Trent McConaghy (Founder, CTO), Bruce Pon (Founder, CEO) and Masha McConaghy (Founder, Strategic Partnerships) Nils Lucas


Giving People Power in a New Data Economy

Founded in 2016
30 employees
Funding: €3.7M
Stage: Series A

BigchainDB provides a path for companies to turn data into assets while giving data owners control. Their main product is Ocean Protocol, which is a joint initiative with DEX, a Singapore based company. Ocean Protocol is a decentralized substrate able to power a new data economy. It opens up the possibility to shift the data-sharing paradigm across all industries: manufacturing, supply chain, IoT, media, healthcare, and government.

Highlight of the year: Building a global community.

Interview with BigchainDB

What inspired you to found your startup?

We saw that blockchain was going to be transformational and we wanted to help steer it towards helping people.

How are you different? What is your unique value proposition?

We have deep expertise in blockchain, AI, and IoT. We understand the challenges to building usable tools and platforms. We also understand data scientists, AI researchers, and the great potential of connected devices. This perspective allows us to build a product that can be useful to solve real-world problems.

How do you define success for yourself and your company?

We want our product, Ocean Protocol, to be the global substrate to power a new Data Economy which gives everyone an equal chance to participate, regardless of geography. We want people to be incentivized to share data and get rewarded for it, while preserving their privacy and security.

What do you want to achieve next year?

We will launch the Ocean Protocol network to kickstart the journey towards an open Data Economy at the end of Q1/2019. Along with the network launch, we want to build a healthy community and demonstrator use cases to give people a sense of data sharing on Ocean Protocol.

Why do people want to work at your company?

Our coworkers believe in the vision; they want to make a difference and to work on cutting-edge technology.

What has been the most important milestone so far?

We launched the project and ran a pre-launch token distribution which brought contributors from over 100 countries.

Looking back at your whole development story — what makes you most proud?

There is a global movement of nerds who believe that people should control and own their data. We are one small, but essential piece of the puzzle. I’m heartened that we aren’t alone on this journey and we have the chance to collaborate with dozens of other like-minded teams.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

In 5 years, Ocean Protocol will be the de facto substrate for the Data Economy. For BigchainDB, we will be constantly improving the protocol and building sustainable business models that allow people to share and trade data, while keeping control.

What is your impression of launching a startup from your based city?

Berlin is the epicenter of blockchain for the world. It’s the home of projects like Ethereum, Parity, Cosmos, OST, XAIN, Weeve, Spherity, IOTA, and a host of other great blockchain teams. This is because of the city’s openness to new ideas and cultures, coupled with a deep respect for privacy and human rights.

What is your impression of the german startup scene? Would you change anything?

Germany is maturing rapidly by attracting a critical mass of talent, capital and ideas. Germany can improve by upgrading the tax treatment of share options for employees and reduce the need for notarizations and apostilles which significantly slows down the pace at which startups can raise money.

BigchainDB was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Germany“, November 2018.

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