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Comino: Liquid-Cooled, Super-Powerful Computing Tech

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When investing, your capital is at risk.

Even amidst the economic volatility we’ve seen in the last year, tech is thriving. And that’s not just Amazon and delivery services. Companies in the AI, gaming and other sectors are contributing to surging global demand for powerful computing technology.

With over fifteen years experience in hardware R&D, Comino’s liquid-cooled PCs and servers are equipped to serve all those industries and more. Better yet, their products consume up to 40% less electricity than equivalent air-cooling computers, making them a sustainable solution to boot.

For those new to the world of cutting edge computing tech, here’s the low down from Comino’s CEO Evgeny Vlasov.

What exactly is liquid cooling and why it’s such a crucial innovation?

The most efficient cooling for hardware components can only be designed using water, since water is often more efficient than air cooling. It’s also inexpensive and non-toxic.

High-performance servers and desktops encompass GPU, CPU and other components generate more and more heat when in operation. These components need to be properly cooled to achieve maximum performance. 

Air cooling used to be the cheapest and most reliable cooling method, but liquid cooling has been constantly evolving and improving. It was first used as a replacement for air cooling to solve inefficiencies. Now, it’s as easy to implement liquid cooling as air cooling.

Aside from better cooling functions, liquid technology allows manufacturers to build sustainable systems and cut down on the overall consumption of power. In a nutshell, there are three major perks:

  1. More efficient cooling
  2. Lesser energy consumption
  3. Heat recovery, or recycling heat for other purposes

When did you first get the idea for Comino? 

Three and a half years ago, Alexey Chistov came up with the idea of ​​creating liquid-cooled computing servers for the B2B market. Together, we expanded this idea to computers, combining plug-and-play liquid cooled devices with software.

What were you doing prior to starting the business?

I was previously CEO of call tracking service Calltouch. I started the company from scratch and developed it into a leading analytic call tracking platform.

I also worked at an international company that developed OSS systems for leading Telecom companies around the world. This was a fantastic experience as it allowed me to gain tangible knowledge of the industry, not to mention the cultural exposure.

How did you meet your core team members and how did you know they were the best fit for the company?

In the initial phases of Comino, nobody knew which roles each of us would play in the company and whether we had the best-fitting setup at the time. A lot of that happened organically as we grew. However the traits I sought in my core team members were dedication, ambition and expertise in a particular area – and that hasn’t changed.

What’s special about Comino’s products that will equip the startup to become a leader in the computing market?

Prior to the establishment of Comino, many companies were involved in the business of liquid cooling. These businesses were producing a variety of high quality but high maintenance products, but they were complex, costly and targeted exclusively experts and enthusiasts.

We realized that neither the retail nor B2B sector offered easy-to-use and affordable liquid-cooled devices. So, in close contact with the mentor of the Deformational Cutting technology, we developed a lineup of devices, namely the desktop OTTO device – a small workstation and SFF platform for home, and the server GRANDO device which powers affordable HPC solutions as well as high-performance office workstations for SMB.

What industries are you currently serving and which ones do you have your sights on for the future?

Firstly, we serve the industries that rely on powerful GPU-based computing systems. These include the fast-growing industries of gaming, artificial intelligence, video rendering and many more. 

What’s been the biggest success for the business so far? 

The biggest success for us is the fact that our products have been lauded by top tech influencers and our clients. That’s a real honour for us.

What do you anticipate to be the biggest challenge moving forward? 

Our products being represented by all major distributors. We aspire to be the standard for liquid cooled platforms in the world. 

What’s been the biggest highlight of this crowdfund?

We’ve started our UK campaign as we’re currently headquartered in Britain. 90% of our audience are based in the USA and Canada, but unfortunately, these investors can’t invest  in our UK market! Regardless of this drawback, there are still a lot of people who have supported and believed in us in Europe which is amazing! Every day of crowdfunding is a milestone as the company is constantly evolving.

Our investors ask the right questions and give us a lot to think about. I think it always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes to help us improve. The crowdfunding campaign is not just about acquiring investment – it’s a lot more than that.

What’s one computing hack you’d give to a beginner? 

If something isn’t working as expected, reboot it! And that’s not just for computers – that applies to everything.

What are you doing when you’re not building the business? 

I’m really fond of woodworking; I’ve made a lot of furniture for home, my family and the kindergarten my kids attend. I love playing hockey with my son, camping in the wild with no mobile coverage and I’m currently learning to play flamenco guitar.

Naturally, I like to program controllers, AI and smart homes from time to time. Can’t help it with a programming background.

What’s your number one survival tactic for lockdown?

Don’t panic. We now have new rules to follow in order to stay safe, so it’s important to be flexible and keep moving forward. 

If you’re leading a company, the faster you make decisions, the better the outcome. Adapt to working remotely and learn to react quickly to a changing business environment.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

To find out more about Comino, visit the pitch now.

