Data in all of its forms has become the ingredient that every organization depends on. Accessing web data on a massive scale has served businesses from all arenas in numerous ways, from aiding with decision-making, to training AI systems, to optimizing pricing strategies, to driving critical research - the list goes on. Web data has simply become an invaluable tool.
With web data emerging as one of the most indispensable tools - especially over the last three years - it’s no surprise that the leading public web data platform, Bright Data, is experiencing exponential growth. Over the past year and a half, the company has celebrated several significant milestones – a rebrand, opening a second major global office in New York, launching The Bright Initiative, an organization that uses data to drive global positive change, building the team to over 400 employees, acquiring 3 companies, and reaching over US$100 million in annual revenues.
An inside look into Bright Data and its customers
Bright Data was founded in 2014, and in 2017, the company was acquired by UK-based private equity firm, EMK Capital.
At the beginning of 2020, the company took its product offering to the next level by offering complete web data collection platform services, utilized primarily by customers in the e-commerce and finance industries who rely on public web data collection to help with everything from investment research, to pricing strategies, to market research, and product development. However, as more businesses are now turning to web data collection, they also work with clients from a large variety of sectors.
So how exactly do their customers use public web data? For example, investors are increasingly relying on it – from social media posts, to company reports, to job listings, and lots more – in order to identify trends that can help inform their investment strategies. The use of external data or ‘alternative data’ is particularly common in ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) investing in shaping investment strategies around major global issues like the supply chain crisis.
Utilizing web data collection products also means marketers can reduce the risk of fraud by verifying the accuracy of the campaign data they receive. Many brands are also using Bright Data’s platform to protect their intellectual property. The company’s infrastructure allows brands to quickly and easily identify those who harm their reputation.
According to Or Lenchner, Bright Data’s CEO, “With so many potential uses of web data gathering, the task is on us – as a data technology provider – to ensure our products are used responsibly. We take this extremely seriously.” Therefore, setting, meeting, and openly reporting on its compliance targets remain a core focus for Bright Data in its commitment to total transparency around its compliance processes.
“Throughout 2021, we turned down opportunities to work closely with more than 800 potential customers, as they didn’t meet our strict compliance criteria. It might seem counterintuitive for a company to pride itself on rejecting customers but trusting the data you receive starts with trusting your provider,” says Lenchner.
“Running a state-of-the-art trustworthy web data platform greatly relies on keeping it compliant and secure,” adds Ron Kol, Bright Data’s CTO and Chief Information Security Officer.
“As our thousands of customers’ demands grow, our technological innovation will also continue to increase its compliance edge so our customers can continue relying on Bright Data with absolute trust. Dedicating our hard-earned expertise to these regulatory steps is one of our company’s primary goals and will continue to be through 2022,” Kol concludes.
Bright Data in The Big Apple
Last year, Bright Data announced the opening of a New York office, its second main office globally. The opening of the New York office demonstrates the increase in business activity and customer base, including its expanded services towards mid-market and enterprise-focused activities. Its physical presence in the United States will act as the fuel to continue driving this growth.
“Whether web data is used for responding to crises in real-time, maintaining a competitive edge, or reflecting consumer sentiments, public web data is flexible, sharp, and reliable. We are empowering businesses to make vital strategic decisions so they can win more and lose less,” said Lenchner at the time of the New York office launch.
In light of the company’s recent growth, Lenchner shares his thoughts: “The demand for web data has increased and now addresses more than just traditional needs. More and more industries are now turning to public web data as a reliable source of information for up-to-the-minute insights. Even once-reluctant industries such as financial services companies are now adding web data to their ongoing data sources.
“As the leading web data collection platform, we addressed and continue to address versatile, and I would go as far as saying creative, data needs to serve major players in the e-commerce, finance, and security sectors as well as academic institutions and more. Bright Data’s mission remains the same: to provide transparent access to the world’s largest database – and that is the internet. With that data, companies and organizations can openly research, compete, and offer innovative products and services and even save lives.”
Data4Good – accelerating global positive change through data
In addition to serving some of the world’s largest businesses – including Fortune 500 firms – Bright Data also recognizes the value of data to drive mission-critical projects and life-saving missions.
The Bright Initiative is a global organization that provides academic institutions and researchers, NGOs, nonprofits, and public bodies with pro-bono access to Bright Data’s cutting-edge technology and extensive expertise.
“As innovators and industry leaders in the field of web data, we have a duty to ensure our technology doesn’t just drive business profits but also brings about positive social and environmental change,” says Lenchner.
“Through The Bright Initiative, we’re helping organizations to harness the power of public web data to drive web transparency initiatives & global regulations, provide educational programs & support research, promote environmental protection initiatives & power public well-being organizations, and drive data-driven strategies to benefit our economy & society.”
The Initiative is made up of over 600 global organizations. Members include various charities at the forefront of the fight against human trafficking and the exploitation of minors, as well as top universities like Princeton and Oxford.
This year, The Bright Initiative also enhanced its support for the UK’s National Data Strategy (NDS) with two new significant partnerships. Already part of the NDS Forum, which the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) established to drive the Strategy forward, the Initiative is now set to provide industry-leading expertise, insight, and data-collection capabilities in support of work looking at skills and ethics. Furthermore, the Initiative has joined the Data Skills Taskforce, where it will play a vital role in ensuring that action is taken to guarantee the skilled workforce needed to meet the NDS aim of establishing the UK as a pioneering data economy.
After a record-breaking 2021, the future certainly looks brighter than ever. “We are the leading web data collection platform, and as we’ve seen in 2022 so far, it will continue being the year that web data makes an even greater impact and is used by even more organizations,” concludes Lenchner. “All I can say is the internet is the place where reality happens by the second… so watch this space!”
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