Hicham Oudghiri

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Hicham Oudghiri

Hicham Oudghiri at Collision 2018
Residence New York City
Alma mater Columbia University
Known for Co-Founder and CEO, Enigma (Company)

Hicham Oudghiri is an American entrepreneur and technology executive. Oudghiri is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Enigma, a data and technology company based in New York City's Silicon Alley.[1][2]

Early life

Oudghiri was born in Morocco and grew up in New York. He is a naturalized citizen of the United States. Oudghiri's grandfather and great-uncle started the first political party in Morocco with Allal al-Fassi.[3]


Oudghiri received a B.A. from Columbia University, where he studied philosophy and mathematics.[1] Oudghiri first met Enigma Co-Founder Marc DaCosta, then a fellow Philosophy student, in 2004 while at Columbia.[4][5]


Early career

After graduating from Columbia, Oudghiri supported an energy fund in Dallas, Texas before relocating to Africa to manage the private sustainable finance program at BMCE Bank, in partnership with the World Bank Group, to create energy models for large-scale alternative energy projects across Africa.[1] It was in doing this data-driven work that Oudghiri began to feel frustration in his attempts to harness public information and felt that there was no easy way to find, interpret and connect data.[6][5][4]


Oudghiri and DaCosta founded Enigma Technologies Inc. in 2011 to create a "Google for public data."[6] The pair believed that there was disconnect between the data that is released by government entities and the people who can interpret this data and connect the dots.[7] They set out to build a way to systematically streamline the cumbersome process of collecting as much public data as possible through a combination of web scraping, outreach and negotiations with state and federal government agencies and Freedom of Information Act requests, and then connecting this data to shed light on the world.[8][7][9] This includes paying $100 a day to United States Customs and border Protection for a daily CD containing bills of lading for all of the shipments that arrived in all US ports the previous day.[6]

Enigma launched in beta in February 2013,[10] with a full launch coming later that year when the company won TechCrunch Disrupt NY. By this point, Oudghiri and DaCosta had built a database of billions of public records across more than 100,000 datasets.[11]

In 2016, Oudghiri closed the office on Election Day and gave the entire company the day off to make it easier for employees to vote and "to respect the importance of being involved in the civic duties that are needed to protect the unique environment of the U.S. for entrepreneurs like myself."[3]

Oudghiri holds a patent, along with DaCosta, for the data system and method that acquires, searches, and provides results of structured and/or unstructured data sets, which they invented while starting Enigma.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Enigma Leadership" (in en). https://www.enigma.com/leadership#hicham-oudghiri. 
  2. "Enigma on the Forbes Fintech 50 List" (in en). Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/companies/enigma/. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Why I’m giving my company Election Day off – TechCrunch" (in en-US). https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/10/why-im-giving-my-company-election-day-off/. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Enigma | About Us" Accessed July 21, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Data Mining Start-Up Enigma to Expand Commercial Business" (in en). The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/23/technology/data-mining-start-up-enigma-to-expand-commercial-business.html. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "A Harvest of Company Details, All in One Basket" (in en). The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/technology/a-harvest-of-company-details-all-in-one-basket.html. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Public Data Is More Important Than Ever–And Now It’s Easier To Find" (in en-US). Co.Design. 2017-06-20. https://www.fastcodesign.com/90130247/public-data-is-more-important-than-ever-and-now-its-easier-to-find. 
  8. "Beating out tough competition, ‘Google for public data’ Enigma wins Disrupt NY" (in en-US). VentureBeat. 2013-05-01. https://venturebeat.com/2013/05/01/beating-out-tough-competition-google-for-public-data-enigma-wins-disrupt-ny/. 
  9. "How to Apply Big Data to the Real World" (in en). PCMAG. https://www.pcmag.com/article/357903/how-to-apply-big-data-to-the-real-world. 
  10. "Enigma brings the deep, dark world of public data to light" (in en-US). VentureBeat. 2013-05-01. https://venturebeat.com/2013/05/01/enigma-brings-the-deep-dark-world-of-public-data-to-light/. 
  11. "And The Winner Of TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 Is… Enigma! – TechCrunch" (in en-US). https://techcrunch.com/2013/05/01/and-the-winner-of-techcrunch-disrupt-ny-2013-is-enigma/. 
  12. Data system and method, issue-date: 2014-02-04, https://patents.google.com/patent/US20140222826A1/en, retrieved 2018-06-27