This week Houston-based blockchain startup Data Gumbo announced it has raised a $6 million Series A round co-led by Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Equinor Technology Ventures. It brings the total company funding to $9.3 million.
“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,” said Andrew Bruce, Data Gumbo’s CEO. “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.”
He continued: “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.”
The company’s backstory is that Bruce identified a multi-million opportunity to address an inefficiency between an oil major and a supplier. The solution was Data Gumbo’s distributed ledger. Now the company plans to address commodities and other sectors.
Data Gumbo says the key problem it addresses is different measurement interpretations between members of a supply chain which causes delays and disputes. Those discrepancies could relate to weight, speed, height, connection, delivery time, volume, or several other factors.
The solution is a subscription-based Blockchain as a Service offering that leverages smart contracts to enable automatic calculations, reconciliations and payments with the bonus of transparency. Data Gumbo claims 5-10 percent is saved by using Data Gumbo managed contracts.
“Over the past two years, through our internal and external efforts, we have learned a great deal about how blockchain can create efficiencies and save cost in our operations,” said Rannfrid Skjervold, managing director, Equinor Technology Ventures. “We believe now is the time to put that knowledge to work by supporting a promising company in this space and to realize value by implementing their technology.”
Equinor is a participant in multiple oil, gas and energy blockchain projects. It’s a shareholder in VAKT, the oil post-trade blockchain. Two months ago the Offshore Operators Committee (OOC) was announced with Equinor as a founding member alongside Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Hess, Pioneer Natural Resources, Repsol, Marathon Oil and Noble Energy. Plus it’s a member of the Energy Web Foundation which boasts more than 100 other organizations as affiliates.