The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in rapid changes in various facets of human life. There has been an increased dependence on digital processes or systems as many transactions are now being conducted online.
This also brings in its own set of challenges. While there is an avalanche of digital information coming from multiple sources, there are very few technology tools available to determine the authenticity and reliability.
In this scenario, Bengaluru-based technology startup Dhiway has created a technology platform, which enables faster authentication of the digital data with high degree of accuracy.
Established in November 2019, the startup was founded by Satish Mohan, Pradeep KP, Amar Tumballi, and Sreevidya Satish to create that “digital trust”, where the right kind of data is available for organisations to make their decisions, but at the same time privacy of the individual is maintained.
The founders are technologists and come with extensive experience in open standards technology.
Addressing trust gap
Satish says, “We established Dhiway to address an emerging gap in the ease of doing business - the brittle nature of trust and verification in electronic data exchange. There are enough reports about how organisations face the challenge of forged data and outdated information, which makes it difficult and expensive to run their operations.”
For example, a hospital depends on various third-party service providers to carry out its operations. In such a case, it is imperative it is able to identify the authenticity of the individual or group as fast as possible with high degree of accuracy, so there is no security risk.
Dhiway terms its platform as a Verifiable Data Exchange, where there is trusted transfer of data between everything and everyone so that there is improved efficiency of governance and ease of doing business.
Satish says, “Until now we have been constrained by expensive, inefficient, proprietary, and siloed systems. The streamlined exchange of data between multiple users reduces the various overhead costs related to verification and also brings down the fraud.”
Speed and accuracy
The startup’s technology platform allows for faster authentication of an individual on an automated basis, which allows organisations to save time and resources. The platform is built around open standards and open-source projects such as HyperLedge.
Dhiway’s platform maps the requirement of any enterprise for digital verification and uses various tools to gather the authentic information of an individual with consent being the key enabler.
Dhiway is already engaged with a security services organisation, which has around 5,000 guards on its rolls, and it is very vital for them as they are able to get as much authentic information as possible on each individual.
Satish says, “This basis idea around verification of claims and credentials, like we use in everyday life of an identity card, can be extended to cover interactions between natural, living entities or even between edge/IoT devices.”
He further says, “This is what we offer - enhancing the assurance in transactions and thus enabling trust over interactions using public internet.”
One of the main challenges for Dhiway has been to overcome the fact that the concept of digital trust is still very new, and it will take some time for people to understand the concept.
Also, there is a need for the creation of an industry-based coalition where there is shared capabilities within digital trust and the opportunities in blockchain technology.
For now, Dhiway is focussed on building technology platforms for enterprises, and is mainly targetting two sectors - education and financial services. It is also in talks with a few educational institutions to roll out its technology platform.
The bootstrapped startup is working on a couple of revenue streams, which includes a software as a service (SaaS) model, licence fees, and lastly, services that provide connectivity to blockchain technologies.
“The plan is to create a Verifiable Data Exchange, with licensed enterprise offerings and transactional-based middleware revenue opportunities. We will build sufficient traction in each of our industry offerings,” says Satish.
Dhiway also has plans to create a similar platform for retail consumers, where they would have more control on what kind of access any organisation can have on their personal information. This is expected to be launched in a couple of months.
At the same time, the startup is very particular on the privacy of such information, and says it has created multiple layers or protocols on how individual information can be utilised.
Dhiway currently competes with startups like IDfy, Veri5Digital, inVOID, and Yoti, which provide similar digital verification services.
Satish says, “Our biggest USP is that we bring a higher degree of assurance to the exchange of data between peers over the Internet and other digital networks.”
Popularising the concept
To spread the scope of digital trust, Dhiway and 28 other founding member organisations have launched the Trust over IP Foundation, a new project hosted by the Linux Foundation to enable the trustworthy exchange and verification of data between any two parties on the Internet.
The Foundation’s mission is to provide a robust and common standard that gives people and businesses the confidence that data is coming from a trusted source, allowing them to connect, interact, and innovate at a speed and scale not possible today.
These are early days for Dhiway, and the coronavirus pandemic has certainly slowed down the business, but the future looks promising.
Satish says, “The opportunities are huge, and post COVID, the digital world has received a tremendous amount of sponsorship from the corporate ecosystem. It is, therefore, an interesting time for us to be providing industry solutions that leverage the existing blockchain infrastructure both national and internationally.”
(Edited by Megha Reddy)
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