Sequoia-backed Medallia files to raise $70M at a $1.7B valuation, documents show

Customer experience management platform Medallia has filed to raise up to $70 million in Series F funding, according to regulatory documents obtained by the Prime Unicorn Index. The new shares were priced at $15 apiece, valuing the nearly two-decades-old business at $1.7 billion.

We’ve reached out to Medallia for comment.

Medallia is expected to finally transition to the public markets in 2019, a year chock-full of high-profile unicorn IPOs. The downsized round, which if raised at full is less than half of its Series E funding, will likely be Medallia’s final infusion of private investment.

San Mateo-headquartered Medallia, led by newly-appointed chief executive officer Leslie Stretch, operates a platform meant to help businesses better provide for their customers. Its core product, the Medallia Experience Cloud, provides employees real-time data on customers collected from online review sites and social media. The service leverages that data to provide insights and tools to improve customer experiences.

Leslie Stretch, president and CEO of Medallia (PRNewsfoto/Medallia).

According to PitchBook, Medallia boasts a particularly clean cap table, especially for a roughly 18-year-old business. It’s backed by four venture capital firms: Sequoia Capital, Saints Capital, TriplePoint Venture Growth and Grotmol Solutions, the latter which invested a small amount of capital in 2010. Medallia has raised a total of $268 million in equity funding, including a $150 million round in 2015 that valued the company at $1.25 billion.

Prior to hiring Stretch to lead the company to IPO, Medallia co-founder Borge Hald ran the company as CEO since its 2001 launch. Hald is now executive chairman and chief strategy officer.

Source: Tech Crunch

YouTube disables comments on videos with kids after reports of predatory behavior

YouTube will shut off comments on videos featuring “younger minors and videos with older minors at risk of attracting predatory behavior,” according to a statement from the company. It’s an effort to stamp out predatory behavior from viewers that included salacious notes in the comments section of videos featuring underage kids.

Last week, TechCrunch confirmed reports which first arose on Reddit about the existence of a soft-core pedophile ring that was communicating via YouTube’s comments section and disseminating videos of minors by gaming the company’s search algorithms.

YouTube creator Matt Watson flagged the problem in a subreddit, noting that he found scores of videos of kids where YouTube users are trading inappropriate comments and identifying timestamps to focus on below the fold. Watson denounced the company for failing to prevent what he describes as a “soft-core pedophilia ring” from operating in plain sight on its platform.

The reports brought condemnation from several businesses that advertise on YouTube (the company’s primary source of revenue). Disney, Fortnite maker Epic Games, McDonald’s, and Nestlé Foods, reportedly all pulled advertising from the site in the wake of the scandal.

“Over the past week, we’ve been taking a number of steps to better protect children and families, including suspending comments on tens of millions of videos,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement emailed to TechCrunch. “Now, we will begin suspending comments on most videos that feature minors, with the exception of a small number of channels that actively moderate their comments and take additional steps to protect children. We understand that comments are an important way creators build and connect with their audiences; we also know that this is the right thing to do to protect the YouTube community.”

The rollout of the new moderating tools will take several months, according to YouTube.

And while the company acknowledged the severity of the changes and the impact it may have on YouTubers, it said it was taking action to prevent the exploitation of minors on the platform.

A small number of known channels will be able to keep their comments sections up, but will be required to actively monitor them beyond simply using YouTube’s own moderation tools, the company said.

YouTube also is speeding up the launch of a new classification tool that can detect and remove twice as many individual comments as in the past — accelerating the automation of content moderation (which could, itself, have unintended consequences).

In a related move designed to protect children from abhorrent content, YouTube has terminated the channel FilthyFrankClips and several other channels that were reportedly instructing children on how to slash their wrists.

First reported in the Washington Post, the clips from the channel contained children’s videos spliced with content on self-harm, according to an initial report on the blog, Pedimom

As we noted in our earlier reporting, this isn’t the first time that YouTube has been identified as a haven for pedophiles hiding in plain sight.

