Samooha – Building secure data networks and collaboration communities for enterprises
Updated: Feb 2
We are excited to share that Samooha has raised 12.5M in financing from Altimeter Capital, Snowflake Ventures and a community of strategic angels. As we write this piece about the genesis of this company, Samooha, we are pushing ourselves to put words to a sense of conviction and passion that is behind its founding story. It is a journey that began serendipitously when the two of us, founders, were introduced by a common friend.
Abhishek, having led privacy preserving machine learning platforms at Apple - the bastion of privacy, is motivated to bring consumer-grade privacy-enhancing technologies to the enterprise data ecosystem to unlock safe and secure data collaboration.
Kamakshi, driven by her experience in marketing tech, is envisioning an opportunity for a foundational application or service that brings secure data collaboration as a first class capability to any enterprise, no matter the underlying data stack or security posture.
While we come from different and yet complementary perspectives, we were both considering how to use our experiences and backgrounds to create a greater sense of data safety, privacy and security for people and businesses in this information economy.
We are living through an era of information economy, wherein all problems manifest themselves as data problems with ever evolving regulatory, sovereign and competitive data boundaries. Harnessing this data for concrete value requires the need to break and bridge across these boundaries with secure collaboration infrastructure and applications.
Building such a foundational data infrastructure and systems is difficult, rooted in foundational mathematical principles and values. Therein lies the motivation as technical, repeat founders; we choose to go back to the basics and solve such problems that move the needle for enterprises and people.
The Opportunity – Why Now?
Our founding hypothesis for Samooha is best encapsulated in the belief that the newest frontier of collaboration technologies stands to be built in the space of data sharing and collaboration. Our conviction for this emanates from and is cemented by experiences through the pandemic and the epic disruption it unleashed in society. It exposed cracks and weaknesses across the spectrum, rooted in the need for better collaboration across systems of record for data and data infrastructure. Consider the following scenarios that disrupted economies and daily lives, and even more importantly, the rethink and redressal through secure data collaboration technologies and AI:
Supply chain/logistics The pandemic along with a confluence of other macro economic-political factors has triggered a redesign of supply chain networks that are more resilient while continuing to be cost-competitive. An articulate case for end-to-end supply chain visibility is discussed in a paper published by the Brookings Institute. The foundational need for such a well-designed, high visibility supply chain and logistics ecosystem is a data-sharing platform that brings together high quality, real-time and sovereign data from the private and public sector enterprise.
Financial Services In the financial services sector, institutions most often face a challenge of not being able to see the whole customer journey; each institution holds a part of the puzzle (i.e. customer data) when it comes to answering important questions such as “is this customer creditworthy?”, “are these traders colluding?”, or “is this transaction fraudulent?” However, with only their own data, financial institutions – like the popular Indian fable of the three blind men – risk drawing the wrong conclusions. Moral of the parable is – sharing information is the key to unlocking the mystery of the elephant and building a complete picture of the pachyderm at hand. Unfortunately, this kind of data-sharing is not so easy for financial institutions. Unlike the blind men, they face regulatory restrictions on how they store, manage and share data that, until recently, have made it impossible for them to build a comprehensive picture of their customers and operating environments.
Healthcare The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that a holistic view of the patient is important and increasing data sharing and collaboration will create a leaner and more agile health care system in the long run. Such a data collaboration includes electronic health records (EHR), clinical data and research, and information regarding social determinants of health, as well as health and risk management. This data can help to provide a missing piece to a puzzle capable of changing the trajectory of a treatment plan, or reveal patterns across demographics and patient groups.
This fundamental capability of data sharing and collaboration is inhibited and deterred by the lack of practical, easy-to-use, data-infrastructure-aligned privacy preserving, secure data sharing products that enterprises can seamlessly leverage.
The Vision – What is it?
Make trusted, secure data collaboration a “consumer-grade service” across all data infrastructures to safely share data, collaborate and run analytics, data science, machine learning/AI workloads.
Our Approach – The Samooha Encrypted Multiparty Computation Environment – What is unique about it?
Privacy-enhancing computation techniques that protect data while it’s being used — in addition to while it’s at rest or in motion — enable secure data processing, sharing, cross-border transfers and analytics, even in untrusted environments.
Our approach has the potential to transform academic research to real products delivering real value, enabling new forms of collaboration and sharing; with reduced risk of data breaches and with no exposure of the underlying data. Samooha’s approach to Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET) puts the product and ease-of-use at the forefront while grounded in the spectrum of cloud-infrastructure based security assurances to cryptographic guarantees. The unique value proposition is the ability to deploy the right permutation of state-of-the-art PETs that are suited to the trio of use cases, underlying infrastructure and trust boundary of the environment.
Our Product – How does a business test and try it?
Samooha offers a cloud native, secure data collaboration platform as an application, that is built on Snowflake cleanroom primitives, as a cross-cloud secure collaboration application, available to any enterprise on the cloud, with support for a set of foundational features on secure data sharing and workloads on the same. This is further manifested as vertical applications aligned to key industry applications and use cases across big verticals such as Healthcare, Financial Services, Retail Media, Advertising and Marketing.