Data Analytics startup Blockfenders has raised a $1.5 Mn pre-seed funding round from a range of institutional and angel investors. The round saw participation from investors including Blume Ventures, Together Fund, Veda VC, Behind Genius Ventures, Better Capital, Arka Venture Labs, Global Devc, FortyTwo, Eximius Ventures, GSF Fund, Pointone, and Upsparks.
Other Angel Investors who participated in the rounds are Founder and chairman of Persistent Systems — Dr. Anand Deshpande, Engineering Leader at Microsoft — Rashid Mayes, Founder and CEO at IndiaMart.com — Dinesh Agarwal, COO at IndiaMart.com — Dinesh Gulati, Investor and sports presenter/producer — Gaurav Kapur, General Partner at Wagmi Ventures — Henry Zitou, and CEO and joint MD at Nazara Technology — Nitish Mittersain.
Headquartered in Palo Alto, Blockfenders was co-founded in 2022 by friends of 20 years Viraj Phanse and Niranjan Ingale to make it easier to securely exchange data across borders. Both co-founders have extensive global experience in the tech industry, with Viraj having held leadership roles at AWS, Oracle, Persistent and Aerospike, and Niranjan leading engineering teams at AllScripts and Persistent.
In just nine months, Blockfenders has grown to a team of 10 and plans to use its pre-seed funding to grow the team further, build new capabilities like supporting multiple data sources and tokenization, and expand its presence in industries such as healthcare, banking and financial services, enterprises, and technology.
Blockfenders has removed the burden on IT and data engineering teams to enable complete data sharing with its enterprise-grade, no-code platform in a zero-trust environment while preserving data privacy. It combines the best of blockchain, cloud, and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) like Hedera and Hyperledger to create an enterprise data exchange network that simplifies fine-grained and controlled data exchange between multiple parties without revealing raw data.
Without any code and just using the Blockfenders user interface, companies can establish data exchange channels with their internal or external partners so that they can start sharing data securely and granularly with zero trust from any data source including databases, data warehouses, and other data platforms.
Zero trust which is central to Blockfenders enables protecting the actual data resource instead of perimeter of security, adds tamper-evident data verifiability and lineage, and allows data owners to control on-demand or scheduled data access using smart contracts and cryptography-based passwordless access control. It automates data workflows and expedites transparent data agreements.
Blockfenders minimize liabilities associated with data sharing using end-to-end encryption, tamper proofness of raw data, and increase data utility at 80% lower costs
According to Gartner, companies that encourage data sharing will surpass their competitors in terms of business performance. However, Gartner also predicts that only a small fraction (less than 5%) of data-sharing initiatives will be successful in identifying and accessing trustworthy data sources. Further, in a recent survey of Chief Data Officers, Forrester Research found that more than 70% of global data and analytics decision-makers are increasing their capacity to utilize external data.
Viraj Phanse, Co-founder & CEO of Blockfenders, said, “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 are locked, siloed and kept inaccessible leading to failed digital transformation initiatives. Despite spending millions of dollars on cybersecurity and data management, organizations are unable to prevent attacks that cause a lot of brand and reputation damage.”
Pearl Agarwal, Founder & Managing Director at Eximius Ventures, said, “In an increasingly distributed, cloud-native and interoperable world, the ability of large enterprises to remove data silos and easily transfer data in a secured and safe manner is of prime importance. Today businesses are generating millions of data points that can be utilized for further intelligence and growth. Blockfenders enables Healthcare, BFSI and large businesses to do so with ease using zero-knowledge technology.”
Sanjay Nath, 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 in 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 already gained traction for its innovative approach to help customers collaborate with internal and external partners across boundaries. The company has attracted two major industry players in the USs, including a digital health company in the eye care industry and a global employee engagement platform provider. Both partners are currently undergoing proof of concept and pilots. Blockfenders has also seen keen interest from two global banks for secure data sharing.