Back in November 2017, several major advertisers froze spending on YouTube’s platform after an investigation by the BBC and the Times discovered similarly obscene comments on videos of children.

Earlier the same month YouTube was also criticized over low-quality content targeting kids as viewers on its platform.

The company went on to announce a number of policy changes related to kid-focused video, including saying it would aggressively police comments on videos of kids and that videos found to have inappropriate comments about the kids in them would have comments turned off altogether.

Some of the videos of young girls that YouTube recommended we watch had already had comments disabled — which suggests its AI had previously identified a large number of inappropriate comments being shared (on account of its policy of switching off comments on clips containing kids when comments are deemed “inappropriate”) — yet the videos themselves were still being suggested for viewing in a test search that originated with the phrase “bikini haul.”

YouTube addressed its creators earlier today in a blog post telling them about the steps it was taking.

Source: Tech Crunch

Justin Caldbeck sues Binary Capital co-founder Jonathan Teo, claiming he ‘made no effort to save the firm’

Embattled venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck (pictured) is suing his former co-Binary Capital founder Jonathan Teo, alleging breach of contract, fraud and more.

Caldbeck, accused of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances in 2017, took an indefinite leave of absence from Binary Capital, leaving to Teo all the responsibilities of the $175 million fund. Shortly after, Teo offered to step down in a last-ditch effort to keep the firm afloat. Ultimately, Binary Capital shut down and New York venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau assumed responsibility for its $125 million debut investment vehicle, 70 percent of which has been deployed, per details shared in the lawsuit.

In the legal filing submitted to the Superior Court of The State of California, Caldbeck accuses Teo of mismanagement following his June 2017 departure. We’ve reached out to lawyers for both parties for comment.

“Mr. Teo completely abandoned the leadership responsibilities that were entrusted to him, neglecting to take the most basic steps required to run a venture capital firm,” the lawsuit states. “Mr. Teo was laughably bad at this job. As another Silicon Valley entrepreneur remarked publicly, ‘this guy has done everything possible wrong.’ ”

The filing cites 500 Startups and Sherpa Capital as examples of funds that were able to survive following similar scandals wherein a partner was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct. Caldbeck, in essence, is upset Teo wasn’t able to successfully run Binary Capital following his own alleged wrongdoings.

Binary Capital co-founders Jonathan Teo and Justin Caldbeck

Caldbeck, who’s taken to angel investing in the months following the high-profile scandal, was previously a managing director at Lightspeed Venture Partners before launching Binary Capital alongside Teo in 2014. Teo, for his part, was formerly a managing director at General Catalyst. Binary Capital, an early-stage fund, has backed companies including plus-sized clothing business Dia&Co and airfare search engine Skiplagged.

According to several reports, Teo had hoped to keep Binary Capital alive after The Information published a report highlighting six women’s allegations of being groped and propositioned during their professional relationship with Caldbeck.

Caldbeck, however, is less than satisfied with Teo’s handling of those allegations and the wave of “negative press articles” that followed. Caldbeck also claims he resigned from the firm only in exchange for a promise for future financial stability from Teo.

In the months following his departure, Caldbeck asserts Teo took personal vacations to Mongolia, Ibiza and the Burning Man festival. He “went AWOL,” “was completely unresponsive,” “seemed not to care,” and “made no effort to save the firm,” per the filing.

Teo, additionally, allegedly took on an operating role at Binary Capital portfolio company Trillex, where he increased corporate spending limits to purchase gifts for himself, including taking out a more than $2 million unauthorized loan to pay his personal taxes and to assist a family member with a real estate project.

According to a Forbes report on the lawsuit, Teo’s legal team says “The justice system will soon remind Mr. Caldbeck that he alone is responsible for his many misdeeds.” We will update this report when he hear back from Caldbeck and Teo’s legal teams.

Here’s the full lawsuit:

Source: Tech Crunch

Facebook says that Workplace now has 2M paying users

With Slack gearing up to go public and now seeing daily active users of 10 million with 85,000 organizations using it to help employees communicate with each other, Facebook today released some updated numbers of its own for Workplace, its enterprise-focused platform: the company says that there are now 2 million paid users on the service, not counting those who are using its free tier; and NGOs and educational organizations using Workplace for Good — if you add these in you get “millions” more, Facebook said, without providing a concrete number.

