Investments

Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures co-leads $6 million investment in American blockchain startup

Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, the corporate VC arm of Saudi Aramco, has co-led $6 million Series A of Houston-based Data Gumbo with Equinor Technology Ventures, the venture subsidiary of Equinor, Norway’s leading energy operator, the startup announced earlier this month. Founded in 2016, Data Gumbo has developed a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform that streamlines smart contracts management for industrial customers.

As the statement by the startup notes, one of the problems with industrial companies including the ones in oil and gas sector, is that transaction resulting from measurements which could be weight, speed, height, connection, delivery time, volume, quality controls or any other contract term, are interpreted differently by companies, their service providers and suppliers.

All the companies in the supply chain have their own interpretation of data which could create disputes and delays when it comes to payments, filings, and audits. The statement claims that currently, the supply chain parties lose hundreds of millions of dollars in extra expenses and delays every year due to these delays and disputes and ensuing reconciliation between supply chain parties.

This what Data Gumbo is solving by eliminating the differences in interpretation with its BaaS network and smart contract technology which facilitates automated calculation, reconciliation, and payment of invoice line items almost real-time with total transparency.

Data Gumbo, after removing the disputes and enabling automated payment, records the result in an unchangeable record shared with all the parties to the traction. The startup says that its product helps companies with significant cost saving, better report, payment of bills on time, and clarity and certainty over financial positions of all parties in the supply chain.

“Customers realize savings of 5-10 percent off the top on Data Gumbo-managed contracts from a combination of fewer disputed invoices, fast-pay discounts, and performance contracts. Additionally, Data Gumbo offers a subscription model, freeing industry from building and sustaining standalone, in-house blockchain solutions with their inherent lack of interoperability and neutrality,” said Data Gumbo in a statement.

Data Gumbo plans to use the latest investment to expand its commercial blockchain network and grow the technical, sales and marketing teams at their Houston headquarters and office in Stavanger, Norway.

Andrew Bruce, Chief Executive Officer of Data Gumbo, commenting on the occasion, said, “We enabled the first application of blockchain technology in the offshore drilling industry and will continue to break new ground with applications of BaaS to improve the bottom line of companies of all sizes. Blockchain will have a major impact on the oil and gas industry – and all global industries – and we will lead the charge in its broad adoption for sweeping operational improvements. The partnership with Equinor and Saudi Aramco, and their associated supply chains and partnerships will provide the momentum for the Data Gumbo BaaS network to gain critical mass.”

Daniel Carter, a Senior Investment Director with Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, added, “Distributed ledger technologies have the potential to bring win-win efficiencies between industrial companies and their suppliers, and Data Gumbo is at the forefront of introducing this innovation. While they have started in the energy sector, Data Gumbo’s platform has broad industrial applicability.”

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