Miami Tech & Startup News

Furthering data privacy mission, Mikkola's Usko acquires Redact and releases app

Furthering data privacy mission, Mikkola’s Usko acquires Redact and releases app

By Nancy Dahlberg

Just a month after announcing a $1.8 million funding round, Juha Mikkola, founder and CEO of Usko Privacy, has already made an acquisition and released the Usko app.

Usko’s mission is to help consumers  make smarter purchases and understand how they’re spending their money with features like expenditure projections and an inflation dashboard – all without compromising their data privacy. It is the only free consumer-facing platform that shows users their spending habits on Amazon,  and the startup plans to add other retailers and banks. Ultimately, the Miami-based startup will allow users to opt in to receive crypto tokens in exchange for sharing purchase information with advertisers – but on their own terms.

Usko is announcing today that it has acquired Redact, the leading app for cleaning up old posts from services like Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and Discord, and the team is joining Usko. Redact has helped over 250,000 users remove 100 million individual items in the last six months alone, Mikkola said. Redact’s founder and CEO is Dan Saltman, a Miami-based serial entrepreneur who built and sold TinyChat, Scour.com and Everydaycarry.com – among others – and built the largest Ethereum mining company in the US, Mikkola said.

Juha Mikkola, founder and CEO of Usko Privacy

The acquisition aligns with Usko’s vision of users having full control of their data on every level, reversing what many of the tech giants have slowly taken away, said Mikkola. “Our goal is to reverse the tide and give regular folks useful tools to analyze, manage and monetize their data. Redact allows folks like us to better manage what information we have put on the Internet and will slot into Usko’s product offering perfectly.”

 Saltman is joining Usko’s leadership team as a co-founder and head of product. CTO Josh Allmann is also a co-founder.

Earlier this month, Usko also released the Usko app for iOS and Android. What’s unique about Usko’s product is that all of the Amazon data is stored locally on  their users’ phones, so it remains private and Usko and other companies don’t see what they bought, Mikkola said.

“We’re so excited to have the first version of our app available for download,”
 Mikkola said. “We’re looking forward to folks trying it and getting a better understanding of their Amazon spending, including how much inflation has increased the prices of their favorite items.”

Next on Usko’s roadmap is launching messaging in the app, so brands can send users messages. “After that we are launching the ability for users to monetize their data on their terms,” said Mikkola, who named the startup after the Finnish word meaning trust, belief or confidence.

Usko has attracted a very Miami slate of investors including Miami Angels, Ocean Azul, Michael Simkins, Ted Lucas, Jon Oringer, Edward Lando, Mark Kingdon and Web Tree Capital. Along with his wife, Johanna, Mikkola in 2014 co-founded Wyncode Academy, which was acquired by BrainStation in 2021.

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Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com

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