The company’s paid tier starts at $3 per month per user, with pricing arranged directly with organizations when numbers exceed 5,000 employees. It started to charge for its service in October 2017, after first launching in October 2016.

Being Facebook and already working at a huge scale with more than 2 billion monthly active users of its flagship service, the company has always pitched Workplace as a tool for very large enterprises, and today it said that it now has 150 companies with more than 10,000 users each on the platform.

These have included companies like Walmart (the world’s biggest employer) as well as Nestle, Vodafone, GSK, Telefonica, AstraZeneca and Delta Airlines.

Picking these metrics to talk about the company’s growth is a strategic move for Facebook. They are different enough from what Slack measures that it’s not immediately easy to draw a comparison and claim that Slack is much larger. At the same time, it highlights Workplace’s success in an area that Slack, Teams and others competing in this space are also chasing: enterprise users. These are the most lucrative customer segment, as they not only generate larger recurring revenues, but they are often slower to churn once they do sign on to your service.

Workplace has made an effort over the last several years to add more features to bring the platform in line both with what basic Facebook offers, as well as other enterprise communication services that Workplace competes with more directly. That includes integrating with a number of key apps, although it’s still far from the hundreds that can be fed into Slack.

The numbers do not give us a total number of users on Workplace but they set out also how Facebook is continuing to drive the product forward as a diverse and distinct revenue stream apart from its ad-based consumer service.

At the end of last year, Facebook appointed a new head of Workplace, Karandeep Anand, who came to Facebook three years ago from Microsoft (and thus has a close understanding of enterprise software). He works alongside Julien Codorniou to focus on the technical development of the product while Codorniou focuses on sales, client relations and business development.

Source: Tech Crunch

Google is not great at retaining black, Latinx and Native American employees

Believe it or not, the retention of black and Latinx employees at Google was better last year than in 2017. Though, Google’s attrition rates of black and Latinx — which indicate the rate at which employees leave on an annual basis — are still higher than the national average.

For Native American employees, Google’s attrition rates significantly increased from the year prior. To be clear, that’s a bad thing. For what it’s worth, Google is also not great at retaining white employees.

Google publishes the data as a weighted index and treats the average attrition rate as 100. The closer each group is to 100, the closer Google is to parity. If a group’s index is 90, that means the group’s attrition rate was 10 percent lower than the average.

“While there are positive trends, there is still work to be done,” global director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Melanie Parker wrote in a blog post. “Specifically, attrition for Native Americans worsened. And while rates improved for Black and Latinx Googlers, they are still not on par with the average. These are all areas we plan to focus on over the coming year.”

Google released its first attrition index last year to show how many employees left the company on an annual basis. Based on last year’s data, it was clear Google had the hardest time retaining black and brown employees. In fact, black and brown people were leaving Google at rates faster than the national average.

At the time, then-Google VP of Diversity and Inclusion Danielle Brown told TechCrunch the attrition rates for black and Latinx people were “a clear low light.”

A highlight, however, was that women were leaving Google at lower rates than the average. And this year’s data for women is slightly better, with an attrition rate of 90 compared to 94 the year prior. But we’ll see how the latest wave of controversy (harassment, walkouts, etc.) at Google affects its attrition rates for 2019.

Source: Tech Crunch

Presto raises $30M to bring its AI platform and tabletop ordering hardware to restaurant chains

The “restaurant of the future” may elicit thoughts of a chrome diner with robot servers and an otherwise hefty amount of Tokyo futurist kitsch, but the fact is that the forthcoming sit-down dining experience may just end up looking a lot like ordering from a takeout app.

Presto is working with restaurants to update the 21st century dine-in experience, letting customers order and pay from their table with a tablet device while also providing hardware like wearable for servers so that they can be alerted when they are needed by customers.

