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Top 8 air purifiers to keep your house and home office fresh and clean

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Working and sheltering at home may have created an environment that’s toxic to allergy sufferers and unpleasant for everyone else. We pick the latest in home air purifiers.

Celios G200 air purifier

” data-credit=”Image: Celios”>air-purifier.jpg

Celios G200 air purifier

Image: Celios

From the gross-but-true files: Dust in your home is made up of about 50% dead skin cells. The rest is composed of plant pollen, human and other animal hairs, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals from outdoor soil, burnt meteorite particles and various other bits of the local environment.

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Sheltering at home during the pandemic brought a more-than-usual amount of bodies together throughout the day. Everyone at home was a dramatically different pre-pandemic, with a home cleared out in the early morning with residents jettisoning off to work and school, only to return in the evening. The current build-up of dust and other particles has created surroundings that wreaked havoc on those with allergies. 

Additionally, by adhering to strict safety protocols for more than a year, people have grown accustomed to sanitizing, avoiding and removing toxicity in the environs.

The general consensus has been that fully remote work-from-home will soon evolve into a hybrid model. Through at least this fall many students and workers will be given the choice of continuing remote until they are comfortable enough and feel safe enough to step onto either the school grounds or their office lobby.

SEE: Photos: Tech gadgets to make air time more productive (TechRepublic)

More people will continue to stay at home both during the day and in the evening. Many, notably those who were forced to shelter alone, adopted what are being called COVID-19 pets, adding a new level of elements to a home’s air quality. Spring sprung many allergens.

The bottom line is that we must be mindful of air quality, and this time, it’s within our homes.

“We learned from COVID-19 we need to do better with respect to indoor air quality,” said Dr. Steven Haywood, an advisor to GreenTech Environmental, board certified emergency medicine doctor and former respiratory therapist. “We now know air purification and ventilation is one key to preventing the spread of contagions, and now that we know we can’t ignore it; we need to find ways to bring the outdoors inside. It isn’t only viruses we should be worried about. Asthmatics and those with COPD know how dust, dander, and volatile organic compounds, called VOCs, like fumes from carpets and paint negatively impact indoor air quality and our ability to function at our highest productivity levels.”

While keeping a nursery’s air fresh is obvious, on the other end of the spectrum, seniors are more affected by the state of the air around them. They “tend to spend more time indoors where pollution levels are about five to 10 times higher than outdoors,” said OneLife CEO Christoph Burkhardt, a health tech innovator and author. “Comorbidities make the elderly more vulnerable to the effects of fine dust and ultra fine particles, and aging bodies are not well equipped to deal with inflammation which has linked air pollution in the elderly with a form of ‘silent stroke.'” 

One highly recommended way to tackle allergens is to purchase an air purifier. Today, purifiers range in size from those that can be worn around the neck to nearly industrial-grade models the size of dorm fridges and even larger. 

“During the high allergy season, it is best to use a high-efficiency HEPA filters,” said Chris Winters, technical specialist at the Redmond, Washington-based CieloWigle Inc., an HVAC and smart-home company. “It forces air through fine trapping the harmful particles, including pollen, dust mites, pet dander and tobacco smoke. But after some time, the filters can become clogged, and instead of filtering the air, the trapped particles would be forced into your room. To avoid this, you must clean the filters regularly. How often they should be cleaned depends on your usage, but two weeks or monthly is recommended for HVAC systems during the peak of summer.”

Peter Mann, CEO and founder of Oransi (his mod jr. purifier model made this list, below) concurred: “To effectively remove allergens, which are airborne particles, most importantly you need an air purifier with a HEPA filter and sufficient air flow for the room size. No other feature is needed nor will impact performance.” Monitoring your lifestyle is critical, too.  “Limit outdoor activities if your allergy triggers are present,” Mann added. “MapMyAir.com shows allergen levels down to five meters of your location as well as a three-day forecast to help you plan.”

