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September 5, 2019

Data Privacy Startup Attracts Investors

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BigID, the data privacy startup, announced its latest funding round this week as companies scramble to comply with new regulations on handling customer data.

The $50 million funding round announced by BigID on Thursday (Sept. 5) brings its venture funding total nearly $100 million since its founding last year. Participating in the Series C round were leader Bessemer Venture Partners along with new investor, Salesforce Ventures. Existing funders include Boldstart, Clearsky, Comcast Ventures, Fund, and Scale Venture Partners.

New York-based BigID’s twist on data privacy involves providing better visibility into “contextual data” collected by companies, how and where it is stored as well as who has access to customer data. The startup’s technology then matches users to their data.

The startup also this week released the latest version of its enterprise platform incorporating AI and analytics tools geared toward data privacy. The automation tools include a “data discovery” feature used to identify data by type, then correlate data components back to an individual or entity.

Along with data coverage across unstructured data servers and organized relational databases, the upgraded platform also supports high-speed data pipelines widely used to process petabytes of data in real time. BigID’s approach is billed as bringing scalable data discovery and governance to data pipeline stacks such as Apache Kafka and Amazon Kinesis.

That capability is designed to allow users to process large data volumes while complying with European and upcoming California data privacy regulations.

The startup’s data privacy niche revolves around automating data operations. “For too long, companies tried to solve their data privacy needs with recollection, not records,” said Nimrod Vax, BigID’s co-founder and chief product officer. That process involved manual identification and mapping of sensitive data across enterprises, often resulting in errors.

BigID asserts that earlier solutions were often inaccurate and designed only for specific data sources while failing to comply with current privacy, security and governance requirements. As California prepares to enact new data privacy rules, BigID and other startups are attempting to fill that gap.

Its AI-powered data discovery platform aims to help companies comply with new global rules like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act by organizing and correlating data collected by companies about their customers.

Demand for such products appears to be growing as data privacy rules are strengthened. That demand is attracting investment in startups like BigID. Dimitri Sirota, the startup’s CEO and co-founder, noted it “hadn’t even touched our Series B” funding before new investors came calling.

BigID currently has 150 employees worldwide and has expansion plans, citing industry forecasts pegging the global data privacy market at $158 billion by 2024.

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