Ashu Garg of Foundation Capital led the round, with Jeff Immelt (former GE CEO) and Jonathan Bush (former Athena Health CEO) vanting for smaller checks.
The capital raise and its constituent announcement represent an escape from quasi-stealth mode for Skyflow which was established in 2019. Until announcing its seed round, they knew a bit about Skyflow as of one of its co-founders, Anshu Sharma is a former Salesforce director and an investment capitalist at Storm Ventures, a venture capital company focusing on SaaS companies. What caught our attention was that he quit the venture community to finally find something new.
What is Skyflow, then? In a way, it’s the intersection between two phenomena, namely the increasing value of data protection (in other words, privacy), and companies focused on API. Skyflow’s offering is an API empowering its clients — companies, not individuals — to safely archive confidential user information, such as Social Security numbers.
Chatting with Sharma in advance of investment, the CEO told that several cyber security technology vendors today are offering goods that lift a company’s walls against such attacks a little higher. However, once the data stored inside is breached, it becomes loose. Skyflow needs to make sure the confidential information is not lost to its clients.
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Sharma compared Skyflow to other API firms that are trying to take on complicated infrastructure — Twilio’s telephony API, Stripe ‘s payment API, and so on — to offer a clear gateway for enterprises to tap in, provide them with convenient access to anything difficult.
Comparing the software of his business with privacy-focused approaches such as Apple Pay, the CEO said in a statement that “Skyflow has taken a common approach to all the confidential data such that businesses can run their workflows, analytics and machine learning to support the consumer, but without revealing the data as a result of possible misuse or violation.”
That’s a very good idea. When the system succeeds as intended, Skyflow will support a host of companies who are either unable to afford, or actually unable to be bothered, to better secure the collected data. If you’re not still furious with Equifax, a company that has decided it’s a fine idea to collect your personal information so it can grade you and then lose “hundreds of millions of customer records,” Skyflow might not get you excited. But if the law is willing to let firms leak your data with little punishment, it is welcome to use tools to help firms be a bit less horrifying about data security.
Provided that the data it will hold for users is not used as much, say, because a customer might be pinging Twilio’s API, Skyflow does not charge the software use levels. After debating the subject with Sharma, our expectation is that Skyflow will look like a SaaS enterprise until it formally releases the service commercially.
Skyflow isn’t the only business that has recently been created based on the API. Daily.co just raised funds for its video-chatting App, FalconX raised money for its crypto-pricing and trading App, and CNBC today announced that another privacy-focused API startup called Evervault also took cash.