Charlotte Spence head of sleep health research at Mattress Nerd strongly advocates for a purifier in the bedroom. “It’s a simple premise: the easier it is to breathe, the better you sleep. However, with air quality, purity can be microscopic so you often don’t recognize when your air isn’t as clean as it could be.” Spence also said it’s important to keep the purifier by your bed “When you are breathing in cleaner air for those 8 hours (fingers crossed) per night that you are asleep, you will feel better when you wake up in the morning. Your body will be less likely to have strong reactions such as allergies, sinus infections, or even dry mouth, nose, or eyes.”

Nearly all top-quality purifiers will use a HEPA filter, said Glenn Wiseman, sales manager of Top Hat Home Comfort Services, a Canadian-based company with an expertise in indoor air quality and air conditioning for homes. He said, “Charcoal and carbon filters in a system helps to remove odors and chemical vapors.” HEPA “is a hospital-grade filtration system that is capable of removing nearly all allergy-aggravating contaminants,” and will help in what Wiseman said anyone with allergies should aspire to do, eliminate all allergens, and the best way is through the proper use of an air purifier. “This time of the year can be very rough for people with allergies,” he said.

A purifier is beneficial beyond its primary purpose. “Most basic air purifiers containing a HEPA filter will be effective, but it may be of interest to note that some products have a fan which can be beneficial to safely circulate air in the home especially during fire season,” said Dr. Sanjeev Jain, MD, PhD, allergist and immunologist at Columbia Allergy. “There are also some that contain humidification which may be beneficial during the winter or for patients with an irritated airway or nasal passages from asthma or allergies.”

It can be a challenge to choose one, but once you’ve established what you need purified and a proper price point to fit into your household budget, you will have many to choose from. 

enviroklenz.jpg

Image: EnviroKlenz

The manufacturer said it is 99.9% effective in helping to ward off viruses, according to recent testing, conducted against Staphylococcus epidermidis (bacteria), E. coli (bacteria), and phi-X174 (virus). The virus tested is what the FDA terms as a surrogate virus for COVID-19. The EnviroKlenz Air System Plus captures and neutralizes odors and VOCs, which include mold, pet dander, smoke, dust and more. The air purifier is made up of a three-stage filtration system: the EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge, a medical-grade HEPA filter and UV-C lights.

The company recommends users replace the air cartridge ($80) and HEPA filter ($120) every six months. The UV light system ($32) lasts about 18 months, available on the company’s site

$789 at Amazon

alen.jpg

Image: Alen

Alen said its circulation purifies 700-square feet every 30 minutes for 99.99% airborne particle removal to capture allergens, dust, mold and pet odors, with an option to further purify against smoke. The medical grade filtration H13 true HEPA machine is available in six colors with the choice of three different types: dust, mold, pet odors; dust, mold, pet odors plus smoke; and dust, mold, pet odors and heavy smoke. A “lights out mode” turns the purifier’s lights out for a sleep mode. It has low energy consumption (50 watts on turbo speed, the lowest setting). Alen said the purifier uses less than 50 cents per month in electricity. 

Alen suggests the BreatheSmart Flex’s filter B4-Fresh ($99) be replaced every nine to 12 months.

$349 at Amazon

celios.jpg

Image: Celios

The Celios G200, said the company, delivers “cleanroom-quality air, providing purification of ultrafine particles, bacteria, allergens, pollen, mold spores and VOCs.” Celios said the G200 was designed to filter ultrafine particles down to 10 nanometers in size. Its three-stage filtration system removes allergens, mold and up to 99.99999% of airborne viruses and bacteria, which the company said is 3,000 times more effective than HEPA standards, a 70-year old technology. The company also says it’s even effective at capturing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Celios said the third-party labs testing the G200 are Blue Heaven Technologies, Nelson Labs and Intertek. Studies are available on the Celios website. The G200 is designed for smaller spaces of up to 250 square feet. It has a Bluetooth remote control that the company said “works through walls.” It’s recommended that the filter ($99) be replaced every eight months.

