(Image source: Enigma homepage.)
Enigma, a New York based startup data-as-a-service company, announced that it has received $95 million in financing to expand its network and platform that connects real-world and enterprise data to power key workflows. Enigma’s platform is designed to enable organizations to both better consume internal data and leverage signals from real-world data. The funding, the latest round since a public funding announcement in June 2015, was led by return investor NEA and includes new investments from strategic investors MetLife, BB&T, Capital One Growth Ventures and Third Point, along with leading venture firm Glynn Capital. Early investors Comcast Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Two Sigma Ventures, and the Partnership Fund for NYC also participated.
Enigma grew out of the concept that incorporating signals from real-world and public data can improve how enterprises operate. To put the thesis into practice, the company has built what it characterizes as a vast knowledge bank of people, places and companies, grounded in public data, to create a unique map of the world for individuals and enterprises.
Enigma reports that its market activity so far has largely been working to build data-rich workflows for financial risk management, compliance, pharmaceuticals and sales and marketing use cases, whereas the new funding will enable the company accelerate its focus on risk, procurement and fraud. Enigma says its platform helps its Fortune 500 clients, including BB&T, EMD Millipore, Celgene and Merck, better serve and engage their customers through new, contextualized workflows.
“Most of today’s innovative data work is rooted in understanding activity on the internet to support e-commerce and online marketing use cases,” comments Hicham Oudghiri, co-founder and CEO, Enigma. “The biggest impact from data will come from understanding real-world connections and bringing these connections to bear on everyday decisions. This is the work we’re pioneering at Enigma, and this new capital allows us to double down on expanding our collection of real-world data, new technology offerings and a world-class team, which has fueled our customer retention and expansion to date.”
Enigma will use the current funding round to expand its core offerings, focusing on broadening the reach of its knowledge graph technology. Enigma explains that its knowledge graphs, powered by public data and machine learning, structure data into connected insights and are the vehicle through which intelligence is delivered to clients. The company also plans to expand into new verticals. Toward that goal Enigma says it will hire top-tier talent and open the company’s first satellite office in order to enhance data acquisition and expand its data integration and delivery capabilities.
The strategic investments from recently launched venture arms of MetLife and BB&T mark inaugural investments by these firms into FinTech. Enigma says that its success so far in financial services has been driven by its focus on building a high-quality, organized data collection and rigorous standardization methodology, helping financial institutions validate and continuously enrich the information they hold in order to combat financial crime, reduce low value and wasted work, and consistently put customers first.
Major Milestone in Promoting a Culture of Innovation
“As the inaugural investment for MetLife Digital Ventures, our partnership with Enigma marks a major milestone in our effort to promote a culture of innovation at MetLife and further solidifies our commitment to being a leader in digital transformation across the insurance industry,” comments Marty Lippert, EVP and head of MetLife Global Technology & Operations and MetLife Holdings. “Enigma’s technology and machine learning capabilities have the potential to radically shift the insurance value chain by providing trustworthy intelligence to empower smarter, faster decision making.”
“We are committed to continuing our digital transformation by investing in companies, like Enigma, that harness the power of advanced technology and top-tier talent,” said BB&T Chief Digital Officer W. Bennett Bradley. “Enigma’s real-world data assets and expertise, along with their robust machine-learning capabilities, made them an obvious choice for our first FinTech investment. We believe there is more potential for Enigma to enhance other data-driven processes within the company for the ultimate benefit of our clients and shareholders.”
The world is changing rapidly in part by an exponential growth in intelligent technology that allows companies to understand, predict and influence events—and core to that is data, opines Greg Baxter, EVP and Chief Digital Officer, MetLife. Baxter says that Enigma has developed data and analytic capabilities that are perfectly aligned with MetLife’s own Digital transformation.
Using Real-World Data to Move Beyond Protection Products
“What we want to do is bring together the real-word data they are mining and overlay it with MetLife’s own proprietary data to gain new insights that will allow us to better serve our customers by moving beyond ‘protection’ products for our customers to prevention and recovery,” Baxter elaborates. “Using data and analytics, we have an opportunity to provide our customers with a better experience beginning with their original purchase experience and servicing to identifying new adjacencies. And as a strategic investor, one of the advantages MetLife gains is that our advanced data analytics experts will collaborate with Enigma to prioritize resources and determine joint initiatives. We’ll also gain access to Enigma’s data acquisition strategy, lab opportunities, and new sources of data that can provide first-mover advantage.”