Paypal and BlackRock Buying Enigma, The Revolutionary Startup

Paypal and BlackRock Buying Enigma, The Revolutionary Startup

After 35 days of lock-up, salaries of $ 6,354,845,148 were unpaid to 747,573 federal employees. Each second elapsed adds $ 2,118 to the number. Some staff members were on leave; many more worked without pay. In the Department of Homeland Security, for example, some 245,405 employees were unpaid and 32,706 were laid off. In the Treasury, 36,309 workers were on leave and 82,336 were working without pay. At the Environmental Protection Agency, 52% of its staff worked without pay. Understanding the extent of this disturbance – and its granular details – was no small feat.

A little-known fintech company in New York, named Enigma, exposed the rising costs in real time on a government-created website, Shutdown 2018-2019. To do this, Enigma consulted the Office of Management and Budget’s emergency plans for 109 federal departments. It also used FederalPay.org for average wages and the number of workers in 46 branches. In all, 2,000 pages and 2 million lines of federal data on spreadsheets to create a follow-up. From idea to launch, efforts lasted 36 hours for three Enigma dialers. Shutdown data is available for free, but Enigma’s ability to quickly understand multiple disconnected data sources, public and private, and create a customizable view of the global economy has attracted some of the world’s largest companies, from BlackRock to PayPal and Celgene, passing through Many customers pay more than a million dollars a year to access their information.

A One-Of-A-Kind Startup

Enigma is an original idea of ​​Hicham Oudghiri and Marc DaCosta, best friends since their meeting 16 years ago when they were undergraduate students at Columbia University, where they studied philosophy. Their startup organizes information from thousands of sources around the world in a single, fully linked interface. Oudghiri and DaCosta began their career in the field of data mining after the 2008 financial crisis. DaCosta was a graduate student in cultural anthropology of data at the University of California at Irvine, while Oudghiri was managing projects of renewable energy for BCME Bank in Casablanca, Morocco. Both were curious to explain the world in the light of the global disturbances that were occurring.

As a result, they came together and started organizing publicly available data sets, starting with the Federal Aviation Administration flight logs. They quickly discovered a wealth of valuable information hidden from view: government newspapers, academic research publications, obscure commercial documents, and shipping manifests. If they could collect it, clean it, organize it and analyze it, they thought, it could produce a macro-economy rendering in near real time. Oudghiri and DaCosta formally founded Enigma in 2011 and began to work by merging public data, mostly from government sources such as the Census Bureau, the FCC, the Federal Election Commission, and the IRS, as well as registrations, US Customs and Border Protection Agency’s import and building permits and bring them together as a single source.

Having The Capability To Find Extract Otherwise Elusive Information

They have also become experts in finding complex and hard-to-find information. For example, using the Freedom of Information Act, Enigma uses CBP’s automated manifest system to track each container ship that arrives in the United States, including the importer and the port of call. From the National Incident Reporting System, Enigma recovers the cause and location of all fires in the United States.

To cover energy, Enigma relies on oil well data provided by the Railroad Commission of Texas, founded in 1891 to set rates. The company had a pivotal year in 2014, when Enigma raised $ 4.5 million from Comcast, American Express, and the New York Times Co., and entered the Fintech Innovation Lab which was instituted by the Partnership Fund for New York and Accenture. This information could be linked to customer data in the banks’ systems, helping them to recognize fraud or businesses and individuals more quickly.