You can also purchase the unit and filters on celios.com

$599 at Amazon

atmos-everest.jpg

Image: AtmosAir

Designed for rooms up to 800 square feet, the AtmosEverest incorporates HEPA filtration and UV disinfection is integrated with bi-polar ionization, which “emits ions into the air to suppresses airborne and surface micro-organisms and pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and mold, and reduces odors as well as unhealthy and irritating volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is effective against the spread of coronavirus,” said Tony Abate, vice president and CTO at Atmos Air Solutions. “The bi-polar ions seek, attack and attach themselves to airborne viruses, odors and pollutants, rendering them inactive.” The company says the unit was tested by Microchem Laboratory, which tests sanitizing products registered by the EPA and FDA. Microchem confirmed that the presence of the coronavirus was reduced by 99.92% within 30 minutes of exposure to AtmosAir’s bi-polar ion technology. Atmos recommends the filter be replaced quarterly when the unit is used 24/7.

$895 at Flaghouse

homemedics.jpg

Image: HoMedics

It features a HEPA filter and removes up to 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. A carbon odor filter reduces unwanted household odors and VOCs, and a pre-filter captures larger particles. It also has UV-C technology that HoMedics claims kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, and an ionizer releases negative ions to help the purification process. There are five settings to adjust to space, and it has automatic shut-off. Also included for aromatherapy are three essential oil pads and two demineralization cartridges. It covers rooms up to 343 square feet. It’s now on sale for $224 for Mother’s Day. HoMedics recommends filters ($45) be replaced annually.

$300 at HoMedics

aeris-aair.jpg

Image: Aeris Aair

The Aeris Aair Lite, said a company rep, has an upgraded air filtration, compact design, quiet operation and real-time air quality updates. It’s equipped with Wi-Fi to control the unit and create schedules from a smartphone. It has three levels of filtration, traps large particles like pollen, dust and other allergens, and removes bacteria, mold spores and other microscopic particles. It is on sale for $449 and comes in two colors, Nimbus Cloud and Sailor Blue. Aeris recommends the filter ($99) be replaced every nine months. 

$499 at Sylvane

mod-jr.jpg

Image: Oransi

It has a true HEPA filter to capture all types of allergens and provide sufficient air flow for the average work-from-home space of 878 square feet. It reportedly cleans the air completely two times hourly. The mod jr. has a smart design: A dirty filter will never be touched because there is a glass user interface to the cylindrical shape with a blue handle. Precise fan speed can be set. It removes allergens, asthma, dust, bacteria, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, smoke, viruses and VOCs. The mod jr.’s filters ($72) will last between six and 12 months. The filters and unit can also be purchased from Oransi.

$399 at Amazon

mila.jpg

Image: MilaCares

Mila is the first smart HEPA air purifier to deliver a guaranteed level of clean, with proof you can actually see, the manufacturer said. Mila gives users daily control and understanding of the air around them anywhere with its simple smart control iOS and Android apps. Mila’s algorithms combine the physics of air flow and air filtration with real-time data from eight built-in air-quality sensors to monitor air from every angle: airborne particulate, humidity, temperature, chemicals, carbon dioxide, room presence and differential pressure. Mila is also the first smart HEPA air purifier with a built-in carbon-monoxide sensor. Mila reportedly can clean the air in a room up to 1,000 square feet.  

There are seven different filters available on the milacares.com website, each based on lifestyle and need, all of which should be replaced every six months: 

  • The Basic Breather ($59)
  • The Big Sneeze ($69)
  • The Rookie Parent ($69)
  • The Critter Cuddler ($79)
  • The Home Wrecker ($79)
  • The Mama-to-Be ($79)
  • The Overreactor ($99)

$358 at Amazon

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Source: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/8-home-air-purifiers-to-keep-your-house-and-home-office-clean/#ftag=RSS56d97e7

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Optimal Dynamics nabs $22M for AI-powered freight logistics

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Optimal Dynamics, a New York-based startup applying AI to shipping logistics, today announced that it closed a $18.4 million round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Optimal Dynamics says that the funds will be used to more than triple its 25-person team and support engineering efforts, as well as bolster sales and marketing departments.

