28 Feb 2024

Meet the Innovators: Harry Keen, CEO & Co-founder at Hazy (synthetic data)

Find out how Hazy is leading within the UK's innovation ecosystem.

Building upon the success of our Supercharging UK Tech and Innovation campaign, techUK is continuing to explore new ways to build an innovation ecosystem that will benefit people, society, economy and the planet.

This series celebrates the work of members in promoting a healthy UK innovation ecosystem.

Can you tell me about Hazy? What do you do?

Hazy is the leading synthetic data platform that uses generative AI to produce highly secure, representative, and de-identified data. Hazy empowers teams with safe data to accelerate product development, ensuring compliance and security.

With Hazy synthetic data, organisations can guarantee data privacy, drastically reduce development cycles, and avoid overheads associated with using live data.

We work with the most regulated industries - namely financial services, government, telcos - which have a lot of inaccessible data due to regulation, legacy infrastructure and strict governance controls. Made up of a mix of these firms alongside smaller technology providers, techUK’s ecosystem is a useful forum for conversations and thought leadership around data and AI.


How do you interact with the wider UK innovation ecosystem, including SMEs?

Hazy is a UCL spin-out and stays at the forefront of research and innovation within the synthetic data and privacy space. Our Head of Research, Georgi Ganev, is often part of events hosted by the ICO and FCA speaking to SMEs, vendors and regulators about how synthetic data can be used to speed up business operations.

Last year, Hazy launched a demo platform of our product enabling SMEs to trial the platform immediately for free. This enables firms of any size to quickly assess the value of the platform without having to take weeks of workshops.

We partner with technology firms and systems integrators to slot Hazy Synthetic Data into a wider data ecosystem and drive value.


How are your products or solutions enabling a sustainable approach to technology?

Hazy’s core mission is to set data free. Using synthetic data instead of real data enables organisations to develop products and services, test faster and perform analytics without risk, in essence, ‘democratising data’.

Data access requests needed to use live data typically take months to sign off - wasting time, resource and slowing projects. Synthetic data enables data to be shared across departments and borders, speeding up processes that usually take months without risking individuals’ privacy.

We offer distributed architecture deployment using Kubernetes to our customers which not only offers the utmost security but also enables elastic scaling. This minimises cloud compute, reducing the operational costs and potential overallocation of resources of the platform. As an example, deploying the distributed architecture instead of our single container architecture in our SaaS platform has reduced our internal cloud computing costs by 50%.


What's your vision for the UK's tech industry?

Continued investment in AI research and development will likely remain a priority for the UK as it aims to expand its influence and leadership after the success of the AI Summit last year, ahead of which techUK convened industry to feed in their views. The entire sector — regulatory bodies, governments, and tech vendors — should aim for collaborative efforts to establish robust yet adaptable frameworks governing data and AI. We’ve recently seen an example of that in action: our work with Nationwide Building Society has been featured by the ICO along with other privacy-enhancing technology case studies, which is an exciting step in setting industry standards for synthetic data.

The demand for data to train AI models will only increase, but the sector should prioritise ethical and secure practices for procuring, using, and sharing that data. More solutions will adopt a ‘privacy by design’ approach as privacy becomes less of a consideration for governance and legal functions and instead a shared priority across business units due to growing customer expectations.

There is still work to be done to prove value and build trust in how new technologies can fit into large, complex environments. Obviously, securely designed and built systems should be a baseline, but vendors should also be clear on how their tech fits into the wider ecosystem of existing tools — from a purely technical, value chain, and revenue standpoint. Only then will they become operationalised and reach their full potential.


How has Hazy benefitted from techUK membership?

The techUK ecosystem has provided a good opportunity to further our network. We have attended and spoken on panels at techUK’s events which offer a platform for our firm to further education and knowledge of synthetic data and its benefits.


techUK members interested in contributing to this series should reach out to [email protected].

Click below to view our other Supercharging Innovation series:

techUK – Unleashing UK Tech and Innovation 


The UK is home to emerging technologies that have the power to revolutionise entire industries. From quantum to semiconductors; from gaming to the New Space Economy, they all have the unique opportunity to help prepare for what comes next.

techUK members lead the development of these technologies. Together we are working with Government and other stakeholders to address tech innovation priorities and build an innovation ecosystem that will benefit people, society, economy and the planet - and unleash the UK as a global leader in tech and innovation.

For more information, or to get in touch, please visit our Innovation Hub and click ‘contact us’. 

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