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Zuckerberg money manager Iconiq bets on European data startup

(Bloomberg) -- Iconiq Capital, the Silicon Valley venture firm that invests on behalf of Facebook Inc. founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and other tech billionaires, is putting $30 million into Collibra, a software company that helps large institutions manage their data.

The investment is part of a $58 million round of capital that included Battery Ventures, Index Ventures and Dawn Capital, the company said Monday. A year ago, Collibra raised about $50 million from the same investors.

Founded in Brussels in 2008, but now also based in New York, Collibra builds computer programs to help large banks, health-care providers and manufacturing firms track their data. Collibra provides the piping to keep tabs on where data is coming from, who is using it, and if its use is compliant with industry rules and government policies.

In the past few years, Collibra’s sales have been bolstered by new privacy rules, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the banking industry’s Basel Accords, which obligates businesses to document how they process information. Companies face substantial fines if they don’t comply.

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Colored wires connect a computer server at the CeBIT 2017 tech fair in Hannover, Germany, on Monday, March 20, 2017. Leading edge technologies in the digital world are showcased in this annual event which runs March 20 - 24. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Felix Van De Maele, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, wants Collibra to become the leader for data governance software in the same way Salesforce.com Inc.’s software dominates sales and marketing and SAP SE’s systems dominate finance and logistics. "We believe data governance will be its own category within enterprise software," he said in an interview. "And we think we can be the system of record for that category."

He said the company planned to use the latest funding round to hire more sales, engineering and product engineering staff in the U.S. and Europe. Collibra also plans to expand to Australia within the coming year, Van de Maele said.

Iconiq, which also manages the family wealth of Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg and LinkedIn Corp.’s co-founder Reid Hoffman, says European startups, like Collibra, are catching the San Francisco-based fund’s eye. "European entrepreneurs must learn to build internationally at an early stage," said Iconiq general partner and Collibra board member Matt Jacobson. "That’s impressive."