Last-mile delivery logistics tends to be the most expensive and time-consuming part of the shipping process. According to one estimate, last-mile accounts for 53% of total shipping costs and 41% of total supply chain costs. With the rise of ecommerce in the U.S., retail providers are increasingly focusing on fulfilment and distribution at the lowest cost. Particularly in the construction industry, the pandemic continues to disrupt wholesalers — a 2020 Statista survey found that 73% of buyers and users of freight transportation and logistics services experienced an impact on their operations.

Founded in 2016, Optimal Dynamics offers a platform that taps AI to generate shipment plans likely to be profitable — and on time. The fruit of nearly 40 years of R&D at Princeton, the company’s product generates simulations for freight transportation, enabling logistics companies to answer questions about what equipment they should buy, how many drivers they need, daily dispatching, load acceptance, and more.

Simulating logistics

Roughly 80% of all cargo in the U.S. is transported by the 7.1 million people who drive flatbed trailers, dry vans, and other heavy lifters for the country’s 1.3 million trucking companies. The trucking industry generates $726 billion in revenue annually and is forecast to grow 75% by 2026. Even before the pandemic, last-mile delivery was fast becoming the most profitable part of the supply chain, with research firm Capgemini pegging its share of the pie at 41%.

Optimal Dynamics’ platform can perform strategic, tactical, and real-time freight planning, forecasting shipment events as far as two weeks in advance. CEO Daniel Powell — who cofounded the company with his father, Warren Princeton, a professor of operations research and financial engineering — says that the underlying technology was deployed, tested, and iterated with trucking companies, railroads, and energy companies, along with projects in health, ecommerce, finance, and materials science.

“Use of something called ‘high-dimensional AI’ allows us to take in exponentially greater detail while planning under uncertainty. We also leverage clever methods that allow us to deploy robust AI systems even when we have very little training data, a common issue in the logistics industry,” Powell told VentureBeat via email. “The results are … a dramatic increase in companies’ abilities to plan into the future.”

The global logistics market was worth $10.32 billion in 2017 and is estimated to grow to $12.68 billion USD by 2023, according to Research and Markets. Optimal Dynamics competes with Uber, which offers a logistics service called Uber Freight. San Francisco-based startup KeepTruckin recently secured $149 million to further develop its shipment marketplace. Next Trucking closed a $97 million investment. And Convoy raised $400 million at a $2.75 billion valuation to make freight trucking more efficient.

But 25-employee Optimal Dynamics investor Mike Droesch, a partner at BVP, says that demand remains strong for the company’s products. “Logistics operators need to consider a staggering number of variables, making this an ideal application for a software-as-a-service product that can help operators make more informed decisions by leveraging Optimal Dynamics industry leading technology. We were really impressed with the combination of their deep technology and the commercial impact that Optimal Dynamics is already delivering to their customers,” he said in a statement.

With the latest funding round, a series A, Optimal Dynamics has raised over $22 million to date. Beyond Bessemer, Fusion Fund, The Westly Group, TenOneTen Ventures, Embark Ventures, FitzGate Ventures, and John Larkin and John Hess also contributed .

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/05/13/optimal-dynamics-nabs-22m-for-ai-powered-freight-logistics/

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Code-scanning platform BluBracket nabs $12M for enterprise security

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Code security startup BluBracket today announced it has raised $12 million in a series A round led by Evolution Equity Partners. The capital will be used to further develop BluBracket’s products and grow its sales team.

Detecting exploits in source code can be a pain point for enterprises, especially with the onset of containerization, infrastructure as code, and microservices. According to a recent Flexera report, the number of vulnerabilities remotely exploitable in apps reached more than 13,300 from 249 vendors in 2020. In 2019, Barracuda Networks found that 13% of security pros hadn’t patched their web apps over the past 12 months. And in a 2020 survey from Edgescan, organizations said it took them an average of just over 50 days to address critical vulnerabilities in internet-facing apps.

BluBracket, which was founded in 2019 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, scans codebases for secrets and blocks future commits from introducing new risks. The platform can monitor real-time risk scores across codebases, git configurations, infrastructure as code, code copies, and code access and resolve issues, detecting passwords and over 50 different types of tokens, keys, and IDs.

