Zaventem, Belgium - 30 September 2021 — A recent financing round ensured that RESPONSUM, a spin-off of privacy, security and data management specialist CRANIUM, will be granted a capital injection that can extend up to 2.5 million euros from investment company Volta Ventures. The investment will primarily serve to rapidly scale up RESPONSUM and its SaaS solution of the same name, which gives companies full control over privacy and security risks, and to help RESPONSUM establish a firm foothold abroad. The first step in the process is the recruitment of a sales and marketing team and a customer support expert. Alex Van Cauwenbergh, CEO of CRANIUM until recently, will become CEO of RESPONSUM in November. Koen De Waele of Volta Ventures and business angel Catalina Daniëls will take a seat on the board of directors.
The Zaventem-based start-up RESPONSUM provides companies with a tool (also called RESPONSUM) that gives them full control over privacy and security risks. The modular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform allows organisations to manage and demonstrate compliance with privacy regulations such as the GDPR and cybersecurity at all times. The tool enables its users to perform self-scans or set up awareness campaigns on their own initiative, for example. RESPONSUM provides an answer to the numerous challenges with regard to privacy and security that many companies are facing today.
Responsum received tremendous approval from satisfied customers ever since it was launched at the beginning of this year. Over seventy companies are already using the platform, and the feedback is unanimously positive. “There is clearly a substantial demand on the market for RESPONSUM,” confirms Alex Van Cauwenbergh, CEO of CRANIUM. “Customer feedback has proven the maturity and stability of the platform, and our list of prospects is also growing rapidly. The time is therefore ripe to put all our efforts into further expansion. Thanks to this investment round, we will be able to scale up and gain a firm foothold beyond our national borders.”
After earlier investments by the founders, a grant of 486,000 euros from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Vlaio) and a loan of 350,000 euros from the Flemish private equity firm PMV, Volta Ventures is now also investing in RESPONSUM. Their confidence in RESPONSUM is clear. The capital injection starts at 1 million euros, but can be raised to 2.5 million in the near future. In order to accelerate RESPONSUM’s growth, both in Belgium and internationally, the investment will be used primarily to optimise the start-up’s sales engine. Three sales and marketing professionals, as well as a customer support manager, will be starting at RESPONSUM in mid-October.
Development of the platform
Part of the capital will also be used to accelerate the development of the SaaS tool. Modules such as GDPR management, awareness and e-learning courses are already included in the tool, but will be expanded on a continuous basis. RESPONSUM’s co-founder Bavo Van den Heuvel is responsible for providing the expertise behind the tool’s further development as the company’s Chief Knowledge Officer: “It is important to listen to your customers and keep an eye on any new standards on the market. A ‘Multiple Regulations’ module will be added by the end of the year so that companies from other countries, such as the USA, will also be able to use RESPONSUM. We constantly keep abreast of all new trends in the field of privacy and security and make sure the platform can respond to them. The combination of my expertise and Alex’s experience means that RESPONSUM is capable of offering a solid yet user-friendly application that immediately provides every company with added value.”
Alex Van Cauwenbergh will become the full-time CEO of RESPONSUM as of November. Joining him on the board are co-founder Bavo Van den Heuvel, venture partner at Volta Ventures Koen De Waele and business angel Catalina Daniels. “This gives us enough power to take RESPONSUM to the next level,” says Alex Van Cauwenbergh. Under the wings of a strong leadership team, CRANIUM has since grown into a mature, renowned company that has gained considerable esteem on the market. We now want to use this experience, aided by the capital and the support of Volta Ventures, to facilitate the scale-up of RESPONSUM.”
Koen De Waele: “Companies have a clear need for user-friendly tools to manage privacy and security in an integrated manner in order to anticipate risks. RESPONSUM has been able to provide them with a solution in a relatively short time frame. The combination of the platform and the team’s deep domain knowledge is now linked to Software-as-a-Service experience to accelerate the scale-up of RESPONSUM in Belgium and internationally.”