Take a look at the pitch deck that a data-security startup used to raise $15 million despite the coronavirus wreaking havoc on VC funding

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Take a look at the pitch deck that a data-security startup used to raise $15 million despite the coronavirus wreaking havoc on VC funding

Nick Halsey   Okera Headshot

Okera

Okera CEO Nick Halsey.

  • Startups are struggling to raise cash, and many have had to scale back operations or close entirely.
  • But some hot spots in the market remain. One of those is data-management startups.
  • Collibra recently announced a $112.5 million funding round. And this week, Okera said it raised $15 million.
  • "Regardless of the impact of coronavirus on the economy, and the health of everybody, this is a part of the market that isn't going away," Nick Halsey, Okera's newly appointed CEO, told Business Insider.
  • Follow all of Business Insider's latest updates on the coronavirus here.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Startups are struggling to raise funding during the coronavirus pandemic, and many have had to scale back operations, lay off employees, or shut down entirely.

But some areas remain hot.

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Startups that are helping companies manage and use their data, for example, are still closing multimillion-dollar funding rounds. Earlier this month, Collibra said it raised $112.5 million - giving the data-management platform a $2.3 billion valuation.

Okera, another player in the space, recently raised $15 million. And the amount is evidence of the sustainability of the industry amid this turbulent environment, according to Nick Halsey, the company's newly appointed CEO.

Venture capitalists are looking to invest only "in companies that have an extremely high likelihood of making it through the coming difficult economic situation," he told Business Insider. "Very large enterprises, major banks that aren't going anywhere, must comply with these personal-privacy [laws] that are all over the world. We make it more cost-effective."

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Companies have spent billions of dollars on creating the foundation to support the adoption of advanced tech like artificial intelligence - including getting data catalogued and stored properly.

But now they're "getting frustrated because they can't get the last mile," Halsey said. "It's very hard, as it turns out, to define and enforce access policies and maintain security to comply with" new privacy laws.

Collibra and other startups help find and store all the data assets stored within an enterprise. Okera's software gives companies the power to specify who has access to certain information - while maintaining the necessary security to prevent unauthorized use.

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A retailer that is now one of Okera's customers, for example, had five programmers working for a year on what ended up being a failed solution to comply with the new privacy regulations.

"It was just going to be a very brutal and unmaintainable solution," Halsey said. Now the company is saving millions of dollars a year in operational costs, he added.

The latest funding round started before the coronavirus interrupted many global operations, but it did not close until March - right as the outbreak began to hammer markets and sent companies scrambling to adjust to new social-distancing guidelines.

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"Regardless of the impact of coronavirus on the economy, and the health of everybody, this is a part of the market that isn't going away," Halsey said.

Check out the pitch deck Okera used below.

This article has been updated to remove several slides that included financial data and customer information that Okera deemed confidential after publication by Business Insider.

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