Fluree Closes $4.7M Seed Funding Round to Ditch the Database

  • Led by 4490 Ventures with participation from Revolution’s Rise of the
    Rest Seed Fund; the largest tech infrastructure seed funding ever in
    North Carolina
  • Fluree’s data-first technology stack helps companies gain a
    competitive advantage and save cost while competing in the
    data-centric economy; an ideal fit for centralized and decentralized
    applications, artificial intelligence (AI) and microservice
    architectures
  • Fluree advances data integrity and security with blockchain
    cryptography, makes data readily shareable without costly API
    development and increases data leverage through semantic graph
    interfaces

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ApplicationFluree,
a North Carolina-headquartered startup that provides a data-first
technology stack, today announced a $4.73 million seed funding round led
by 4490
Ventures
, with additional participation from Revolution’s
Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
.

Established in 2016, Fluree PBC (Fluree) is a Public Benefit Corporation
co-founded by veteran IT entrepreneurs Brian Platz and Flip Filipowski.
Seed funding capital will accelerate adoption of the existing product
through market awareness, and increase R&D ahead of its 2019 open source
release.

A Data-First Approach Leveraging Blockchain

“Data is at the center of the new economy, yet it is managed by the same
database approach we’ve had for 40 years,” said Brian Platz, co-CEO and
co-founder of Fluree. “We need to move beyond the application-centric
mindset that has given rise to data silos and API bloat while increasing
costs and obstacles to adopting new tech-like AI. A data-centric
approach simultaneously saves money, promotes secure enterprise
collaboration and provides additional leverage for information across
systems.”

Fluree’s diverse customer base reflects its versatility; it can be
leveraged as a better enterprise database, but its unique benefits
particularly serve as a boon to emerging architectures and services that
rely heavily on high-quality, trusted and shared data. These areas
include AI, machine learning (ML), microservices, consortium blockchain
networks and the semantic web. With an established global user base of
Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and technology startups, this
financing round confirms the company’s value proposition in the future
of enterprise data management.

“Today’s data needs to be leveraged and transacted by participants both
inside and outside the enterprise,” said Flip Filipowski, co-CEO and
co-founder of Fluree. “Fluree stores all data on a blockchain ledger
that can be run internally like a traditional data store, or selectively
operated in a data network across parties governed by Fluree
SmartFunction™ rules. Decentralized data ownership like this has never
before been possible, and we are excited to witness an entirely new
class of applications that emerge from no longer having to blindly trust
other parties with critical data.”

VC Comments on Fluree Seed Funding Round

“Fluree is set to revolutionize the way we manage and share data,” said
Dan Malven, managing director at 4490 Ventures. “The world is evolving
from static apps to platforms to ecosystems, and technology tools have
not kept pace. Innovators have to force fit data management tools
originally designed to build static apps, slowing down the evolution to
data-driven ecosystems. Fluree has in place the mission, technology and
road map necessary to serve a wide variety of industries as they
transform through the next evolution of data management to a much more
interconnected world.”

“We are excited to back this team of seasoned technologists and startup
execs who are making a bold bet on the future of data architecture,”
said Anna Mason, partner at Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. “With Fluree,
they are continuing to put Winston-Salem on the map as a startup hub of
the future.”

Built from Inception to Empower the Developer Community

Developers can download a free
version of Fluree
, or sign up for a hosted on-demand version that
starts free and scales in pricing alongside usage. Fluree also offers a
licensed version for production deployments.

Fluree’s data management approach focuses on immutability, data
integrity and joining disparate data sets dynamically through its
semantic graph technology. It allows developers to quickly create more
powerful and secure applications while solving challenging data
management problems like ‘race’ conditions, reproducible data state and
scalability. Fluree enables Time Travel — traversing time both forwards
and backwards, Fluree allows both instant historical queries and native
functionality for future-state queries.

With Fluree, data can ‘defend itself,’ allowing direct data connections
to external parties where data dynamically enforces permissions using
Fluree SmartFunctions™. Instead of building expensive APIs, developers
can safely expose rich, permissioned query interfaces directly to the
data source including GraphQL, SPARQL and Fluree’s JSON-based FlureeQL.

The Fluree data management stack is comprised of the following elements:

  • Fluree Ledger Server — handles all updates in a blockchain-backed
    ledger of W3C
    RDF data
    and optionally participates in a decentralized data
    network. It ensures all data is properly secured and maintains
    integrity through the dynamic execution of Fluree SmartFunctions™
  • Fluree Edge Server — optionally placed anywhere in the world and
    linearly scalable, Edge Servers receive data updates from the Ledger
    Servers and provides fully automated in-memory edge caching and proxy
    services
  • Fluree Library — Optional full in-memory, time-traveling semantic
    graph database that can be embedded in code with JavaScript currently
    supported along with a ReactJS wrapper and other languages
    forthcoming. Creates automatic real-time apps, less network overhead,
    faster query responses and the ability to allow users to ‘rewind’ any
    application instantly

About Rise of the Rest

Rise of the Rest is a nationwide effort, powered by DC-based investment
firm Revolution, to invest in and work closely with entrepreneurs in
emerging startup ecosystems. Since 2014, Steve Case and the Revolution
team have logged more than 10,000 miles touring entrepreneurial
communities by bus in 38 cities. In 2017, Case and JD Vance announced a
$150 million Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, backed by a group of iconic
entrepreneurs, executives and investors that believe the next great
startup investments are located outside of coastal cities. Revolution’s
Rise of the Rest Seed Fund invests catalytic capital, often alongside
regional investors, to the most promising early stage investments in
Rise of the Rest cities. For more information, please visit: www.revolution.com/rotr
or follow them on Twitter @RiseOfRest.

About 4490 Ventures

4490 Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund focused on
investing in Connected Software – software that is connected to
proprietary assets such as data, analytics and hardware. 4490 invests
primarily outside of Silicon Valley where they believe an increasing
number of great companies will be built. The investment team is
comprised of a group of experienced operators and investors with deep
domain expertise in Connected Software. For more information, visit 4490ventures.com,
or follow 4490 on LinkedIn.

About Fluree, PBC

Founded in 2016 by Brian Platz and Flip Filipowski, Fluree PBC is
headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Fluree is pioneering a
data-first technology approach with its data management platform. Fluree
is a Public Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) that dedicates employee time,
company resources and chartered effort towards empowering people whose
jobs are replaced by technology, or those that wish to make a career
adjustment via training and assistance. For more information, follow
Fluree on Twitter
or LinkedIn,
or visit flur.ee.

Contacts

Treble
Ethan
Parker
512-960-8222
fluree@treblepr.com

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