Code-scanning automation

Coralogix estimates that developers create 70 bugs per 1,000 lines of code and that fixing a bug takes 30 times longer than writing a line of code. In the U.S., companies spend $113 billion annually on identifying and fixing product defects.

BluBracket attempts to prevent this by proactively monitoring public repositories with the highest risk factors, generating reports for dev teams. It prioritizes commits based on their risk scores, minimizing duplicates using a tracking hash for every secret. A rules engine reduces false positives and scans for regular expressions, as well as sensitive words. And BluBracket sanitizes commit history both locally and remotely, supporting the exporting of reports via download or email.

BluBracket offers a free product in its Community Edition. Both it and the company’s paid products, Teams and Enterprise, work with GitHub, BitBucket, and Gitlab and offer CI/CD integration with Jenkins, GitHub Actions, and Azure Pipelines.

BluBracket

Above: The Community Edition of BluBracket’s software.

Image Credit: BluBracket

“Since our introduction early last year, the industry has seen through Solar Winds how big of an attack surface code is. Hackers are exploiting credentials and secrets in code, and valuable code is available in the public domain for virtually every company we engage with,” CEO Prakash Linga, who cofounded BluBracket with Ajay Arora, told VentureBeat via email.

BluBracket competes on some fronts with Sourcegraph, a “universal code search” platform that enables developer teams to manage and glean insights from their codebase. It has another rival in Amazon’s CodeGuru, an AI-powered developer tool that provides recommendations for improving code quality. There’s also cloud monitoring platform Datadog, codebase coverage tester Codecov, and feature-piloting solution LaunchDarkly, to name a few.

But BluBracket, which has about 30 employees, says demand for its code security solutions has increased “dramatically” since 2020. Its security products are being used in “dozens” of companies with “thousands” of users, according to Linga.

“DevSecOps and AppSec teams are scrambling, as we all know, to address this growing threat. By enabling their developers to keep these secrets out of code in the first place, our solutions make everyone’s life easier,” Linga continued. “We are excited to work with Evolution on this next stage of our company’s growth.”

Unusual Ventures, Point72 Ventures, SignalFire, and Firebolt Ventures also participated in BluBracket’s latest funding round. The startup had previously raised $6.5 million in a seed round led by Unusual Ventures.

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/05/13/code-scanning-platform-blubracket-nabs-12m-for-enterprise-security/

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Data governance and security startup Cyral raises $26M

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Data security and governance startup Cyral today announced it has raised $26 million, bringing its total to date to $41.1 million. The company plans to put the funds toward expanding its platform and global workforce.

Managing and securing data remains a challenge for enterprises. Just 29% of IT executives give their employees an “A” grade for following procedures to keep files and documents secure, according to Egnyte’s most recent survey. A separate report from KPMG found only 35% of C-suite leaders highly trust their organization’s use of data and analytics, with 92% saying they were concerned about the reputational risk of machine-assisted decisions.

Redwood City, California-based Cyral, which was founded in 2018 by Manav Mital and Srini Vadlamani, uses stateless interception technology to deliver enterprise data governance across platforms, including Amazon S3, Snowflake, Kafka, MongoDB, and Oracle. Cyral monitors activity across popular databases, pipelines, and data warehouses — whether on-premises, hosted, or software-as-service-based. And it traces data flows and requests, sending output logs, traces, and metrics to third-party infrastructure and management dashboards.

Cyral can prevent unauthorized access from users, apps, and tools and provide dynamic attribute-based access control, as well as ephemeral access with “just-enough” privileges. The platform supports both alerting and blocking of disallowed accesses and continuously monitors privileges across clouds, tracking and enforcing just-in-time and just-enough privileges for all users and apps.

Identifying roles and anomalies

Beyond this, Cyral can identify users behind shared roles and service accounts to tag all activity with the actual user identity, enabling policies to be specified against them. And it can perform baselining and anomaly detection, analyzing aggregated activity across data endpoints and generating policies for normal activity, which can be set to alert or block anomalous access.

