Data Gumbo | Information Management | Vendor Vignettes

Data Gumbo


Founded 2016 | HQ Houston, TX | <20 employees | <$5M revenue

Data Gumbo is an excellent example of how a company can leverage blockchain to meet specific industry needs beyond generic record or financial transactional requirements.


The Company

Data Gumbo was founded in 2016 and provides both Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) and focused Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that run on the BaaS infrastructure. Led by CEO and founder Andrew Bruce, the company is headquartered in Houston, Texas, with offices in Stavanger, Norway and London, UK. To date, Data Gumbo has raised around $15 million in Series B funding, led by L37 Venture Partners, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, and Equinor Technology Ventures.

The Technology

Data Gumbo’s product, GumboNet, provides a Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) infrastructure. But the company is more than a blockchain infrastructure provider, as it also has a Software as a Service (SaaS) business application that run on this BaaS – ready-to-use, essentially out of the box, applications.

After first looking at Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum, Data Gumbo decided to go its own way and took the unusual step of designing GumboNet, its own industrial-grade blockchain capable of handling large blocks of data. Typically, large data sets and files are stored externally and linked via a hash to a blockchain. This is because in more widely used blockchain environments, such hefty data stores cannot scale, and if they were to scale, they would be costly to support. In short, most blockchains are designed to support very small data transactions across extensive networks.

GumboNet, however, was not designed to support tens of thousands of public nodes on a single ledger with high-frequency transactions containing small amounts of transactional data. Instead, GumboNet is built as a private, permissioned network where companies create as many private ledgers and smart contracts as they need to conduct business. In effect, they create many nodes on many ledgers with lower frequency transactions containing all the data necessary to invoice, audit, and pay for the delivery of goods and services.

Customers of GumboNet subscribe to a pre-built blockchain platform and essentially create their own corporate node holding relevant reference and transactional data, as well as the company’s nodes for each ledger they participate in. Using REST APIs, they can securely integrate data sources such as electronic field reports, pricebooks, and IoT data to the blockchain, and with access to Data Gumbo’s ever-growing library of smart contracts, they can start to securely automate processes with their trading partners. For example, IoT data from oil and gas drilling rigs telling users precisely what is happening, and when, can be captured into the blockchain, and every party involved will see the same immutable data (see Figure 1). That operational data and any business performance transactions related to it can be automated across the parties via a pre-configured smart contract.

Beyond the GumboNet blockchain, the company is steadily building out a library of pre-configured smart contracts that can be licensed by subscribers who pay Data Gumbo a subscription fee per smart contract. So, a typical GumboNet customer would create ledgers as required for projects or assets and collect the required field data to automate transactions. The corporate node would be deployed via a secure container in the cloud or, if required, in their own data center. Either way, new clients should be up and running quickly, at least from a technical standpoint.

Running atop the core GumboNet network, the company also provides GumboNet ESG, an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) smart contract layer to measure sustainability progress and create automated ESG reports for stakeholders. As far as we know, this is the first such blockchain application to address the burgeoning ESG market. It is designed around the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Materiality Map and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. It works much the same as the more generic Data Gumbo system, only it has been pre-configured to utilize the captured IoT data to track metrics such as greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and operational impact.

Figure 1
Data Gumbo Blockchain Diagram

Our Opinion

The growth and interest in enterprise blockchain globally has been enormous over the past four years. That said, much of the focus has been on building industry consortiums and blockchain infrastructure.
We are only now starting to see focused business applications built upon that infrastructure. Data Gumbo is, in our estimation, an excellent example of how a company can leverage blockchain to meet specific industry needs beyond generic record or financial transactional requirements.

Advice to Buyers

If you are involved in oil and gas production, you should take a look at GumboNet as it has the potential, at a minimum, to automate expensive and challenging administration of service contracts. Similarly, if your organization makes extensive use of IoT devices and data and is required to meet emerging ESG standards, you should take a look. The bottom line is that GumboNet has done most of the heavy lifting; if it fits your needs, quick implementation and, importantly, a fast return on your investment should be possible. Indeed, you can put to the test the company’s claim to deliver business value in under 90 days.


SOAR Analysis

Strengths

  • First-to-market advantage
  • Supported by Saudi Aramco and Equinor

Aspirations

  • To become the dominant blockchain player in heavy industry, including oil & gas
  • To build out a wide array of industry-specific smart contracts

Opportunities

  • Expand further in the oil & gas sector
  • Enable accuracy and automation in the emerging ESG monitoring and reporting business environment

Results

  • Early and successful field deployments
  • Raised substantial funds to further invest