Heydata: Data Protection Assistance for Companies

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect almost exactly two years ago and still unsettles businesses. Companies that don’t comply with the GDPR risk facing severe penalties amounting to up to 20 million euros or up two four percent of their global annual turnover. To make sure that doesn’t happen, the Munich startup Heydata assists companies in complying with the data protection provisions. We asked founders Daniel Deutsch and Miloš Djurdjević our Seven Questions.

Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves!

Heydata: We are Daniel Deutsch (29) and Miloš Djurdjević (30) and we met eight years ago while studying at the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management. After successfully completing our master’s degrees at the WHU and Warwick, we first went our separate ways. Daniel gathered initial experience in consulting, for example with Deloitte & Capgemini, before he founded a company in the field of digital health and then went to Ottonova. Miloš chose the typical route of gaining initial experience at Rocket Internet, VC at Earlybird and various ventures of the HV portfolio. In Munich, we then tackled the plan we had left open since getting our bachelor’s degrees to found a company together. After much deliberation, discussion and iterations, Heydata finally came to be in March 2019. It’s an exciting and completely independent founding that provides new challenges every day and is also fulfilling.

“We at Heydata facilitate the fast and simple implementation of the GDPR in daily operations”

Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?

Heydata: With the introduction of the GDPR, all European companies have to ensure suitable conformity. Because entrepreneurs would obviously rather work on their own business models, they often don’t have enough time or the desire to deal with it. This is combined with a lack of thematic knowledge that always gives founders or CEOs a sense of risk, especially at a time in which the frequency and severity of penalties are increasing. We at Heydata facilitate the fast and simple implementation of the GDPR in daily operations through digital processes and human expertise where necessary, so entrepreneurs can concentrate on other matters.

Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!

Heydata: Because the GDPR only recently went into effect, there still aren’t that many solutions for affordable and simple integration of the GDPR. Internal and external data protection officers are the most widespread solution, but current solutions are still very time consuming and not digital enough. We’ve digitized the process and developed a user-friendly customer portal. That makes it easier to represent many processes and puts customers’ minds at ease — we want to provide clarity, understanding and time savings for both entrepreneurs and employees.

“The number of new customers is constantly increasing”

Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?

Heydata: As a young service provider in a young market, you have to gain trust first, particularly when the market is highly fragmented. That’s why we set customer satisfaction as our most important goal very early on!

It was also difficult to integrate all of the factors of different companies, which can vary widely, into one product to create a positive user experience without making it too complicated. After all, customers want to actually understand what they’re given.

Finally, it was a challenge and risk to build Heydata with our own resources. We deliberately decided against raising external resources in the beginning. That meant a lot of things had to be done manually that we can now supplement with good tools.

Munich Startup: How is business going?

Heydata: The number of new customers is constantly increasing and we’re particularly pleased that our customers are actively recommending us, which shows that we’re a reliable partner for them. We were surprised to see the demand for data protection rise despite the current market situation — but for many companies, home office, video conferences, etc. are uncharted territory and that has raised and is still raising awareness. That obviously doesn’t apply to a large portion of the startup landscape. We already reached our profitability at the end of last year and are now using that to develop our product further. We also don’t want to rule out new fields in the privacy segment in B2C, because that’s an area where we see many exciting opportunities.

Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?

Heydata: Being close to many other startups and the large number of coworking spaces in particular make networking and customer acquisition easier for us, which is why we’re so excited about Munich as a location. And since so many tech-driven startups are located here because of the TU, it’s really easy to exchange knowledge and provides exciting opportunities. Another factor of course are the SMEs and large corporations that are trying to assist young founders with their own initiatives. As a result, Munich has established what is probably the biggest startup scene in Germany after Berlin in a very short period of time. And obviously Munich in general is just a great city to live in — we think we’re not the only ones who have really missed the beer garden culture and relaxed evenings beside the Isar over the last two months.

Munich Startup: Risk or security?

Heydata: Because you can quickly reach data protection conformity with us, we obviously prefer the secure option. Early integration of data protection compliant processes is of particular importance, otherwise entire business models might be ruined if it’s considered too late. To give an example, it might not be possible to use particular sales methods or tools. Switching them out could lead to high costs or have a negative impact on performance that had been good in the beginning. These types of things, particularly for startups in a due diligence process during a round of investment, can cost them dearly.