“Cyral is built on a high-performance stateless interception technology that monitors all data endpoint activity in real time and enables unified visibility, identity federation, and granular access controls. [The platform] automates workflows and enables collaboration between DevOps and Security teams to automate assurance and prevent data leakage,” the spokesperson said.

Cyral

Existing investors, including Redpoint, Costanoa Ventures, A.Capital, and strategic investor Silicon Valley CISO Investments, participated in Cyral’s latest funding round. Since launching in Q2 2020, Cyral — which has 40 employees and occupies a market estimated to be worth $5.7 billion by 2025, according to Markets and Markets — says it has nearly doubled the size of its team and close to quadrupled its valuation.

“This is an emerging market with no entrenched solutions … We’re now working with customers across a variety of industries — finance, health care, insurance, supply chain, technology, and more. They include some of the world’s largest organizations with complex environments and some of the fastest-growing tech companies,” the spokesperson said. “With Cyral, our company was built during the pandemic. We have grown the majority of our company during this time, and it has allowed us to start our company with a remote-first business model.”

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/05/13/data-governance-and-security-startup-cyral-raises-26m/

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Data governance and security startup Cyral raises $26M

Avatar

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Join Transform 2021 this July 12-16. Register for the AI event of the year.


Data security and governance startup Cyral today announced it has raised $26 million, bringing its total to date to $41.1 million. The company plans to put the funds toward expanding its platform and global workforce.

Managing and securing data remains a challenge for enterprises. Just 29% of IT executives give their employees an “A” grade for following procedures to keep files and documents secure, according to Egnyte’s most recent survey. A separate report from KPMG found only 35% of C-suite leaders highly trust their organization’s use of data and analytics, with 92% saying they were concerned about the reputational risk of machine-assisted decisions.

Redwood City, California-based Cyral, which was founded in 2018 by Manav Mital and Srini Vadlamani, uses stateless interception technology to deliver enterprise data governance across platforms, including Amazon S3, Snowflake, Kafka, MongoDB, and Oracle. Cyral monitors activity across popular databases, pipelines, and data warehouses — whether on-premises, hosted, or software-as-service-based. And it traces data flows and requests, sending output logs, traces, and metrics to third-party infrastructure and management dashboards.

Cyral can prevent unauthorized access from users, apps, and tools and provide dynamic attribute-based access control, as well as ephemeral access with “just-enough” privileges. The platform supports both alerting and blocking of disallowed accesses and continuously monitors privileges across clouds, tracking and enforcing just-in-time and just-enough privileges for all users and apps.

Identifying roles and anomalies

Beyond this, Cyral can identify users behind shared roles and service accounts to tag all activity with the actual user identity, enabling policies to be specified against them. And it can perform baselining and anomaly detection, analyzing aggregated activity across data endpoints and generating policies for normal activity, which can be set to alert or block anomalous access.

“Cyral is built on a high-performance stateless interception technology that monitors all data endpoint activity in real time and enables unified visibility, identity federation, and granular access controls. [The platform] automates workflows and enables collaboration between DevOps and Security teams to automate assurance and prevent data leakage,” the spokesperson said.

Cyral

Existing investors, including Redpoint, Costanoa Ventures, A.Capital, and strategic investor Silicon Valley CISO Investments, participated in Cyral’s latest funding round. Since launching in Q2 2020, Cyral — which has 40 employees and occupies a market estimated to be worth $5.7 billion by 2025, according to Markets and Markets — says it has nearly doubled the size of its team and close to quadrupled its valuation.

“This is an emerging market with no entrenched solutions … We’re now working with customers across a variety of industries — finance, health care, insurance, supply chain, technology, and more. They include some of the world’s largest organizations with complex environments and some of the fastest-growing tech companies,” the spokesperson said. “With Cyral, our company was built during the pandemic. We have grown the majority of our company during this time, and it has allowed us to start our company with a remote-first business model.”

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/05/13/data-governance-and-security-startup-cyral-raises-26m/

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