In a world of big data and artificial intelligence, processing power is the motor of a new industrial revolution. With ever more data being generated, the capacity of processors to store and analyse data is failing to keep up. This is where Grovf comes in, an Armenian start-up hoping to join the data revolution with the help of EU4Business.
Grovf works on hardware acceleration of core database functionalities for data processing for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), a new reality that is transforming industry. The Industrial IoT brings together brilliant machines, advanced analytics, and people at work, in a network of multiple devices connected by communications technologies, resulting in systems that can monitor, collect, exchange, analyse, and deliver new insights like never before.
But this is putting heavy pressure on traditional processor-based data centres. Today’s high performance computing environments can significantly benefit if core algorithms and processes are accelerated using hardware, and acceleration can deliver both higher performance and lower cost if developed properly.
Artavazd Khachatryan and Khachik Sahakyan were friends and colleagues: together they saw the potential of hardware acceleration, and decided the time was right to take the plunge, founding Grovf in February 2017.
“Our hardware database prototype achieved 10 times faster transactions, and hundred times faster response in comparison with software databases. Grovf technology will drastically reduce the number of servers, which will simplify the data centre and reduce power consumption,” explains Grovf CEO Khackik Sahakyan.
EU4Business support to kick-start development
In May, Grovf took part in a Venture Forum for ‘Innovation Matching Grant’ applicants. It is one of 15 winning teams that will receive financial support under the EU4Business SMEDA project (Support to SME development in Armenia), aimed at innovative technology start-ups.
In addition to the financial support, SMEDA has already provided the company with mentorship, networking opportunities, and expertise in innovation commercialisation strategies and business development, as well as linkages with potential investors.
This support has given the company the kick-start it needed to start developing its first prototype. “Now we partner with National Instruments and use their hardware for prototyping and testing the device. There are already multibillion companies in Europe who are ready to pay for the device. The Grovf team is growing, we are five now and actively looking for engineers to join our team in Vanadzor Technology Centre,” the company recently told the PanARMENIAN.Net news agency.
Pitching to German tech firms
In September, Grovf was one of 15 start-ups taken to Germany by SMEDA to take part in the Armenian Startup Academy Berlin (ASAB). The academy included 4 days of intensive trainings on investor readiness, business modelling, pitching, marketing and sales, individual meetings with potential partners, clients, and investors.
Immediately the efforts began to pay off: "Recently, within the framework of ASAB, we were in Berlin presenting our company at IFA Berlin (the biggest electronics expo in Europe) and at Armenian Startup Night. Currently, we are negotiating possible cooperation projects with two well-known, international companies as well as distribution options with two German IT companies.”
The Grovf approach achieves 10x faster transactions, 3x power saving, and a 100x faster response time in comparison with well-known databases in the market. These advantages can lead to simplification of data centres, and decrease the number of servers by a factor of 5-10, while achieving better performance.
The market has a huge potential. "The Database server market is huge and amounts about $110 billion now. We target the NoSQL database market which is only worth $10 billion now, but will increase up to $30 billion in the next three years, driven by the Internet of Things,” the company said.
Thanks to EU4Business and the SMEDA project, Grovf is poised to take advantage.