Fuel leads $600,000 pre-seed round in Palqee

Who are Palqee?

Palqee helps companies champion data protection compliance through intuitive privacy management software.

Why now?

Businesses across the globe have been struggling with evolving data protection regulations for years, so when new stricter wide-reaching rules – such as the European GDPR and Brazilian LGPD – came into force recently it pushed some into a last-minute dash to compliance safety, making decisions in haste which left them burdened with often overly complex, overpriced solutions.

What are the costs to businesses?

This compliance challenge puts at risk not only the individuals whose personal information is used by companies, but the businesses themselves: since the GDPR took effect in May 2018, over 900 fines were issued across the European Economic Area (EEA) and the U.K. In recent months, GDPR fines have ramped up significantly with the total sum of fines levied in Q3 2021 hit nearly £830M—20 times greater than the totals for Q1 and Q2 2021 combined.

Enough time has now passed for those businesses to have calculated the true cost of their initial choices and to recognise the need for a change. As a result, the PrivTech sector is now one of the fastest growing in the world, reflected in start-up data protection compliance platform Palqee’s 1,500% growth in the second half of 2021 alone, with 2022 looking to easily outstrip that.

Sabrina Palme (CEO), serial entrepreneur and Data Protection Officer, is one of Palqee’s three founders – which also includes Andre Quintanilha (COO), ex-Accenture Technology Consultant, and Hartley Jean-Aimee (CTO), full-stack Enterprise Software Director. She says: “I’ve been a privacy professional for many years so I know how frustrating it can be to have your choices limited to Excel or some unnecessarily complex, pricey tool, when all you really want and need is something that just makes your world of work a little easier. With privacy regulations evolving at an unprecedent rate and the responsibility to always be on top of your game in this arena being greater than ever, we believed that the time was right for a new kind of platform to address this.”

While there are a number of competitors in this space Sabrina says, “Palqee is a very different kind of solution. While others often require lots of training and special technical certification to master, Palqee has been designed from the ground up to be a powerful, yet simple to use, interface for anyone whose responsibilities include data protection and compliance. You don’t need a full catalogue of technical, legal or consulting experience to master our platform, making data protection more accessible, collaborative and easier to implement in your business or those of your clients.”

So what have Palqee built so far?

Palqee was launched in January 2021 and today has over 6,000 users benefitting from a platform which offers over 400 pre-built automated assessment questions and frameworks, a customisable and automated data mapping engine, a privacy-preserving documents library, a fully customisable data subjects’ portal for easy and integrated DSAR management, as well as a central privacy hub for employees, vendors and privacy professionals to collaborate seamlessly on internal tasks.

To stay ahead of the competition, Palqee also launched its PrivacyCulture global INDEX, an industry-first benchmarking tool for privacy professionals to understand the culture of privacy within their businesses, quickly identifying and prioritising risks and opportunities, optimising their budget and ROI.

The investment round was led by early and growth stage VC fund, Fuel Ventures, and followed by Brazil’s GV Angels with the participation of other high-profile investors, some of whom gained their own success in rapid-growth technology businesses.

“The founding team is technically strong, with extensive experience in privacy and compliance. As compliance and international privacy regulations are evolving and changing continuously, there is a growing need for a solution such as Palqee. Ever since our initial conversations the team have been doubling monthly revenue consistently and have continuously added clients. The market size is enormous, yet none of the incumbent players cater for the SME market. This is why we are backing Palqee's solution.”, says Alex Breeden – Investment Associate at Fuel Ventures.

This funding will be used to accelerate brand awareness, sales and expanded customer support in the European and Brazilian markets that Palqee is already in, then to take on a more global vision.

If you are an entrepreneur looking for pre-seed and seed investment please email me alexb@fuel.ventures or reach out to me on LinkedIn.

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