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UK synthetic data startup Hazy raises $9m Series A

Synthetic data specialist Hazy has raised $9 million in a Series A round that will be used to scale the British startup. Funding was led by Conviction VC, with strategic investors including Nationwide and Wells Fargo.

Originally a UCL AI spin out, London-based Hazy uses AI-generated synthetic data that preserves the statistical quality of real data but contains no real discrete information and there eliminates the privacy risk.

Hazy says that its synthetic data can be used as a drop-in replacement for real data with AI/ML development, software testing and other use cases. The company in 2018 won the $1 million Microsoft Innovate AI prize for the best AI startup in Europe and has landed early customers including Vodafone and Wells Fargo.

The funding round comes weeks after the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) created a subgroup to its Innovation Advisory Group (IAG) "to look at issues related to the use of synthetic data in financial markets" and "relevant use cases and clarify key issues in the theory and practice of synthetic data in UK financial market."

Speaking to The Stack in 2022 BNP Paribas' Ramy Housseini noted that “A lot of problems can be solved by leveraging synthetic data; you can address constraints around R&D and innovation, yet adoption is low.

Hazy CEO Harry Keen told The Stack: “A generous proportion of the investment will be used to strengthen the existing enterprise product capabilities to enable our customers to scale synthetic data and drive value across their organisations. We will also be exploring new product capabilities which blend Hazy’s software with the latest large language models to push the boundaries of practical enterprise applications of generative AI.

He added in the emailed comment: “Our enterprise customers are at different stages in their synthetic data journeys but are all realising business value. Our longest customer, Nationwide Building Society, is deploying synthetic data as a strategic technology across its business, using it as a drop-in replacement for customer data to reduce its compliance risk whilst increasing its speed of execution. One of our newest customers, Vodafone, is using synthetic data for training and testing machine learning models for customer value management. Synthetic data and generative AI are going to change the world in a myriad of known and yet to be discovered ways…”

Will Orde, Partner, Conviction said in a canned statement: “Harry and the team have demonstrated immense motivation and potential since the start, with some great achievements to date and an impressive product that enables enterprise firms  to unlock the incredible amount of value from their data.”

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