NetObjex was founded in 2015 by an eclectic group of individuals with deep industry knowledge in Retail, Healthcare, Transportation, Supply Chain, Oil and Gas. Given the ubiquity of connected devices and push for decentralization using blockchain, NetObjex provides companies embarking on their blockchain journey a comprehensive platform-as-a-service so they can focus on building customer-centric applications. Below is our recent interview with Raghu Bala, CEO at NetObjex:
Q: Tell us something more about your platform?
A: It is basically a blockchain agnostic middleware platform that allows you to manage digital assets by collecting data through sensors, beacons, barcodes or any other means. It let’s you track the digital asset’s ownership, provenance, performance, utilization and allows for connected devices to automatically authenticate, discover, communicate and transact with one another using either cryptocurrency or smart contracts.
Since inception, NetObjex has made rapid strides. From crossing the high six figures in revenue during its first year, to partnerships with industry leaders, and recognition through accolades and awards at several startup competitions across the globe, we’ve definitely come a long way, and are excited about how our platform will play a vital role in helping companies disrupt business models in the decentralized future.
Q: You’ve recently unveiled a roadmap for IoT security leveraging blockchain technologies; could you tell us something more?
A: IoT by definition means a connected world where devices embedded with sensors and machines can authenticate, discover, communicate and transact with one another. With automation, ML and AI soon they will be able to perform the above functions without human intervention. That said, IoT as it stands today involves smart devices operating under the purview of a single entity. In other words, devices are not yet operating in an ecosystem outside of the trust boundaries of a single entity.
In the very near future, devices will operate outside their trust boundaries of a single entity, and operate in trusted ecosystems where digital assets are owned by multiple entities. These ecosystems will involve digital assets transacting on their own without human intervention. Imagine, a car transacting with a parking meter, owned by the local municipality. Each digital asset will possess its own digital wallet and use cryptocurrencies for secure transactions.
All this wouldn’t be possible without Blockchain for two reasons. First, since every device on a blockchain has a unique id, two devices can securely authenticate and communicate with each other. Second, since blockchain is an immutable distributed ledger that records every transaction, connected devices can transact with one another across trust boundaries without the need for an intermediary for security and compliance purposes. This is exactly why the marriage between Blockchain and IoT is a match made in heaven.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your product?
A: The NetObjex platform comprises of four layers. 1) Instrumentation layer – Apart from the software, NetObjex provides own firmware in sensors, beacons, actuators, and micro-controllers for physical assets and software agents for soft assets 2) Compute layer – This layer helps operationalize data captured by the instrumentation layer by sending data to the NetObjex cloud for analytics, machine learning, actuation, and monitoring of alerts 3) Integration layer – This layer helps our platform integrate with enterprise ticketing, ERP, CMS and CRM Systems in addition to ecosystem partners using blockchain’s distributed ledger 4) Monetization layer – this layer facilitates payments and monetization of digital assets by selling, renting, or sharing additional capacity. Thus, NetObjex’s middleware platform is a technology fabric that enables digital assets to cross trust boundaries and communicate with each other using universal blockchain id, digital wallet, smart contracts for transactions and ricardian contracts for legal terms.
Q: What is unique about platform and how does it stand out?
A: One of the features that make NetObjex’s platform unique is its ability to communicate with heterogenous decentralized networks including NEM, Ethereum, IOTA, Hyperledger, Mijin and more. This future proofs the system for the technology world of tomorrow where it is highly probable that digital assets would be stored across multiple types of blockchains. The system facilitates:
• Search across different blockchains
• Data aggregation across blockchains
• Off-chain processing and acts as a glue between existing centralized systems and decentralized systems
Q: Are there any interesting developments in terms of customers or partnerships?
A: There have been a lot of interesting developments since we launched our product in 2016. In today’s ICO world, for a startup to raise millions of dollars, all it needs is whitepaper and a marketing budget. Unlike some of our supposed competitors, NetObjex has a working product and a handful customers who actually use the platform. Apart from this, we have several partners namely NEM, MIJIN, IOTA, Ethereum, Hyper ledger and Trusted Objects to name a few, and are also in the process of partnering with big service providers, names I cannot disclose right now, but can guarantee we all are very familiar with.
Q: Which industry verticals does your platform support?
A: Our goal is to become the backend middleware for any business embarking on their blockchain journey. We connect the underlying dots for them so they can fast track their application development. For this reason, our platform is a general purpose platform that serves pretty much every industry vertical whether its healthcare, manufacturing, retail, utilities, oil and gas, transportation and smart cities, insurance, real estate etc.
Q: Any accomplishments you want to share?
A: We’ve won numerous awards and accolades as we continue to increase awareness around our innovative platform. The best part is that we have global traction. Some notable accomplishments include: (a) Top 20 Grand Finalist status (out of over 900 applications from 26 countries) at the Slingshot StartUp Competition in Singapore in September ‘17 (b) Worked with Norway’s esteemed IOTA Foundation to showcase prototype for dynamic electric vehicle charging at the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC) (c) CEO, Raghu Bala honored with the award for Best Medical Wearable Device Abstract Paper at the 2016 AI-Medicine Summit in Dana Point, CA (d) Top 25 startup at PortXL Rotterdam February 2018.
Q: What are your plans for next four months?
A: Over the course of the next few months we want to add to our list of partners both within the US and globally. There are a lot of companies working on various aspects right from the edge to the cloud and beyond. No single vendor can do everything and for this purpose we wish to partner with companies whose products complement ours. Secondly, we will also be focusing on building a global community for which we are looking to hire community managers worldwide. And lastly, we are planning to do an ICO very soon and I hope we can get the same level of support we have thus far.