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“Sometimes I joke at Bendia that there is nothing I love more than failed blockchain experiments,” Wagner said. “Blockchain has certainly been through this amazing cycle of hype. We are in the later stages of the Valley of Disillusionment. is.”

According to Wagner, blockchain technology’s operational challenges, including single-machine limitations, lack of throughput and scalability, high costs, and difficulty in integrating, have meant that many pilots have failed to deliver value. increase.

To solve these problems, Vendia chief business officer and co-founder Shruthi Rao and he reimagined the idea of ​​blockchain and distributed ledgers in a cloud-native way, launching Vendia in 2020. I was. Fully managed serverless Vendia Share A platform for building real-time distributed data applications Customers can more easily share code and data across clouds, companies, regions, accounts and technology stacks.

Shruthi Rao and Tim Wagner launched Vendia in 2020 to reimagine the idea of ​​blockchain and distributed ledgers in a cloud-native way.Photo: Vendia

“The cloud has always been the missing piece in blockchain and Bendia has added it,” said Wagner. “We took this very different approach. The core of our technology is cloud-centric blockchain because we build this very cloud-friendly, cloud-scaling type of approach. , which essentially allows access to an unlimited amount of storage, an unlimited amount of network capacity, and an unlimited amount of processing power. [Deliver] It has much higher throughput, lower latency, more processing power, more parallelism, and easier integration. ”

Vendia has raised $50 million to date. Its customers span the entire market, from start-ups to large midsize and enterprise companies. Airline supply his chain. large-scale construction management; mortgages, hospitality, and the automotive industry;They include BMWAerotrax Technologies, and consulting firm Slalom.

“We typically replace early attempts to use hyperledger fabric Or Quorum or one of these other systems,” Wagner said. “But frankly, many of them are companies staring at the high cost of building everything in a custom way through in-house or outsourced custom development rather than trying to get it as a platform. One of the hardest things you can do is ensure that your own data and that of your partners are always accurate, consistent, complete and up-to-date.”

AWS connection

Prior to starting Vendia, Rao was responsible for blockchain business development at AWS, including the Amazon Managed Blockchain product that supports the open source HyperLedger Fabric. Wagner used the same technique at cryptocurrency company Coinbase.

“An interesting question we kept asking ourselves was, ‘What’s the problem, what ingredient is missing here?'” Wagner said. “This 1st generation blockchain he can easily say technology ignores the cloud. They ignore scalability, they ignore cloud integration, everyone else is moving to the cloud. I ignored the facts.”

Rao says he has met 1,092 unique customers on AWS. Whether in financial services, energy, media, entertainment or gaming, Rao says he has one big story about why they’re all “desperately” using blockchain. I had Customers say they have many partners and are investing in many data creation mechanisms, from IoT and mobile to edge computing and digital transformation. data was stuck in silos of partners and clouds.

“The problem for these companies has been, ‘We don’t have access to the data we need to make real-time decisions in a meaningful amount of time so that we can respond quickly to market changes,’” said Rao. I’m here. “They were getting very little data regardless of how much they invested in AI, ML, analytics, and all these great data processing mechanisms.”

“You could easily say that this first-generation blockchain technology ignored the cloud.”

Wagner, meanwhile, served as Vice President of Engineering at pre-IPO Coinbase in 2018 and 2019, which operated some of the largest regulated distributed ledgers in North America.

“I just find it sad that cryptocurrencies and distributed ledgers work for a kind of speculation, but they don’t really work for businesses,” he said. rice field.

Before joining Coinbase, Wagner spent about six years at AWS, starting what is now known as the Serverless division, which included AWS Lambda, a serverless computing service, while Rao eventually took over the group’s business development. was in charge of

“When I created Lambda, it was about democratizing and simplifying access to the cloud rather than renting servers from AWS,” says Wagner. “We see Vendia as a similar idea: to democratize blockchain functionality and simplify it so that customers don’t have to understand how it works. You don’t have to introduce it, and frankly don’t even need to really understand it, they don’t necessarily write robustness, hire a Hyperledger Fabric developer, or become an expert in any of those things. You can get business value out of it without having to.”

‘Business urgency’

Vendia launched shortly after the coronavirus pandemic began, further highlighting the challenges companies face in their supply chains and the pressure on the travel industry, especially airlines.

“It’s already a great kind of addressable market for us and added business urgency,” Wagner said. “[It] There has been an increased awareness and focus on the limitations and lack of suitable data sharing mechanisms for the needs and requirements of data sharing between companies. We focus on cost savings and efficiency, passenger experience, corporate travel and the need to enable businesses to re-plan travel. Some of these were actually very beneficial to us. ”

One of Vendia’s airline customers has about eight joint venture partners to get passengers to their destinations. For example, if a customer books a flight from San Francisco to Cancun, Mexico, the airline will fly passengers from San Francisco to Dallas, and one of her partners will handle the leg of the trip from Dallas to Cancun.

First passenger reservations are sent to airlines through the Salesforce CRM system. In order to provide the necessary information to the joint venture partner handling flights from Dallas to Cancun, Vendia customers have historically downloaded Salesforce data into an Excel spreadsheet, cleaned up some macros, and provided the partner with We only shared the information we needed. See travel leg, passenger name, passenger name record number, date, seat number, and other details. Then send the information to a partner who may be using another of her CRM systems.

“I just find it sad that cryptocurrencies and distributed ledgers have worked for a kind of speculation, but not really for enterprises.”

“It’s all very manual, all very duct tape, throwing in the fact that we have eight joint venture partners and many more codeshare and segmentshare partners. Point to point to point. ‘s integration, especially on these complex flights, is much more difficult,” Rao said.

Instead, Vendia Share will be responsible for coordinating data sharing between various airlines. According to Rao, since transactions are immutable through the power of distributed ledger technology, the product will give businesses complete visibility into all activity and transactions regardless of their origin.

“Whoever is supposed to get the data, we make sure they get it in real time within five milliseconds, so they don’t have to go back and forth manually,” Rao said. “And it’s all in the ledger so you can see who you shared it with [with], what you shared, when you shared it… and granular analysis of what was shared. ”

The company says AWS support is generally available, Microsoft Azure support is in beta, and Google Cloud Platform support is targeted for Q1.

In May, Vendia announced its latest round of funding, a $30 million Series B round led by NewView Capital. The company, which has just under 100 employees, uses the money to expand its engineering and continue building out its cross-cloud platform, including support for Google Cloud Platform.

“There is a general idea of ​​how to address where your customers are. ),” says Wagner. “In terms of market development…we got into the automotive, travel sector and financial services. That’s where we started. They all have really great business networks and use cases that we can tap into.” But they are equally exciting and challenging opportunities in healthcare, energy, consumer goods and many of these other sectors. Getting there will require a larger go-to-market team and more collateral. So that would be another opportunity: use those funds to grow and increase our penetration in the sector.”

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