17 June 2020

Slack-backed knowledge integration platform Onna secures $27m funding

Kelly Griswold: funding will support 'the next wave of growth'

New York and Barcelona-based startup points to increasing compliance pressure on corporates as funding reaches $43m

Workplace knowledge integration platform Onna, which is backed by Slack, has secured a $27m Series B investment.

The investment round was led by Europe-focused tech fund Atomico with participation from Glynn Capital and brings the total investment in the New York and Barcelona-based startup to $43m.

Previous investors Dawn Capital, Nauta Capital and Slack Fund all invested in this latest round.

While there are many integrated knowledge products on the market, Onna claims to have the only product capable of integrating all workplace knowledge-based apps allowing companies ‘to unify, search, protect, automate and build on top of their proprietary knowledge in a way not previously possible’.

It cites research by cloud software company Okta with found companies use an average of 88 different apps, a 21% increase from just years ago.

Uses include ediscovery, information governance, enterprise search, archiving, compliance with data protection laws like GDPR and FINRA, monitoring for leaks of confidential data and building internal workflow apps using proprietary information. 

Jason Spinell, director of the Slack Fund, said:  “Since we first invested in Onna last year, Slack deployed their platform because it was the most robust, modern, easy-to-use ediscovery product we evaluated.”

Onna chief strategy officer Kelly Griswold said the $27m funding would drive “the next wave of growth” putting the company in a position “to achieve its ambitions for the foreseeable future”. 

She said regulatory requirements were prompting companies to move beyond simple compliance into “employee areas like data privacy and how companies ethically control their information. This is the challenge today, with increasing complexity to manage.”  

Founder and CEO Salim Elkhou added: “Companies now rely on a host of powerful apps, from Salesforce to Google Suite. But the popularity of apps means more knowledge is being siloed and fragmented.”

He said Onna’s mission was to “to make the totality of a company’s proprietary knowledge accessible, useful and secure”.

Facebook, Electronic Arts, Lyft, Fitbit, Newscorp and Dropbox are among the companies Onna is working with.

In February, top Spanish law firms teamed up with legal tech startups and universities to set up a legal technology hub in Barcelona.

Further reading on data and privacy

US company leaders admit value of data is tempting businesses to sidestep rules, survey finds — Survey shows 78% of respondents believe companies willing to take risks to unlock greater value despite privacy concerns

US companies lack resources to check on data privacy compliance, survey finds — More than half of respondents unsure if they are fully compliant with new regulations

Total GDPR fines climb to €114m as companies struggle to comply with regime

GPR regime emerges as early candidate for post-Brexit divergence

Data ethics transforming privacy law after 'social media hangover'

Relief after ECJ backs global data transfers

Calling out e-privacy regulation shortcomings

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