Led by IOST/Bluehill and FBG Capital, COVA is Rolling Out “Internet 2.0”
Having just closed a multi-million dollar investment round led by FBG Capital, COVA (COVALENT.AI), is hitting the news again by joining the IOST/Bluehill family as 1 of 7 portfolio companies (https://www.coindesk.com/iost-blockchain-incubator-launches-50-million-fund/).
The two founders of COVA have been active members of the crypto community since 2014. They are also experts in data and AI technologies.
Vincent Li, an alum of Harvard College, ran a BTC hedge fund in 2014, and then joined the hot 16z startup Gigster. Gigster created the first successful token system that incentives freelancer software engineers.
Raymond Gao, an PhD dropout of Princeton University, is an expert in data science technologies. He is an early investor of 3 successful big data and internet security companies: Seven Bridges Genomics, Conjur, and a stealth financial big data company.
The Internet (TCP/IP protocol) defined how data should be transferred. However, it neglected to define how data should be utilized.
In 2017, an estimated 22 ZB of data was produced, but only 1% was ever utilized.
The two founders decided that it was time to create a data utilization protocol that will eventually bring together the world’s data into a shared data network.
“An Amazon for Data”, “a World Database”, would be some inexact but easy-to-grasp characterizations of what the founders are trying to achieve.
Consider this scenario: you are a medical researcher that wants to find out the relationship between diabetes and exercise habits.
Under the Internet protocol, you would need patients to send you medical and activity records, both of which are highly private information. You would soon find that nobody is willing to share this kind of information with you.
Under the COVA protocol, however, the raw patient records are hidden, and only summary information is provided to the researchers (privacy preservation technology), and the patients are also compensated by the researcher for contributing data (data attribution technology).
Data will become a commodity.
Users can then effortlessly sell their stream of location, browsing, medical, social network data for hundreds of dollars per month, without compromising privacy. Currently, the profits in this data are being unfairly captured by internet platform companies like Google and Facebook.
Scalability, Privacy, and Data Attribution technologies are still immature in main stream blockchain projects like Ethereum, but COVA has a practical technical design based on Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) to solve these problems.
Raymond and Vincent named the project COVA (COVALENT.AI), as in the chemical covalent bond, to connect data into a network.
Their mission has attracted top talents from around the world to join the team.
A Goldman Sachs, Ebay, and Harvard alum, Tarik Moon, was visiting family and friends in Bangladesh when the founders called him up to tell him about the project. He booked a plane ticket to join them the next week.
The team quickly expanded to include a Stanford grad and early employee of Snapchat, a former engineering manager at Doordash, a Harvard and Google alum, an Amazon alum, and a Princeton and Microsoft alum.
COVA’s advisers include the Founder of FBG Capital (Mr. Zhou Shuoji), an early investor of Bitfinex (Mr. Tian Jia), the Crypto Partner at ZhenFund (Mr. Dai Yusen), and an Assistant Professor at Princeton University (Mrs. Wang Mengdi).
Data deficiency has long been the shackle of weak AI.
Raymond and Vincent are confident that massive amounts of data will start to aggregate onto the COVA blockchain, from medical, transportation, finance, social media and most other industries. They believe that the success of COVA will directly lead to the success of weak AI.
Because of its mission-driven culture, COVA has managed to attract and retain some of the most talented coders and prodigy hackers in the world: most of the engineering team have won awards in ACM, IOI competition and/or have worked at some of the best technologies firms in the world like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, eBay.
COVA has one of the strongest team and investor lineup for 2018.
COVA (COVALENT.AI) has closed multi-million dollar investment deals respectively with FBG Capital, ZhenFund, Metropolis VC, IOST/Bluehill, and Node Capital.