December 7, 2020
For enterprises, the price tag for mismanaging the personally identifiable information (PII) of their consumers is considerable and growing. Equifax’s data breach has cost the company close to $2 billion so far. While the toll for Facebook’s failures in this area is likely $10 billion, not including the indirect costs of increased regulatory attention and harm to the brand. Small wonder that when a stunning elegant solution to this massive data-privacy problem presented itself in the form of Skyflow, I made the single biggest seed stage bet I’ve ever made.
Effectively securing and managing PII data has become a board-level issue for most companies. But it’s an incredibly hard problem to solve. Most companies have IT systems that have been built over decades. They are heterogenous, and in most cases, weren’t designed to store and protect the vast amounts of consumer data that they hold today. Retrofitting these systems to secure PII data is like trying to convert the local credit union into Fort Knox. Nevertheless, companies spend fortunes trying to do so.
Anshu and Prakash set out to solve this problem for every company. Taking a page from Google and Apple, Skyflow enables every company to build and manage its very own Fort Knox. It enables companies to strip out the most sensitive and critical PII data, encrypt it, and store in a digital vault. Furthermore, Skyflow provides the access controls to enable companies to use and share data in a variety of ways without losing control of it.
When Anshu first described this idea to me, some 15 months ago, I had two reactions. First, I thought, this sounds too good to be true. On the surface, its simplicity was brilliant, yet the technical complexity was daunting. The second thought I had was, if it works, this is going to be a $100B company.
When Anshu introduced me to Prakash in the second meeting, I knew I was in. While I still had lots of questions about whether it would be built, I figured that if anyone could do it, it would be Anshu and Prakash. They had just the right mix of battle scars and wide-eyed optimism required to take on this problem. So, a week later, I told Anshu I wanted to lead Skyflow’s seed round, and the rest will hopefully be history.
Since then, Anshu and Prakash have assembled an exceptional technical team, combining expertise in encryption, databases, and workflows. They launched their product in May, and the customer response has been overwhelmingly positive. While this is still just the beginning, I can see a day when every company (big and small) uses Skyflow to secure, manage, and share its PII data. I can see a day when every new startup employs Skyflow as part of its Day One technology stack. I can see a day when consumers ask brands, “Did you Skyflow my data?”