Accenture invests in data management platform Inrupt

01 April 2022 3 min. read

Accenture has made a strategic investment in Inrupt. Co-founded by communications pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, the enterprise software company focuses on empowering users with their personal data.

Tim Berners-Lee is a Professorial Fellow of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The English computer scientist is best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web – the advent of which has revolutionised the world and its economy in the decades since. 

Accenture invests in data management platform Inrupt

However, while the internet has linked users around the world in ways never before dreamt of as possible, it has also brought with it new and unimagined challenges. In particular, the reams of data it generates have enabled a new age of predatory capitalism and surveillance politics – something which is a far cry from the intentions of the technology’s originator.

Seeking to rebalance the scales, Berners-Lee has co-founded a new start-up with entrepreneur John Bruce: Inrupt. The enterprise software company is focused on putting online personal data back in the power of users, while also reinventing how businesses and governments manage digital data.

Berners-Lee said, “Thirty-three years after the birth of the World Wide Web, Inrupt is delivering on my original vision of a web of shared benefit, for everyone. With Solid, our potent open-source technology, we are working to create a new internet era by putting individuals in control of their data, giving organizations new opportunities to create value for customers, and allowing developers to thrive in an open marketplace of innovation.”

The company’s Enterprise Solid Server platform, which is based on Berners-Lee’s open-source web technology Solid, enables businesses and governments to offer consumers and citizens personal data vaults. This brings together and stores data from multiple, disconnected sources in a web standard format and allow individuals to decide which data to share across applications and services.

Research from Accenture shows that 89% of executives believe that their organisation’s ability to generate business value will increasingly be based on the limitations and opportunities of their technology architecture. This is something Inrupt’s offering could help address as instead of taking responsibility for collecting, storing, protecting and unifying data across incompatible back-end systems, businesses and governments can organise personal user data around the individual it belongs to, providing more control and transparency.

Project Spotlight

Thanks to this, Inrupt has attracted an undisclosed strategic investment from Accenture. The technology consulting giant made the investment through Accenture Ventures, and Inrupt has become part of Accenture Ventures’ Project Spotlight, an engagement and investment program that connects emerging technology software start-ups with the Global 2000 to fill strategic innovation gaps.

Project Spotlight offers extensive access to Accenture’s domain expertise and its enterprise clients, helping start-ups harness human creativity and deliver on the promise of their technology.

“Managing and storing personal data is a fragmented process for businesses and one that makes it difficult for users to understand where their data resides and who has control of it,” said Tom Lounibos, managing director of Accenture Ventures.

“Our investment in Inrupt demonstrates our commitment to helping our clients rethink their technology architectures and source new solutions. Inrupt can help empower users and businesses alike to transform the traditional one-way experience of data ownership into a more collaborative experience at scale across multiple sources, which is increasingly important as companies begin developing a metaverse strategy.”