As data takes center stage, Codified wants to bring flexibility to governance

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Over the last decade, we’ve seen data grow in increasing importance to enterprise software, and that role has grown even more pronounced more recently with the rise of large language models. At the same time, there has been a corresponding rise in regulation around the use of that data, and figuring out how to stay in compliance is more critical and challenging than ever.

That’s where Codified, an early-stage startup that was nurtured last year inside venture capital firm Madrona Venture, comes into the picture. The company was built from the ground up from a data veteran with an eye toward solving the data compliance problem, and today it announced a $4 million seed round.

Company founder and CEO Yatharth Gupta sees that data is at the center of today’s technology, yet companies struggle to control access to it. “Every company has a lot of data. They want people to use this data. In order for people to use this data, they want to make sure that the right people have access and the wrong people don’t. It is an incredibly tough problem for people to solve,” Gupta told TechCrunch.

“So at Codified our mission is simple. We want to empower your company’s innovation by making sure that you can easily get access to data in a compliant manner within your company.”

As Gupta sees it, many large companies are authoring policies and trying to implement them in various ways, but he sees software that is too rigid for today’s use cases, leaving them vulnerable, especially when they have to change policy. He wants to change that by translating policy into code that can be implemented in a variety of ways, connected to various applications that need access to the data, and easily changed when new customers or user categories come along.

“We let you author policies in natural language, in a declarative way or using a UI — pick your favorite way — but when those policies are authored, we can codify them into something that can be implemented in a number of ways and can be very easily changed,” he said.

To that end, the company also enables customers to set conditions, such as whether you’ve had security training in the last 365 days, or you’re already part of a team working on a sensitive project. Ultimately, this enables companies to set hard-coded data access rules based on who the employee is and the applications they are using or projects they are part of, rather than relying on creating groups on which to base these rules. The problem with a group approach is people move around and change jobs, and the groups don’t always keep up, he says.

Gupta’s background includes 15 years at Microsoft in several positions, including running the Azure Databricks product, and a couple of years at SingleStore, where he ran product and engineering. Both jobs, he says, were heavily involved in data and he saw the kinds of problems he’s trying to solve with Codified.

The product is still in development. Gupta has been working with several design partners to refine the idea, and he’s working with five full-time employees and another half dozen contractors. He hopes to have a release candidate later this year.

Investors in today’s round include Vine Ventures, Soma Capital and Madrona Venture Labs, where Codified incubated last year.

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