Fluree, a North Carolina startup that wants to bring the immutability of blockchain to the database, announced a $4.7 million seed round today led by 4490 Ventures with participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.
As CEO and co-founder Brian Platz explains, the database combines blockchain and graph database technologies to offer a new way of thinking about storing and querying data. “The real benefits it provides is immense integrity around the data, so you can prove it has never been tampered with, who put it in there, etc., something you can’t do with current databases or other data management technologies.”
He added, “It has the ability to make the data immensely collaborative by allowing multiple parties to actually interact with it and improve security, and it really allows you, especially with how we’ve organized our database, to get better leverage out of the data.”
If you’re thinking such a database would be slow because of the nature of decentralized data, Platz says that it really depends how you choose to tune your blockchain. He sees blockchain technology on a spectrum with choices and tradeoffs between speed and decentralization.
“If you want 100% decentralization, something like Bitcoin, it’s going to be slow. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you need to, you can decrease the amount of centralization. So there’s a spectrum there, and we focus on giving people the knob to adjust that based on what they’re trying to do,” Platz explained.
Fluree has a free community edition and a paid enterprise version with some increased controls. The company currently has 17 employees based in Winston Salem, North Carolina, a number it will expand in the coming year with new funding.