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BigID, whose platform helps companies find and secure data, yesterday announced a $70 million round it said values the company at $1 billion just five years after launch. BigID said it will use the funds to expand its market reach.

The company announced that its data discovery and privacy platform can now be integrated with software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications from ServiceNow. It will also be adding support for Google Cloud Platform (GCP), alongside existing support for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, BigID CEO Dimitri Sirota told VentureBeat.

BigID was initially focused on enabling companies to comply with stringent new data regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the U.S. Earlier this year, BigID pivoted to add additional data analytics capabilities companies need to surface more intelligence about data residing in multiple repositories. BigID is now looking to extend those capabilities to a broader set of mid-market customers, Sirota said.

Sirota says the company currently has roughly 100 enterprise customers. Its platform enables organizations to track which employees are accessing sensitive data and where, but it also employs machine learning algorithms to surface what data is most critical to the organization while ensuring it is privacy-compliant.

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Many of its existing customers are large enterprises BigID has gained via reseller alliances with vendors such as SAP, Microsoft, AWS, and up-and-coming data warehouse company Snowflake, all of which might otherwise be potential rivals, Sirota said.

This latest round of investment actually closed earlier this year, but Sirota said the company and its investors made a decision to not disclose that financing during what was then the height of the COVID-19 pandemic due to economic uncertainty. However, because the funding round represents an important growth milestone, BigID decided to reveal it now, Sirota said, adding, “It’s kind of like a bar mitzvah.”

Despite its current valuation, however, Sirota said it will probably be at least another five to six years before the company goes public. He said BigID has also turned down multiple acquisition offers as it advances toward that goal.

Sirota concedes that several startups are targeting the same analytics use cases as BigID and competition is heating up. However, he claims the investments in machine learning algorithms and related AI technologies — such as natural language processing (NLP) — BigID has been making for years would take rivals a long time to match. While its data intelligence and privacy platform now support applications that are built on top of it, only BigID apps are currently supported. But the company told TechCrunch that this will change next year, when it plans to support third-party applications.

While enterprise companies are increasingly focused on data management because of regulations like the CCPA and GDPR, Sirota said the opportunity for BigID goes well beyond data privacy. Organizations of all sizes are trying to better understand which segments of their data are potentially most valuable based on how it’s being employed within the organization. That becomes a more critical requirement as organizations launch digital business transformation initiatives that revolve around data, Sirota said.

The challenge IT teams face is that data no longer resides within the four walls of a physical building, Sirota explained. Instead, it now streams across highly distributed IT environments that require a variety of AI capabilities to effectively govern and manage.

Those capabilities are so core to a data intelligence platform that calling them out individually isn’t worthwhile, Sirota added.

There’s no doubt organizations are trying to better monetize data. The challenge they all face is that they’re drowning in a sea of data that is generally poorly classified and often conflicting. Machine learning algorithms and other forms of AI should enable organizations to normalize that data in a way that makes it easier to surface actionable business insights.

The latest round of funding was led by Salesforce Ventures and Tiger Global, with participation from Glynn Capital.

It’s notable that Salesforce Ventures led this latest round because BigID already has an existing alliance with Tableau Software, which Salesforce acquired last year. Tableau and BigID will be further tightening integration shortly, Sirota said.

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