Big hitters back enterprise blockchain challenger
UK startup Gospel Technology, which uses blockchain to create a perimeter-less security infrastructure for inter-company data sharing, has won £5 million in Series A funding from Salesforce Ventures – the VC arm of the leading CRM software company.
The funding round represents Salesforce Ventures’ first blockchain investment.
Gospel Technology was also backed in the round by IA Ventures, an early stage venture caputal firm based in New York City.
It came as Gospel, founded in 2016, said it has started working with a major “UK-based global aviation and defence company” to address parts traceability and export control compliance.
Gospel Technology, was founded by CEO Ian Smith, the entrepreneur behind data analysis and migration company, Butterfly Software, which was acquired by IBM in 2012. (He previously worked as a storage architect for Hitachi Data Systems, Deutsche Bank and a “storage transformation consultant” at Dell).
It uses a private permissioned blockchain – using the practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (pBFT) consensus mechanism – to build a flexible mechanism for sharing data between companies and their supply chains.
The company notes in a recent blog: “Even using a private blockchain – in many systems the control parameters are binary – you are either allowed to see all the data or you are not. Much like using secure sharing tools – all the data is exposed instead of only that which is authorised and required for the particular request. With Gospel, everyone maintains control of their own data, whilst allowing granular access only to relevant information for other parties in the value chain.”
Teresa Cottam Chief Analyst at Omnisperience said in an emailed release: “What’s getting people excited about Gospel is that it has the potential to change enterprises’ relationship with their data. It does this by bringing to market a breakthrough idea that fixes one of the biggest dilemmas of the Digital Economy: how to enable collaborative and flexible working without compromising on trust and security.”
She added: “In fact, one of the most surprising things about Gospel is why hasn’t somebody done this before?”
Gospel Technology will use the investment to expand its sales, marketing and partner programs, as well as continue the development of its data collaboration platform and integration across existing and new applications and infrastructure.
“Salesforce Ventures looks to invest in the most innovative enterprise companies globally,” said Alex Kayyal, Partner at Salesforce Ventures. “We are excited to support Gospel’s vision of advancing enterprise data sharing through blockchain, and we look forward to having them work more closely with our customers.”
Gospel CEO Ian Smith said: “Having IA Ventures and Salesforce Ventures join us at this point in our journey is an honour and extremely exciting.”