Michaela Salomon

Michaela Salomon

Campaign Support Team

Source: https://www.seedrs.com/learn/blog/founder-stories/comino-liquid-cooled-super-powerful-computing-tech

Crowdfunding

[Labs/02’s Quant LR in The Edge Singapore] Singapore-based SpeQtral partners Israel’s QuantLR to provide a solution to quantum computer attacks

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Singaporean satellite-based quantum key distribution (QKD) operator SpeQtral is set to collaborate with QuantLR, to create a solution that can connect any two points on earth.

Read more here.

Source: https://blog.ourcrowd.com/singapore-based-speqtral-partners-israels-quantlr-to-provide-a-solution-to-quantum-computer-attacks/

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Blockchain Infrastructure Dev Bison Trails, which will be Acquired by Coinbase, Rolls Out New Features to Improve DLT Network Performance

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Bison Trails, an established blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service firm that will be acquired by Coinbase, has announced the launch of its Global Blockchain Sync (GBS) feature.

The Global Blockchain Sync aims to expand the functionality of the Bison Trails platform by making it faster and a lot easier for clients to set up new nodes across various protocols, as well as for Bison Trails to “respond to potential adverse events like a Cloud provider outage.”

As explained in a release shared with CI, Global Blockchain Sync enables new nodes to “quickly catch up to the current state of the network, reducing the time it takes for new nodes to be production-ready by over 100x.”

The announcement also mentioned that Bison Trails’ Global Blockchain Sync offers support for client infrastructure on protocols such as Polkadot, Kusama, Ethereum, Cosmos, Celo, NEAR, and EOS.

The main benefits of Global Blockchain Sync are as follows:

Reduced downtime risk and slashing penalties: Many proof of stake protocols “penalize validators for downtime because this behavior degrades overall network performance.” Global Blockchain Sync “enables customers to recover from adverse events like a cloud provider outage in minutes, significantly reducing the risk of downtime slashing or missed rewards.”

Active management for optimized participation: Global Blockchain Sync “makes it easier to participate in a number of networks, particularly protocols like Polkadot that require more active node management.” Polkadot’s reward mechanism incentivizes customers to “distribute their stake across multiple validators.” However, staking requirements change frequently, potentially “requiring customers to access new nodes to re-distribute their stake in an optimal way.” With Global Blockchain Sync, new Polkadot validators “can be launched in as early as 20 minutes, compared to the 30+ hours it would otherwise typically take.”

Reducing costs and increasing scale: Global Blockchain Sync also “allows for dynamic management of Bison Trails’ QT read/write infrastructure used by leading custodians, exchanges, wallets, and others to build products and services that connect to blockchain data.” With GBS, organizations can “add or remove synced nodes in a matter of minutes and respond to fluctuating demand while reducing operational costs.”

Quick, efficient support for new protocols: Global Blockchain Sync with QT Archival enables companies, such as large exchanges and custodians, to “add support for new protocols quickly and easily.” Archival nodes “provide a complete record of everything happening on a blockchain on a block-by-block basis – meaning they have to sync with very large amounts of data.”

Global Blockchain Sync “dramatically reduces the timeline to make an archival node production-ready.” For example, with QT Archival and Global Blockchain Sync, an EOS Archival node “can be ready within 72 hours, compared to what would normally take upwards of 6 months.” Similarly, an Ethereum archival node “can be production-ready in 12 hours with Global Blockchain Sync, compared to 14+ days without.”

Joe Lallouz, CEO of Bison Trails, stated:

“A significant pain point when launching new nodes is the time it takes for them to catch up to the rest of the network before they can begin performing useful work. Newly launched nodes must sync from the genesis block, which can take hours to months to be fully synced. Bison Trails created Global Blockchain Sync, an enterprise-grade solution to this problem, to allow customers to dynamically scale their infrastructure in response to demand, while reducing operational costs.”  

Aaron Henshaw, Co-Founder and CTO at Bison Trails, remarked:

“Global Blockchain Sync enables us to respond quickly to customers and changing network conditions. Being able to bring new nodes up quickly improves the user experience across every part of the platform and helps optimize participation.”

You may learn more about Global Blockchain Sync here.

Bison Trails claims to be the premier blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service company that’s focused on blockchain participation, provides an “easy-to-use” platform to set up and operate “highly-available” nodes on any blockchain or DLT network in a seamless manner. Headquartered in New York City, Bison Trails provides geographically distributed infrastructure for clients to secure networks and “enable the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish.”

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/02/172286-blockchain-infrastructure-dev-bison-trails-which-will-be-acquired-by-coinbase-rolls-out-new-features-to-improve-dlt-network-performance/

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Bengaluru based Fintech Lending Firm KreditBee Finalizes $75 Million Series C Equity Round

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Bengaluru-based Fintech lending firm KreditBee has finalized a $75 million Series C equity round which included participation from Premji Invest, Mirae Asset Naver Asia Growth Fund, Alpine Capital and Arkam Ventures (consisting of both primary and secondary investment).

Madhusudan E, Co-Founder & CEO of KreditBee, noted that they began with a dream or vision to assist the unserved and underserved segment of the population which has always found it challenging to take part in the formal lending space, because of lengthy offline processes or traditional underwriting methods.

Madhusudan added that with a significantly larger portfolio of loan products, their objective at KreditBee is to offer credit to more than 180 million new-to-credit clients who’ve previously not been provided formal credit.

