Tim Berners-Lee’s startup Inrupt in talks to raise over $30 million

·2 min read

Tim Berners-Lee created the standards for the world wide web three decades ago, setting the pathway for countless companies to flourish at unimaginable scale. His new venture, called Inrupt, wants to fix some of the mess many of those companies have made -- and it's in the market to raise money.

Inrupt is in talks with a handful of investors to raise between $30 million to $50 million at a pre-money valuation of $140 million, according to two people familiar with the matter and an investor pitch deck obtained by me. The round -- Series A -- hasn't closed, so the terms may change, the people said, requesting anonymity as the matter is private.

An Inrupt spokesperson declined to comment.

The startup, which counts Akamai Technologies and Glasswing Ventures among its investors, says it is attempting to “reshape the internet” by building a platform that gives users control of their data. Inrupt has built a platform where users can store their personal data in something called a POD (Personal Online Datastores). Its customers include governments and enterprises.

"Governments and enterprises want to help manage their users' data, but unfortunately, they do not have a platform to do so. Corporations want access to that consumer data without necessarily storing it, but again, there is no global open protocol for them to do so," the investor deck reads.

"We are now creating a new platform and infrastructure that gives the global population control over their data, governments the ability to put data programs in place to securely store that data and enterprises the ease of use to access that data without fear of insecurity or abuse," the pitch reads, pointing to the startup's product called Solid.

Inrupt believes, it said in the investor pitch, that its addressable market is the “entire data market," as it attempts to emulate the core infrastructure of companies such as Visa for credit card processing and Verisign, which commercialized the DNS standard.

The startup has signed contracts with governments of Sweden, Argentina and Basque. These partnerships have not been previously reported. It generated $225,000 in revenue last year, and $200,000 in revenue last month, according to the investor pitch.

"Inrupt's management team and Board of Directors are committed to a governance system that ensures that the company operates with utmost integrity, transparency and with the highest ethical and privacy standards," the investor pitch reads.

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