Forte Ventures led the latest funding round for Inrupt, while existing investors including Akamai Technologies and Glasswing Ventures contributed, as did new investors Allstate and the Minderoo Foundation’s Frontier Technology Initiative.
“Business transformation is hampered by different parts of one’s life being managed by different silos, each of which looks after one vertical slice of life,” said Berners-Lee in a statement. “Meanwhile, that data is exploited by the silo in question, leading to increasing, very reasonable, public skepticism about how personal data is being misused.”
Inrupt users store their personal data in Personal Online Datastores, which are interoperable with a host of decentralized applications and can be disconnected whenever the user decides.
“This approach allows consumers to take control of their data while giving governments and companies — and their app developers — a more seamless transition into a new internet era and regulatory regime (e.g., GDPR),” wrote Hunter Hartwell, principal at Forte Ventures, in a recent blog post.
“Our thesis for the investment in Inrupt is a simple one: consumers, governments and many companies are eager to move towards a truly open and collaborative web (aka Web3), and Inrupt’s enterprise Solid server (ESS) represents the most technically advanced and commercially viable path to realizing that future,” he wrote.
Inrupt has signed contracts with governments of Sweden, Argentina and Basque, and also boasts many enterprise clients. The company generated $225,000 in revenue last year and $200,000 in revenue in September.
In June, Sotheby’s Online Auction sold the original source code that was written by Berners-Lee as a non-fungible token (NFT) for $5.4 million.
The world wide web source code and browser developed by Berners-Lee were never patented and have long been in the public domain. The Sotheby’s auction was the first time Berners-Lee could reap financial gains from his invention.