the high level of governance and security that Data Republic applies is highly appealing.”

In a statement accompanying the announcement of the funds Data Republic said the cash would be used to fuel its expansion strategy into the United States later this year.

According to Data Republic’s Co-Founder and CEO, Paul McCarney (pictured below), “There’s enormous social and business productivity benefits to opening up data for exchange, but the privacy, security and rights of the consumer have to come first.”

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Launched in 2014, Data Republic provides a marketplace for data exchange between organisations. By sharing information by both parties are able to potentially enrich their own customer insights.

It is the type of service that is likely to grow popularity with some of the world’s largest marketing cloud providers already looking at doing something similar for their clients.

According to the company it is also working with Westpac to develop what it describes as the world’s first data banking service.

“This allows corporate clients that have obtained appropriate permissions from their customers to securely separate and store customer information on dedicated bank grade security infrastructure, while authorising broader data insights for analysis and exchange.”

The governance framework was designed by Australian law firm Allens with a view to delivering the world’s best practice in terms of privacy and security.

Danny Gilligan, Co-Founder of Westpac Reinventure, said: “Given the increasing prevalence of data sharing between organisations, the creation of ‘banking infrastructure for data’ to enable it to flow as freely, with the same trust, security and privacy as money is critical to moving towards a data driven economy. Both Data Republic and the security which the data bank infrastructure offers are important innovations in this regard.”

Todd Forest, Managing Director, NAB Ventures said “Data Republic is doing some really innovative work to improve the personalisation experience for customers. This strategic equity partnership gives us a seat at the table to help develop Data Republic’s capabilities and ultimately improve the experience for NAB customers in the future.

“We know that banking is undergoing significant transformation in the digital space and the simple aim of NAB.”

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