The company announced today that they’ve raised $30 million in growth funding from Recruit Holdings and Romulus Capital. I2BF Global Ventures, EG Capital and Brainchild Holdings also participated in the raise. 

Considering how much online shopping has shaped commerce and apps like Instacart and Uber Eats are changing how we get food delivered to our houses, it’s a bit peculiar that physical restaurants with hundreds of locations have been so slow to shift the customer experience towards a greater reliance on tech.

Presto has launched partnerships with a number restaurant chains like Applebee’s, Red Lobster, Denny’s and Outback Steakhouse. These aren’t exactly mom-and pop locations, but Presto CEO Raj Suri says that these large restaurant groups are always looking to shift their weight to improve efficiencies across the board with new tech in a way that most small businesses just aren’t.

“I would say most restaurant groups are looking at how they can become more of a tech company… and adopt technology that could help them become more efficient,” CEO Raj Suri tells TechCrunch. “The industry is moving in this direction in a pretty significant way and it won’t be long before you see our technology in every restaurant.”

Beyond the ordering hardware, Presto’s new AI platform is aiming to give restaurants a more robust look at the state of each individual business and insights that help managers make decisions about staffing or deciding what food items to stock. The platform leverages a variety of data inputs so that things like nearby sporting events or weather patterns can be integrated into suggestions about how many servers should be staffed on a given Tuesday.

Presto is looking to supercharge their platform with the funding and rapidly expand their footprint. The 11-year-old company is now supporting 5,000 restaurant locations, but Suri says that Presto will double that number in 2019.

Source: Tech Crunch

Watch OneWeb’s first six global internet satellites launch today

After four years and more than $2 billion in funding, OneWeb is ready to launch the first six satellites out of a planned constellation of 650 with which it plans to blanket the world in broadband. The Arianespace-operated Soyuz rocket will take off at 1:37 Pacific time from Guiana Space Center. You can watch it live at OneWeb’s site here.

OneWeb is one of several companies that aims to connect the world with a few hundred or thousand satellites, and certainly the most well-funded — SoftBank is the biggest investor, but Virgin Group, Coca Cola, Bharti Group, Qualcomm, and Airbus have all chipped in.

The company’s plan is to launch a total of 900 (650 at first) satellites to about a 1,100-kilometer low Earth orbit, from which it says it will be able to provide broadband to practically anywhere on Earth — anywhere you can put a base station, anyway. Much cheaper and better than existing satellite connectivity, which is expensive and slow.

Sound familiar? Of course SpaceX’s side project Starlink has similar ambitions, with an even greater number of satellites planned, and Swarm is aiming for a smaller constellation of smaller satellites for low-cost access. And Ubiquitilink just announced this week that its unique technology will remove the need for base stations and beam satellite connections directly to ordinary phones. And they’ve all launched satellites already!

The launch vehicle fueling today at GSC.

OneWeb has faced numerous delays; the whole constellation was originally planned to be in place by the end of 2019, which is impossible at this point. But delays are the name of the game in ambitious space-based businesses, and OneWeb hasn’t been just procrastinating; it’s been girding itself for mass production, raising funds to set up launch contracts, and improving the satellites themselves. Its updated schedule, as it states in the mission summary: “OneWeb will begin customer demos in 2020 and provide global, 24-hour coverage to customers in 2021.”

At a reported cost of about a million dollars per satellite — twice the projected cost in 2015 — just building and testing the constellation will likely rub up against a billion dollars, and that’s not counting launch costs. But no one ever said it would be cheap. In fact, they probably said it would be unbelievably expensive. That’s why SoftBank and the other investors are “committing to a lot more capital,” as CEO Adrián Steckel told the Financial times last month.

The company also announced its first big deal with a telecom; Talia, which provides connectivity in Africa and the Middle East, signed on to use OneWeb’s services starting in 2021.

Soyuz launches could carry more than 30 of these satellites each, meaning it would take at least 20 to put the whole constellation in orbit. This first launch, however, only has six aboard; the other spots on board the mass launch system have dummy payloads to simulate how it should be going forward.

