The Fluree team in the Bay Area for Startup Grind 2019, February 2019, @flureePBC, via Twitter
The Fluree team in the Bay Area for Startup Grind 2019, February 2019, @flureePBC, via Twitter

Fluree, a blockchain startup based in North Carolina, has raised US$4.7 million in a seed funding round led by ​4490 Ventures​ with participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund​, reports TechCrunch.

Fluree is a data management platform that combines blockchain and graph database technologies to provide a novel way of storing and querying data. The company’s technology has two components: FlureeDL, an immutable distributed ledger which secures every update with blockchain cryptography in a chronology of events, and FlureeDB, a graph database optimized to build applications on top of FlureeDL.

“The real benefits [Fluree] provides is immense integrity around the data, so you can prove it has never been tampered with, who put it in there, etc., something you can’t do with current databases or other data management technologies,” Brian Platz, CEO and co-founder of Fluree, said, quoted by TechCrunch.

“It has the ability to make the data immensely collaborative by allowing multiple parties to actually interact with it and improve security, and it really allows you, especially with how we’ve organized our database, to get better leverage out of the data.”

Fluree is a rival to blockchain platforms such as Hyperledger Fabric, though there are considerable differences between the two and they can also be complementary to one another, Platz told SiliconANGLE in an interview last year.

When it comes to building an app that tokenizes something, “Hyperledger is a great fit, but that app likely has a lot of other data besides just token quantities and accounts,” Platz explained. “Today that is usually shoved into some database and is effectively ‘off-chain,’ so FlureeDB, here, is a great complement to Hyperledger as the entire solution can be secured by a blockchain.”

Though Hyperledger can be used for storing records, Flubee is a better fit for this purpose.

 “FlureeDB is really a decentralized, sophisticated data store. Supply chain applications certainly rely on payments and transactions, but that is just a very small sliver of a supply chain solution. FlureeDB also stores product descriptions, detailed invoicing and more,” Platz said.

Fluree is available in two options: a free community edition, and a licensed version with more enterprise-grade features and support services. The company, which currently employs 17 people based in Winston Salem, said it will use the capital injection to expand its team in the coming year.

Fluree won US$10,000 in a pitch competition at Capital Connects, a conference held last year by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce’s Launch Greensboro arm, and the company’s technology has been integrated into Benekiva, an insurtech platform focused on digitizing the life insurance claims process.

By leveraging Fluree, Benekiva has been able to provide an exact and immutable account of life insurance policies (and their modifications) to its partners, policyholders, and intended beneficiaries.