Data Analytics Startup Blockfenders Receives $1.5m in Funding to Secure Data Sharing

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Data sharing in the business world is plagued by security issues that lead to data breaches, insider threats, ransomware attacks, and unauthorized access. To tackle this challenge, data analytics startup Blockfenders has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding from a mix of institutional and angel investors.

Blockfenders has revolutionized data sharing with its enterprise-grade, no-code platform that operates in a zero-trust environment while preserving data privacy. The platform integrates blockchain, cloud, and distributed ledger technologies such as Hedera and Hyperledger to create an enterprise data exchange network that enables controlled data exchange between multiple parties without revealing the raw data.

With Blockfenders, companies can set up data exchange channels with their internal or external partners without writing any code. The platform operates on a zero-trust basis, allowing companies to share data securely and with granularity from any data source including databases, data warehouses, and other platforms. The zero-trust model protects the actual data resource rather than the security perimeter, provides tamper-evident data verifiability and lineage, and gives data owners control over data access through smart contracts and cryptography-based, passwordless access control. Blockfenders automates data workflows, facilitates transparent data agreements, and reduces the liabilities associated with data sharing through end-to-end encryption and tamper-proof raw data. This results in increased data utility at 80% lower costs.

Gartner predicts that companies that encourage data sharing will outperform their competitors in business performance, but only a small percentage (less than 5%) of data sharing initiatives will be successful in identifying and accessing trustworthy data sources. A recent survey by Forrester Research found that over 70% of global data and analytics decision-makers are increasing their ability to utilize external data.

Blockfenders co-founder & CEO Viraj Phanse commented: “Data sharing has been limited to direct access to data sources, data views, APIs, sending data via emails and ETLing. Each of these mechanisms are resource intensive, cost prohibitive and technically complex to implement, thus increasing the dependency on IT and data engineering teams. Because of failing data sharing methods that result in increasing data liabilities, CIOs, CISOs and Chief Data Officers are unable to unlock the true potential of data and maximize its business value. Consequently, zettabytes of enterprise data is locked, siloed and kept inaccessible leading to failed digital transformation initiatives. In spite of spending millions of dollars on cybersecurity and data management, organizations are unable to prevent attacks that cause a lot of brand and reputation damage.” 

Co-founder & CTO at Blockfenders Niranjan Ingale added: “Enterprises, healthcare and financial services organizations want to share data internally and externally to meet their business and operational goals. Although this is a top priority of their IT, data and security leaders, data sharing while enhancing data privacy and security, is not easy and secure.  If performed incorrectly, it can lead to brand and reputational damage with heavy penalties. Blockfenders solves these challenges by making data sharing as simple as sharing photos on the phone. We are democratizing data sharing by enabling business, research and non-technical folks to share data from their own environment without writing any code or worrying about privacy, security and implementation. Now organizations can easily establish a single source of truth of data and share data in a fine-grained manner while meeting stringent regulations and compliances.”

Based in Palo Alto, Blockfenders was established by long-time friends Viraj Phanse and Niranjan Ingale with the mission of enabling seamless and secure data exchange across borders. With a wealth of tech industry expertise, Viraj has held executive positions at major companies such as AWS, Oracle, Persistent and Aerospike, while Niranjan has a background leading engineering teams at AllScripts and Persistent.

Since its founding just nine months ago, Blockfenders has already expanded to a team of 10 and intends to use its pre-seed funding to further expand the team, enhance its capabilities such as supporting various data sources and tokenization, and broaden its reach into industries such as healthcare, banking and financial services, enterprises, and technology.

Speaking about the investment into Blockfenders, Sanjay Nath, the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Blume Ventures, said, “What excited us about Blockfenders was Viraj and Niranjan’s articulation of the expansive scope of the problem statement and the promising tailwinds associated with it. Enterprises and Healthcare & BFSI companies today struggle with setting up and managing zero trust data-management platforms and Blockfender’s unique positioning and inherent technology moat is well poised to solve for that.”

Rashid Mayes, Principal Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft and co-founder at Philanthropy.AI, who is also an angel investor into the current round, added, “Businesses will face a greater reliance on securely and efficiently operationalizing data from diverse sources to meet the growing analytics/actionable insights, intelligence, end-to-end observability, and personalization needs of modern applications and services. Blockfenders’ platform enables organizations to break data silos and drive more value from data without sacrificing privacy, governance, or integrity.”

Blockfenders has made a significant impact in the industry with its unique approach to secure data sharing. The company has already established partnerships with a digital health company in the eye care industry and a global employee engagement platform provider, both of which are undergoing successful pilot programs. Global banks have also expressed interest in Blockfenders’ solution.

The latest funding round, featuring participation from Blume Ventures, Together Fund, Veda VC, Behind Genius Ventures, Better Capital, Arka Venture Labs, Global Devc, FortyTwo, Eximius Ventures, GSF Fund, Pointone, Upsparks, and prominent industry leaders like Dr. Anand Deshpande (founder and chairman of Persistent Systems), Rashid Mayes (engineering leader at Microsoft), Dinesh Agarwal (founder and CEO at IndiaMart.com), Dinesh Gulati (COO at IndiaMart.com), Gaurav Kapur (investor and sports presenter/producer), Henry Zitou (General Partner at Wagmi Ventures), and Nitish Mittersain (CEO and joint MD at Nazara Technology), will help Blockfenders expand its team and add new features like support for multiple data sources and tokenization. The company is poised to make further inroads in industries such as healthcare, banking and financial services, enterprises, and technology.