A OneWeb representative told me that this launch is meant to “verify the satellite design and validate the end to end system,” which is probably a good idea before sending up 600 more. That means OneWeb will be testing and tracking these six birds for the next few months and making sure the connection with ground stations and other aspects of the whole system are functioning properly.

Full payloads will start in the fall, after OneWeb opens its (much-delayed) production facility just outside Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

You can watch the launch at OneWeb’s site here.

Source: Tech Crunch

Hands-on with Microsoft’s new HoloLens 2

Earlier this week, Microsoft used its MWC press conference to announce the next version of its HoloLens mixed reality visor. When it demoed the first version back in 2015, quite a few pundits assumed that the company had somehow faked the demos because this kind of real-time tracking and gesture recognition, combined with a relatively high-res display and packaged as a standalone device, had never been done before.

The fact that Microsoft took its sweet time to release this next version clearly shows that it wanted to gather feedback from its first set of users and developers who wrote apps for it. Microsoft also wasn’t under a lot of pressure to release an update, given that it never had a real competitor, with maybe the exception of Magic Leap, which is still in its very early days.

If version 1 came as a major surprise, then version 2, which I’ve now had time to try at MWC, is in many ways the natural evolution of the original promise: it’s more comfortable to wear, the field of view is large enough to feel more natural and the interaction model has been tweaked to make using HoloLens apps faster and easier. The hardware, too, has obviously been brought up to modern specs.

The first thing you’ll notice when you try the new version is that the initial calibration process that measures the distance between your eyes is now automatic. You essentially play a little game where you track a light in front of you and the new gaze recognition system takes care of setting up the calibration. Once that’s done, a hummingbird appears and lands on your hand. That’s also when you realize how much bigger the field of view has become. The bird is big enough that I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have fit into the relatively small box that restricted the HoloLens 1’s field of view.

Don’t get me wrong, the experience is still not quite what Microsoft’s videos would have you believe. You are still very aware of the fact that there’s an abrupt end between where the AR images appear and where they end — but it’s far less jarring now that you have this bigger box. As far as the resolution goes, the specs are pretty much the same and there’s no practical difference that I noted.

The other thing you’ll notice right from the get-go is that Microsoft wasn’t kidding when it said that the new HoloLens would be far more comfortable to wear. The original felt clamped to your head (and for me, it had a tendency to slowly slide down my face) and you never quite forgot how heavy it was. The new one rests comfortably on your forehead, and, while you still essentially clamp it to your face by tightening a knob at the back, wearing it feels far more natural. The actual device is only a few grams lighter than the first edition, but with what I assume is a different weight distribution, it simply feels lighter. And if you wear glasses, then there’s no pressure on those anymore either because none of the weight rests on your nose.

Another major difference: The HoloLens 2 is now a real visor that you can flip open. So while you can obviously look through the lenses, you can now also easily move the HoloLens away from your face.

As you go through the process of trying the new HoloLens, you’ll sooner or later come across menus, buttons and sliders. In the first version, the hand and gesture tracking wasn’t quite there to let you interact with those naturally. You’d have to use special gestures for that. Now, you simply tap on them as if you were using a smartphone. And when there’s a slider, you grab it and move it. The new demo applications that Microsoft showed off at MWC make good use of all of these.

And there’s another difference: This time around, Microsoft is clearly stating that the HoloLens 2 is for business users, and all of the demos focused on those. Gone are the days of shooting aliens as they break through your walls or playing virtual Minecraft on a table in your living room. Indeed, as Lorraine Bardeen, general manager of Engineering, D365 Mixed Reality Apps at Microsoft told me, the company clearly encouraged a lot of experimentation when it launched the first version. By now, those use cases have become clear.

“When we first started with HoloLens, both internally and in the first wave when we talked about, that this was a completely wide open technology,” she said. “It’s like if you had asked 30 years ago, what could you do with a personal computer. We started by making a bunch of sample applications.” Those applications showed off what you could do in gaming, communications, commercial applications, etc.

