French Startup Dawex, Fresh Off A EUR5 Million Funding Round, Eyes Establishing Middle East Presence In 2020

After having raised EUR5 million through a funding round announced in May, French technology startup Dawex, which bills itself as a marketplace for “sharing, acquiring, and monetizing data,” is aiming to establish its presence in the Middle East in 2020, its co-founders told Entrepreneur Middle East.

“Dawex’s expertise is to enable organizations and enterprises to orchestrate data circulation by sourcing, monetizing, and exchanging data directly, securely and in full compliance with regulations,” says Dawex co-founders and co-CEOs Fabrice Tocco and Laurent Lafaye. “We have developed cutting-edge technology with our data marketplace and our data exchange platform to accelerate secure data trading in the Middle East region. Considering data ecosystems are redefining competition, and the most data-driven companies will be the leaders of the new data economy, Dawex’s expertise in building powerful data exchange strategies will support Middle East companies and organizations to accelerate their growth and contribute to the development of the region’s economy,” they add. “We have already engaged with several countries in the region, and are actively discussing with organizations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.”

With the UAE figuring highly in terms of locations in the Middle East that Dawex wants to explore, Tocco and Lafaye explain their interest in the country has been owing to its forward-thinking approach when it comes to utilization of latest technologies. “The UAE has been recognizing from quite some time the power of the data economy: what it can bring to the region, to companies and organizations, and how it can drive competitiveness,” they note. “The country also demonstrated its understanding of the positive impact and benefits of building data strategies, and has been welcoming the most advanced companies offering blockchain and artificial intelligence cutting-edge technologies. The UAE is extremely mature when talking about data, and for Dawex, it’s very important and critical to be present locally in order to support our local customers, accelerate our business growth in the region, and the development of the data economy locally.”

Dawex co-founders and co-CEOs Laurent Lafaye and Fabrice Tocco.

Founded in 2015, Dawex today has 7,000 organizations from more than 20 industries relying on its proprietary Global Data Marketplace and Data Exchange Platform technology. Its recent round of funding, which featured investors like Amadeus, Itochu Corporation, Bouygues Construction, Caisse des Dépôts, among others, brings the total amount of funds it has raised since inception to be over EUR12 million.

As for what makes Dawex stand out in the data technology space, Tocco and Lafaye point to the enterprise’s offering as being especially unique. “We offer a sophisticated data marketplace and data exchange platform where organizations from all sectors can securely, and in full compliance with regulations, exchange, monetize, and sell data,” they explain. “No other companies around the world offer such a service for such a large community. Data exchange and data monetization are making an impact on the future of the economy, and many organizations already understood they have a role to play. Because we have the cutting-edge technology for data exchange, because we know how to address data challenges and how to build powerful data exchange strategy, enterprises and organizations are engaging with us to help them support their growth.”

When commenting on the global nature of the French startup’s offerings, Tocco and Lafaye say that this was their intention right from the beginning of the enterprise. “Dawex has a unique approach, as we resolve all data exchange pain points,” they explain. “Combined, we have more than 20 years of experience in dealing with data. Whatever the challenges faced by companies -technical, business, regulatory, or contractual- Dawex’s solutions address all data trading and data exchange challenges. Right from its inception in 2015, we first thought about Dawex as a global organization, addressing global data exchange business challenges… Right upfront, we wanted to address a global market with no barriers, as the data economy is global.”

If the success Dawex has seen so far is any indication, then it’s pretty apparent that, as entrepreneurs, Tocco and Lafaye should have a lot of insights that can be put to good use by their peers in the business arena, and as such, they were willing to share their advice for other startups to grow and scale. “Entrepreneurs should not be afraid of addressing a complex market with uncertainties and high potential,” they say. “If you believe in your idea/project, and you address a high potential market with a unique approach, you will find investors that have the same ambitions. There won’t be much, but the ones that are going to follow you in this adventure will be robust. Actually, you’ll succeed if you are one or two steps ahead, and if you are specific in your approach: addressing a large market, and offer a specific service or product.”

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