Startup Co-Founded by Deshpande Receives $3.1M in Seed Funding

Fri Jan 19, 2018

A startup co-founded by a University of Maryland expert in database systems recently received $3.1 million in seed funding to expand its operations.

WireWheel, launched in 2016 and based in Arlington, Virginia, received financial backing from PSP Capital and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with additional participation from Steve Case, Sean Glass and others. The company is focused on modernizing and simplifying how global enterprises protect and manage the privacy of personal data.

Amol Deshpande, a professor of computer science with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, is a co-founder and chief scientist of WireWheel. He shares a leadership role with Justin Antonipillai, former Acting Undersecretary of Economic Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Barack Obama, and Chris Getner, a database and machine learning expert.

Deshpande says that WireWheel was born from the observation that most modern enterprises do not fully understand how to best manage the large amounts of data they are collecting.

“Many businesses today have to collect personal consumer data in a variety of forms, but how they store the data, how they process it, and what kind of analytics are performed on it, are all questions that enterprises are typically unable to answer,” he says. “WireWheel was founded with the goal to help companies get insights into their own data usage, with a particular focus on privacy compliance.”

Deshpande adds that WireWheel seeks to equip businesses and organizations with the tools to help them better understand what data they hold, and its activity across the entire data lifecycle. WireWheel’s Data Privacy and Protection platform is built on a modern micro-services architecture that can be easily deployed from the public cloud, or inside an organization’s data center.

WireWheel is currently working with four companies. With the newly acquired seed money, the company plans to hire technical talent, build out its product, and test those products with early adopters.

Deshpande—who has extensive expertise in scalable data science, graph databases, provenance, cloud computing, database query optimization, wireless sensor networks and other areas related to big data—says he is looking forward to tackling new challenges as WireWheel grows.

“I think the technologies we’re developing will change the way businesses manage their own data drastically,” he says. “It will give them much better insights, and it will help lessen the impact of data breaches by isolating the kinds of data that might get harvested. We can’t really stop data breaches from happening, but we can mitigate the impact of data breaches and make companies and organizations more careful with how their data is managed.”

Go here to read the full news release on WireWheel receiving seed funding.

—Story by Melissa Brachfeld