Thirty years ago, only a few organizations had consumer data at scale. They were heavily regulated and often monopolies and oligopolies, such as the government, healthcare, financial institutions (Visa), and telecom companies (AT&T). Today consumer data is widespread and used as a source of competitive advantage in nearly every industry, such as retail (Amazon/Walmart), media (Spotify/Netflix/Youtube), automotive (Tesla), and transportation (Uber/Lyft).
While companies have been quietly gathering massive sets of data on consumers for many years, only recently did legislation and data breaches push data privacy into the fore of the public dialogue. We believe mass data collection is unlikely to stop or even decelerate anytime soon. Gathering consumer data is becoming increasingly core to many if not most enterprises, not just the likes of Google and Facebook. Businesses will need means to legally extract value from that data. At Bessemer, we’re bullish on the outlook of companies that facilitate data collection and analysis in legal and ethical ways.
However the disappointing news, by and large, is that some of the most influential enterprises such as Marriott, Equifax, and British Airways have failed to protect consumer data adequately. The most common mistakes Big Tech and large organizations make with consumer data boil down to what we call The Seven Sins of Data Privacy Engineering.
These escalating problems require a new, industry-wide approach to Data Privacy Engineering and privacy operations. At Bessemer, we see many near-term opportunities for software companies in the data privacy ecosystem. While we’re excited by a number of promising categories, which include encryption, data de-identification, and consent management, our conviction in the data scanning and inventory space was a driving factor as to why Bessemer Venture Partners made a growth investment in BigID.
We are very excited to announce that we led BigID’s $50 million Series C financing, funding the company to continue to capitalize on the tremendous opportunity it sees in data privacy. BigID built a data intelligence platform that finds, analyzes, and de-risks identity data, allowing enterprises to understand where their sensitive data lives, at scale.
With GDPR already in place and the promise of further consumer privacy regulation across North America (United States), Asia, and Australia, global enterprises will soon turn to BigID as the data privacy solution of choice. Currently, global retail, Big Box, media streaming companies and beyond use BigID to help identify and de-risk their consumers’ data, giving both end customers and purchasing customers peace of mind.
This category-defining company and its tools emerged at just the right time in the post-GDPR era, and as data privacy regulation continues to proliferate. It’s safe to say that every company which collects consumer data will be expected to inventory its consumer data as a foundational step when adapting to new data policies and practices for compliance purposes.
“Considering the millions of data points of structured and unstructured data held by organizations, automation through AI applications will be critical to achieving and demonstrating any level of real-world compliance. This is especially true when working with petabyte-scale challenges and low hanging fruit.”
We’ve noticed BigID’s acute ability to listen to the needs of its customers in a time of dynamic regulatory landscape. Led by Dimitri and Nimrod’s partnership with their customers, BigID builds the products and features that customers need to say in line with the continuously changing data privacy regulatory landscape and best-in-class end customer protections.
BigID rises to the challenge that data proliferation presents. Data is stored across server farms, public and private clouds, SaaS tools, and BigID can sift through all of those locations to create dynamic indexes and map flows to determine where data lives.
As data privacy regulations, particularly GDPR and CCPA, emerge as mandates, our team at Bessemer noticed that BigID was the only tool that possessed the level of nuance that we thought would be needed to win the market. BigID is uniquely qualified to identify where a customer’s PII (personally identifiable information) and PI (personal information) sits due to cutting edge entity association technology which allows data to be associated with an individual or entity. That way, when a customer asks, “What do you know about me?” a company can accurately answer.
Enterprises built their internal infrastructures without the foresight that data privacy regulation would proliferate, and hence when GDPR was passed, enterprises were forced to find a data privacy solution or face massive economic consequences. Many have turned to BigID, the only tool in the market equipped to process and master their data at scale.
Data privacy regulation is a growing, global reality, and now BigID has distribution channels to address and serve organizations of all sizes around the world. No longer will data infrastructures be built solely for the proliferation of data but for securing data with consumer privacy top of mind. BigID is continuously thinking about how to address customer needs, and it is soon to release a cloud solution and a more robust set of APIs as well.
BigID has everything—the product, team, and market position—to successfully help leading enterprises address the ever-changing data landscape. As the first of what we hope will be several investments along our data privacy roadmap, we’re thrilled to build this long-term partnership.