Drinking from the Data Firehouse with Watchful.io

Pete and I spent a day at The Vault SF interviewing some of the most promising up and coming startups of Silicon Valley. John Singleton, COO and cofounder of Watchful.io is a charismatic guy that comes across as fearless and fun. He has the entrepreneurial spirit through and through and shared his non linear path from studying biotech at the University of Texas, to founding a Fin-tech startup to moving to India and suffering the blows of startup failure.

While it may have taken us awhile to really “get” what Watchful.io does, we really enjoyed the conversation with John.

When it comes to data, we are drowning in it. It is said that in the next 6 months, we will create more data than was ever created in the history of mankind. More photos, more social media posts, more documents in the cloud, more saas platform data, etc etc! The storage and compute fees from all this data add up real fast and are things that keep young startup CTOs and other businesses up at night.

Watchful.io is a realtime pattern matching platform that separates the signal from the noise. Literally. In all of those packets of data that are spinning around the interwebs big data pipes and such are lots of things that don’t matter. Watchful.io has created a way using “regular expressions” to extract and transform that data based on patterns and content and extract the noise. That noise is expensive and rather than route it to expensive storage environments like Amazon AWS or Google Cloud, with Watchful.io the noisy data can be routed to cheaper "cold storage" options such as Amazon glacier.

One beachhead use case is cyber security. Watchful.io’s tech will work by filtering out useless data and de-noising security streams. Another major industry that Watchful.io can impact positively is the ad-tech world. It’s measured that roughly 20% of ad bids in a variety of ad bidding platforms (such as Google PPC, FB and others) come back with no bid.. this amounts to 20 terabytes per day.

Watchful.io wants to be the default choice for streaming systems by delivering pattern matching at scale on unstructured data. At the moment Watchful.io isn’t leveraging machine learning, however John does see AI as part of their future.

His cofounder and former drinking buddy Shayan Mohanty is the creator of the technology, which came to out as thought experiment on Github aimed at preventing hackers from using stolen PII (personally identifiable information). He was able to leverage pattern matching and realized the applications were vast.

The two realized there was a “there” there and went about validating the idea with trusted tech resources, worked on their messaging, narrowed their use cases, got some clients and recently secured their first substantial round of funding to the tune of $1.8 million which will allow them to continue to develop the technology and build their team.

Have a listen to this podcast if you want to hear some big words thrown around like canonical, automata theory, and more ... or if you just love hearing about exciting new startups making their mark in the world.


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