Founded 2020 | HQ Singapore
Though the value of blockchain for verifying and permanently locking documents has been understood for years, it has typically been left to enterprises to design and build their systems. The early successes of Dedoco suggest that such products are viable and can be built and taken to market relatively quickly.
Dedoco is a Singapore-based start-up that was founded in 2020 by Daphne Ng (CEO) and Ernie Teo (CTO). The company has received $7.4 million in two rounds of seed funding led by Vertex Ventures and True Global Ventures.
The Dedoco platform provides a blockchain-based, decentralized document management and workflow system. The firm caught our attention because blockchain is increasingly used to verify and lock documents, yet this is one of the first pure-play products to come to market. Let’s break the technology down a bit further in this section.
The first thing to note is that the platform does not provide document storage; instead, documents remain in place (for example in an existing document management system or file store). Rather than provide a repository, the platform manages blockchain-generated hashes and any associated metadata. It’s a novel approach that, in theory at least, may well appeal to larger organizations that span multiple countries and jurisdictions – allowing them to keep their document stores on-premises. Similarly, it may appeal to organizations that want to modernize their document workflows but don’t have the appetite or resources to rip and replace existing legacy systems. So, although Dedoco bills itself as a document management and workflow system, it’s starkly different from regular, traditional, repository-centric document management systems. In many regards, the platform has more in common with enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) systems, allowing peer-to-peer document sharing.
The second thing to note is that this is an application programming interface (API)-centric platform. Every customer accesses Dedoco via the developer API and configures the system through the API. At the core of this approach is the use of JSON Web Tokens (JWTs ) that provide cryptographically signed access to the platform, thereby ensuring the identity of the person/system requesting access. In essence, Dedoco, through the API, creates “documents” and “folders” of related documents formed from hashes and metadata that can be accessed, recorded on an Ethereum blockchain, and read, signed, approved, etc. through simple workflows (see Figure 1).
Currently five “products” run on the platform, including digital signatures, verified certificates, and digital IDs. The one that caught our attention was “Form as a Service,” as this is the critical workflow element of the platform. As the name suggests, the user creates dynamic forms (templates) to build document-centric workflows: the logic and rules embedded in the form can be exposed to check on status and progress, and to trigger next steps.
Dedoco is a simple but novel approach to processing documents across a decentralized architecture. But we do need to note that the platform and products are new and have some limitations, the most prominent being that it only really works with PDFs. The injection of seed funding should help flesh out the features and breadth of the platform over the coming year or two.
What most surprised us about Dedoco is that it has taken so long for anyone to design a decentralized, blockchain-centric document management system. Though the value of blockchain for verifying and permanently locking documents has been understood for years, it has typically been left to enterprises to design and build their systems. The early successes of Dedoco suggest that such products are viable and can be built and taken to market relatively quickly.
Advice to Buyers
Dedoco is a relatively new, seed-stage start-up based in Singapore, so it comes with the same risks as any similar early-stage company and product. However, for the adventurous enterprise or government department that wants to experiment and explore a light-touch, next-gen document management system, the company is worth looking at, particularly as a free trial version is available.
- First to market
- Cutting-edge decentralized document management platform
- Be the leader in Web 3.0 document management
- Disrupt and replace legacy system
- Expand across Asian financial services and government
- Broaden the functionality of the platform to compete in larger deals
- Raised an impressive $7.4 million
- Already onboarded blue chip companies to the platform
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