This investment round should help us take more steps towards achieving these goals, Madhusudan added. The KreditBee holding entity has previously secured more than $43 Million (in total) in equity from various investors such as Akram Ventures and ICICI Bank.

Officially registered in March of 2016, the group entity holds Krazybee Services Private Ltd – a “systemically important” non-deposit-taking non-banking financial company (NBFC-ND-SI) registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) since May 2017. The group introduced its main brand KreditBee in May 2018. It’s mainly focused on “full-stack” digital or online lending for young consumers and workers.

The platform focuses on offering digital personal loans and consumer durable loans to salaried and self-employed individuals in India. The loan amount issued may be as much as Rs. 2 lakhs (appr. $2,754) while the tenures may range from 2 months to 15 months.

At present, the firm has more than 1200 employees on its payroll and claims a client base of more than 20 million with over 4 million credit customers. The platform intends to diversify its product offering by branching out into “digitally-enabled” secured loans, home loans, and credit lines.

Ashish Dave, CEO at Mirae Asset Venture Investments (India), remarked:

“The large scale at which the platform is able to disburse loans to customers showcases not just the stability and strength of its tech stack, but also a very appropriate credit scoring of customers using alternative data points, which forms a key for new-to-credit customers.”

As confirmed in a release shared with Crowdfund Insider, the Group NBFC Krazybee Services Private Ltd “qualified as a systemically important non-banking financial company (SI-NBFC) in just about two years of operation.”

The company raises debt from large-scale and small private Indian banks, including ICICI Bank, AU Small Finance Bank, Bank of Baroda, HSBC Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, Jana Bank and Yes Bank.

The KreditBee app offers a unified platform where several different banking institutions and NBFCs offer credit to the clients as direct lending partners.

Along with the group NBFC, some of the other lending partners on the KreditBee platform include Fullerton India Credit Company Limited, IIFL, Incred, Vivriti Capital Private Limited, AU Small Finance Bank, and Northern Arc Capital Limited.

KreditBee also revealed that it has fully digitized the underwriting process which is supported by AI/ML (for determining creditworthiness).

KreditBee explained that it runs each user through several different policy rules before deciding whether to approve a particular loan. The firm uses different proprietary scorecards to help evaluate the risk related to customers acquiring loans. KreditBee’s solutions also aim to ensure that the collections process has significantly fewer delinquencies.

As noted in the update, the new round of funding will support KreditBee as it aims to enable greater financial inclusion and as it supports “credit uptake in the economy especially for the unserved and underserved segment of the population.”

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/02/172287-bengaluru-based-fintech-lending-firm-kreditbee-finalizes-75-million-series-c-equity-round/

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Southeast Asian Blockchain Startup Lightnet Partners MoneyGram to Provide Comprehensive Money Transfer Services

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Blockchain startup Lightnet has teamed up with MoneyGram, a leading provider of cross-border peer to peer payments and money transfer services.

MoneyGram will be integrating Lightnet’s technology with its fund transfer services so that customers can access a wide range of payout services across the Southeast Asia region.

This collaboration is focused around Bridgenet, which is Lightnet’s first-layer solution that connects Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) to MoneyGram’s fund transfer services.

Lightnet’s management noted that the solution aims to support true interoperability between the current banking channels and various non-bank agent networks, while also bridging the gap between different entities so that firms can provide excellent services to end-users.

Chatchaval Jiaravanon, Chairman at Lightnet, stated:

“This successful integration is a reflection of Lightnet’s mission to promote financial mobility and inclusivity for the unbanked and underbanked populations of Asia. As we continue to empower institutions such as MoneyGram, we strive toward our vision of connecting all cash-in and cash-out points under one network, thereby enabling our partners to enjoy better margins and reduced costs.”

Grant Lines, Chief Revenue Officer at MoneyGram, remarked:

“We are proud to work with Lightnet to increase financial inclusion and provide our customers with the best options for money transfer in ASEAN. We love to collaborate with companies whose visions align with ours, and we look forward to a continued successful collaboration with Lightnet,”

As mentioned on its official website, Lightnet is a Fintech firm that’s based in Singapore. The company was launched to support financial mobility and inclusivity for the unbanked and underbanked population in Asia.

Lightnet leverages blockchain technology to support financial network channels which are connected to non-bank agents and fiat-transaction networks so that digital transactions can be carried out and conventional banking can be offered as well. Lightnet is focused on enhancing the efficiency, convenience and affordability of remittance payments while ensuring these services are accessible to everyone.

Lightnet aims to improve the global remittance market, beginning with helping the millions of unbanked migrant workers who may be using outdated, costly and “fragmented” financial services in Southeast Asia.

These financial services, valued at approximately $150 billion, may be improved with Lightnet’s smart contracts and distributed ledger tech (DLT) which will allow users to carry out seamless transactions.

The Lightnet platform could replace the traditional SWIFT system by significantly reducing the transaction time and lowering international transfer fees, the company claims.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/02/172320-southeast-asian-blockchain-startup-lightnet-partners-moneygram-to-provide-comprehensive-money-transfer-services/

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