“We started by saying that this could be and do anything,” she added. But as HoloLens 1 arrived in the hands of users, a couple of clusters emerged and it’s those that Microsoft wants to focus on for the best out-of-box experience. But it’s also worth noting that Microsoft has committed to keeping HoloLens an open ecosystem. So if game developers want to create games — or their own game stores — there’s nothing holding them back.

Even though it’s now a far more capable device, at $3,500, it’s not a consumer device, and I don’t expect we’ll see any AAA games ported to HoloLens 2 anytime soon.

Source: Tech Crunch

Coterie, a young New York startup, promises to deliver charming party kits to your doorstep

Party planning can be fun if you have the time for it and happen to know what you’re doing. For the rest of us, it can be a daunting, time-consuming endeavor, one that requires visits to numerous websites, in-store visits when those products invariably don’t arrive in time, then return visits to pick up those last items that you could have sworn you’d thrown in your shopping cart but did not.

Enter Coterie, a nine-month-old, New York-based startup that was incubated with the help of the investment firm Female Founders Fund and that is assembling party kits that it’s delivering to customers’ doorsteps, for everything from birthday party to baby shower to friendversary get-togethers.

Just tell the site how many people you expect, whether it’s 10 or 50, then pick a kit. For example, the “lux” version of its “shine on” package — which could pretty much suit any occasion — comes with glittery plates, metallic flatware, votives, string lights, gold paper straws, dressed-up paper cups and napkins, and confetti. Oh, also, gold paper fans as either wall or table decoration.

In the near future, customers of the site will also be able to handpick their products.

It’s less expensive to assemble your own party items, particularly if they are made of paper. That “lux” kit for 50 guests costs $329, with free shipping. These are also mostly items that can’t be reused.

Still, many of Coterie’s products can be recycled and, more to the point for Coterie, the sum of their parts can make a party sparkle in photos. Indeed, ease aside, a big motivator for Coterie customers seemingly will be how their parties look on social media, though venture capitalist Laura Chau disagrees with this assessment,

In fact, Chau, an investor at Canaan Partners who wrote a check to Coterie on behalf of her firm — Coterie has raised $2.75 million altogether, including from Female Founders Fund — says the company more or less pokes fun at social media. As she explains it, Coterie is building a modern brand that gives consumers a “frictionless, elevated and more beautiful experience. But the goal is not to feed on the fake perfection of Instagram but to blow up the idea that such perfection is real.”

Either way, party kits done the right way looks like a big business opportunity to Chau, who says she sees dozens of direct-to-consumer brands every month that might be interesting but don’t fit the venture model because the market is too small or too crowded. With Coterie, she says, it’s a “massive category with only one legacy player – Party City. And no one likes Party City.”

This last part is true, though there are also other, legacy players that no one really likes, including Oriental Trading Company.

Canaan and Female Founders Fund also appear to be betting that the tailwinds from Instagram and Pinterest will drive consumer demand for this kind of product. Just look up “festive planning” on Pinterest to see what we mean.

Coterie was founded by Sarah Raffa and Linden Ellis, two early employees of another e-commerce brand, Daily Harvest. According to an interview with CNN earlier this week, the friends were determined to start their own company, bouncing ideas off the partners at Female Founders Fund until collectively striking on Coterie.

The service launched on Monday.

Source: Tech Crunch

Dow Jones’ watchlist of 2.4 million high-risk individuals has leaked

A watchlist of risky individuals and corporate entities owned by Dow Jones has been exposed, after a company with access to the database left it on a server without a password.

Bob Diachenko, an independent security researcher, found the Amazon Web Services-hosted Elasticsearch database exposing more than 2.4 million records of individuals or business entities.

The data, since secured, is the financial giant’s Watchlist database, which companies use as part of their risk and compliance efforts. Other financial companies, like Thomson Reuters, have their own databases of high-risk clients, politically exposed persons and terrorists — but have also been exposed over the years through separate security lapses.

