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Zendata Emerges from Stealth with $2 Million Seed Funding to Address AI and Data Governance

May 2024 by Marc Jacob

Zendata emerged from stealth with $2 million in funding to redefine how security teams manage data and security. The seed round was led by PayPal Ventures, First-hand Alliance (operated by Salesforce Alumni), Geek Ventures, and Altari Ventures. The financing will be used primarily to develop the Zendata platform and expansion of its customer base to meet the increasing global demand for organizations looking to navigate today’s complex AI and data governance landscape.

Zendata was co-founded by industry veterans who bring decades of extensive experience working on AI and data platforms at multiple Fortune 100 companies, including PayPal. Zendata Co-Founder and CEO, Narayana Pappu, has focused his career on incubating and creating enterprise-grade data products, with experience in financial services, risk and privacy. Co-Founder Pedro Pinango has spent more than a decade leading multidisciplinary teams to build digital products for startups. Together, they are launching Zendata to redefine how organizations of all sizes can effortlessly integrate data security, AI governance and privacy solutions across the entire data lifecycle.

"The Zendata founding team brings with them a strong network in Silicon Valley and beyond. They understand the convergence of the CIO/CISO and CDO roles, and the need for a platform that bridges the gap between these roles and engineering teams," said Ihar Mahaniok, Managing Partner, Geek Ventures. "With AI governance becoming a significant tailwind, and the depreciation of third-party cookies driving increased focus on first-party data, the demand for Zendata’s solutions is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. We are excited to partner with Narayana, Pedro, and the Zendata team to contribute to their success in addressing the growing market need to help companies manage AI and data risks effectively."

Data breaches are becoming more common, with cybercriminals continuously developing new methods to exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks. According to the 2023 IBM Cost of a Data Breach report, 52% of data breaches involve some form of customer Personal Identifiable Information (PII). Safeguarding sensitive data is crucial to maintaining trust among customers and stakeholders and preventing reputational damage. Having a deep understanding of the key frameworks and regulations that make this possible empowers organizations to remain compliant and stay ahead of potential threats.

Today, the data risk management market is experiencing increasing demand due to factors such as rising regulatory pressures and the growing adoption of AI and LLMs in businesses. Unfortunately, many companies and governments lack adequate context and visibility into how their data is being used, exposing them to substantial risks and liabilities. Zendata AI Governance mitigates AI adoption risks to enable organizational agility. The platform empowers organizations to gain comprehensive insights and control over their data usage, enabling them to make informed decisions and stay compliant with evolving regulations around data privacy and AI governance.

Zendata is also announcing that the company has been accepted into the highly selective Topline program run by Race Capital, the investors behind Databricks. This opportunity will open up new avenues for growth and future funding for the company.

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