COZY CLOUD RAISES € 4 MILLION TO FUEL ITS GROWTH. THE START-UP ACCELERATES ITS DEVELOPMENT WITH MAIF AND INNOVACOM
Paris, 10th June 2016: Start-up Cozy Cloud has closed a EUR 4 million investment round from MAIF (via its investment fund MAIF Avenir) and Innovacom. The objective is to accelerate its commercial development and to support digital transformation of major brands by offering a new personal data and customer relationship paradigm.
Personal data: a key issue
Major brands are now engaging in a complex digital transition to address the risk of disintermediation caused by the GAFAs and their clients’ new expectations. Their key issue: accessing customer data. The GAFAs already have an extensive access to data, and they have entered a state of great digital intimacy with their users. Users rely on these services in their everyday life, and they end up giving up control of their personal data.
This paradox has been partly addressed first by recent evolutions in substantive law (data portability in French Lemaire bill, EU’s “Directive on Payment Service (PSD2)”). Second, there is a Self-data movement emerging, of which Cozy is a pioneer. Self-data aims at providing individuals with the opportunity of taking back control on their data instead of letting it spread across the GAFAs.
Cozy Cloud’s motto: empowering individuals with their data
Since it was founded in 2012, Cozy Cloud’s goal has been twofold. First, to empower individuals with their data. Second, to enable large brands to have a rich and virtuous relationship with their customers by running customer services within the customer’s digital home.
To be more specific, Cozy Cloud offers an easy-to-use personal cloud solution: its open-source, decentralized platform can be hosted on a personal server or by a trustworthy third-party (OVH, Gandi). Thanks to connectors allowing clients to import data from different online services, this server can aggregate all of their personal data (e-mails, calendar, files, contacts, IoT-generated data, third-party data such as bank accounts and bills for instance). Applications and services — available from a marketplace similar to the iOS and Android stores — can operate within this unrivaled and transversal data pool. This technology is trustworthy by design: it unlocks the possibilities offered by mining this data trove in an empowering approach.
€4M to accelerate Cozy’s development and address major brands needs
This investment round will allow Cozy Cloud to accelerate commercial initiatives so that they can help major brands to roll-out their Customer Service application within this marketplace. It will also accelerate the adoption of the Cozy solution by making it available to new customers.
Major brands have everything to gain, starting with a better digital intimacy than any GAFA could hope for. They can have access to an exclusive set of transversal data hosted in the personal cloud, and create innovative services that will “blindly” interact with data inside - and only inside - this environment, without the brand getting a copy of the data. Tomorrow, thanks to Cozy, individuals will self-host their data and use augmented customer applications in a unique, safe and easy-to-use environment. This is a transparent, win-win situation that is built on trust.
MAIF + Cozy Cloud: a strategic partnership built on trust
For Pascal Demurger, CEO of MAIF: “At MAIF, we are proud to support Cozy Cloud’s growth and to start a new paradigm around self data. As a leading company in terms of customer relationship, MAIF believes that Cozy Cloud can have a disrupting role about the sensitive topic of personal data. They can help building a new kind of digital customer relationship based on MAIF’s core value: trust. This is the meaning of this strategic and financial partnership, which is to become a pillar of our digital transformation strategy.”
Benjamin ANDRÉ, CEO of Cozy Cloud, celebrates the fact that MAIF is a strong, long term partner whose digital strategy relies on Cozy Cloud’s approach: “We share with MAIF the idea that trust and individuals must be at the center of the digital world. Also, MAIF being a pioneer in the self-data field, it’s a powerful ally when it comes to federating large companies around the self-data approach.”
Jérôme Faul, General Manager of Innovacom, goes on: “We’re very happy to continue supporting Cozy Cloud’s growth with the help of a major player in the insurance industry. Transparent, trust-based solutions that empower individuals to store, use and manage their data while giving them agency on how it’s used have a great future. This investment demonstrates that there is a market for both the approach and the technology.”
About Cozy Cloud
Cozy Cloud is an innovative young start-up created in 2012 by Benjamin André (CEO) and Frank Rousseau (CTO). Tristan Nitot (CPO) joined them in 2015. Cozy Cloud aims at disrupting the cloud and SaaS industries, by replacing big centralized silos by a swarm of personal Clouds, thus empowering individuals with their data. This approach allows major companies to accelerate their digital transformation and to get a better digital intimacy with their customers than GAFAs could ever have. Cozy Cloud already partners with MAIF, Gandi, OVH, La Poste, INRIA, EDF, Orange and the FING. They achieved a first investment round with Innovacom and Seed4soft in 2014, and a second one with MAIF and Innovacom in 2016. www.cozy.io.
About MAIF Avenir
The future aim of MAIF Avenir is to finance innovation, digital and sharing economy that are key targets of the MAIF strategy. This new tool will allow the MAIF, through start-ups to develop new services for the policyholders, to give access to new communities, to understand better the digital age, new technologies and new uses, to take advantage of the vitality of the start-ups and their way of working in order to progress in terms of agility. MAIF Avenir will be allocated 125 millions Euros until 2018 that is an average of 30 million a year. www.maif-avenir.fr.
About Innovacom - Capital-investment for digital technologies’ entrepreneurs
Since 1988, Innovacom has invested close to € 1 billion to support several hundreds of start-ups and established itself as the specialist of highly technological content projects. In this capacity, the company has participated in more than twenty IPOs (initial public offerings), some 150 trade sales and holds some of the most emblematic successes of the French innovation (Business Objects, Gemplus, LastMinute.com, Inventel, Soitec, Aufeminin.com, Digitick, Owlient or Olea Medical).
Today, through its seed capital and venture funds Innovacom 5, Innovacom 6 and Technocom 2, the company manages a portfolio of € 300 million, ranking in the top 10 French players in the sector.
Its most recent investments include companies as 21Net, CAILabs, Cozy Cloud, Exagan, Feeligreen, G2mobility, Intersec, IS2T, I-ten, Kolibree, Predicsis… Active from Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Stockholm and San Francisco, Innovacom is an independent company regulated by the Financial Market Authority. www.innovacom.com.