A 2010-dated brochure billed the Dow Jones Watchlist as allowing customers to “easily and accurately identify high-risk clients with detailed, up-to-date profiles” on any individual or company in the database. At the time, the database had 650,000 entries, the brochure said.

That includes current and former politicians, individuals or companies under sanctions or convicted of high-profile financial crimes such as fraud, or anyone with links to terrorism. Many of those on the list include “special interest persons,” according to the records in the exposed database seen by TechCrunch.

Diachenko, who wrote up his findings, said the database was “indexed, tagged and searchable.”

From a 2010-dated brochure of Dow Jones’ Watchlist, which at the time had 650,000 names of individuals and entities. The exposed database had 2.4 million records. (Screenshot: TechCrunch)

The data is all collected from public sources, such as news articles and government filings. Many of the individual records were sourced from Dow Jones’ Factiva news archive, which ingests data from many news sources — including the Dow Jones-owned The Wall Street Journal. But the very inclusion of a person or comnpany’s name, or the reason why a name exists in the database, is proprietary and closely guarded.

Many financial institutions and government agencies use the database to approve or deny financing, or even in the shuttering of bank accounts, the BBC previously reported. Others have reported that it can take little or weak evidence to land someone on the watchlists.

The records we saw vary wildly, but can include names, addresses, cities and their location, whether they are deceased or not and, in some cases, photographs. Diachenko also found dates of birth and genders. Each profile had extensive notes collected from Factiva and other sources.

One name found at random was Badruddin Haqqani, a commander in the Haqqani guerilla insurgent network in Afghanistan affiliated with the Taliban. In 2012, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Haqqani and others for their involvement in financing terrorism. He was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan months later.

The database record on Haqqani, who was categorized under “sanctions list” and terror,” included (and condensed for clarity):

Killed in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area on 21-Aug-2012.


Eye Color Brown; Hair Color Brown; Individual's Primary Language Pashto; Operational Commander of the Haqqani Network


Additional information from the narrative summary of reasons for listing provided by the Sanctions Committee:

Badruddin Haqqani is the operational commander for the Haqqani Network, a Taliban-affiliated group of militants that operates from North Waziristan Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. The Haqqani Network has been at the forefront of insurgent activity in Afghanistan, responsible for many high-profile attacks. The Haqqani Network's leadership consists of the three eldest sons of its founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, who joined Mullah Mohammed Omar's Taliban regime in the mid-1990s. Badruddin is the son of Jalaluddin and brother to Nasiruddin Haqqani and Sirajuddin Haqqani, as well as nephew of Khalil Ahmed Haqqani.

Badruddin helps lead Taliban associated insurgents and foreign fighters in attacks against targets in south- eastern Afghanistan. Badruddin sits on the Miram Shah shura of the Taliban, which has authority over Haqqani Network activities.

Badruddin is also believed to be in charge of kidnappings for the Haqqani Network. He has been responsible for the kidnapping of numerous Afghans and foreign nationals in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.


Other information: Operational commander of the Haqqani Network and member of the Taliban shura in Miram Shah. Has helped lead attacks against targets in southeastern Afghanistan. Son of Jalaluddin Haqqani (TI.H.40.01.). Brother of Sirajuddin Jallaloudine Haqqani (TI.H.144.07.) and Nasiruddin Haqqani (TI.H.146.10.). Nephew of Khalil Ahmed Haqqani (TI.H.150.11.). Reportedly deceased in late August 2012.


Entities and individuals against whom there is evidence of involvement in terrorism.

Dow Jones spokesperson Sophie Bent said: “This dataset is part of our risk and compliance feed product, which is entirely derived from publicly available sources.” The spokepserson said an “authorized third party” was to blame for the exposure, but did not name the alleged company or provide evidence for the claim.

We asked Dow Jones specific questions, such as who the source of the data leak was and if the exposure would be reported to U.S. regulators and European data protection authorities, but the company would not comment on the record.

Two years ago, Dow Jones admitted a similar cloud storage misconfiguration exposed the names and contact information of 2.2 million customers, including subscribers of The Wall Street Journal. The company described the event as an “error.”

Source: Tech Crunch