Public data is a huge gigantic mess. Some municipalities offer everything in indexed searchable sites, while others send you cd roms of property values and tax records. Still, some municipalities require that you go down to their town hall or courthouse and sift through filing cabinets as if they’re trapped in the 1970s.
Cumulatively you’re talking about 100’s of millions if not millions of records of data, and none if it’s uniform. It’s possibly the largest big data project in the world. An ambitious project, taken on by Hicham Oudghiri and Marc DaCosta co-founder sof Enigma.io, as well as CEO Jeremy Bronfmann.
There are mountains upon mountains of public data. What is “public data” it’s really determined by the municipalities themselves. For instance, tax records, property records, marriage licenses, etc are just about public data in every town and city across the country and around the world. In some municipalities though, restaurant food scores, public transportation records and even dog licenses are considered public data.
Sure there are scammy data sites that off-shoot to wanna be background reports, but Enigma is out to do something bigger. They want to create an entire new layer of the internet in the next five years.
Enigma has already raised $1.1 million dollars in seed funding from Triple Point Ventures, CrossLink Capital, and angels like YouTuber Brent Hurley. They’ve also inked some important partnerships with Harvard Business School, Gerson Lehrman Group (a research firm), S&P Capital IQ and The New York Times.
One of the challenges Enigma faces is the rapid rate at which more and more data is released to the public. Yet another thing that Bronfmann says their team is ready for.
Enigma started to amass this huge collection of data by sending a ton of Freedom of Information Act requests. They’ve had to compile the data in one simple, easy to use format even though it comes in a variety of sources. Bronfmann told us in an interview that some data even comes on “print outs”.
The scope of what Enigma is looking to achieve along with the powerhouse team and the work they’ve done to date, was enough for them to win the TechCrunch Battlefield competition on Wednesday. That honor comes with a $50,000 non-equity prize and of course startups that have won in the past like UberConference and GetAround, have gone on to raise huge rounds.
Check out our interview with Bronfmann below and sign up for more info about Enigma here at enigma.io.