November 6, 2020 | Abby Phillips

RALEIGH – EDJX, which offers distributed planet-scale edge computing, publicly beta launched its Edge delivery platform and raised $3 million in venture capital last month.

Founded in March 2018, the 22-employee Raleigh-based startup raised a total of just over $6.4 million, including an investment by the North Carolina State Wolfpack alumni network, CEO John Cowan told WRAL TechWire in an interview.

The EDJX Edge Delivery Platform provides an integrated bundle of services to help developers build smarter, faster applications, websites, APIs, and data pipelines by providing low-latency edge computing services.

Edge computing services rely on networks that deliver data from sources closer to the user than most traditional servers. “Distance is distance,” Cowan explains, which just means that closer is faster. “There is a much greater awareness of the need for high-performance computers in close proximity for low latency dependant uses.”

THE KEY DIFFERENTIATOR

The faster response is important to artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality apps, gaming, entertainment, automated services, the IoT, and predictive analytics. It may one day even increase the efficiency of urban traffic movement. It is also important to autonomous vehicles, proving them with vision into an intersection via a traffic camera, for instance. “Video is just another sensor to us,” Cowan said.

Although edge computing has been around quite a while, Cowan said, “The EDJX platform uses unique, decentralized, distributed peer-to-peer networks.” You may know peer-to-peer computing from the SETI program or Napster. Other types of edge services are generally centralized hub and spoke networks. “We federate an independent network. And for one thing, it’s 50 percent cheaper.”

The concept is disruptive of the current way of cloud thinking, Cowan added.

During the pandemic, with people working at home, anything that speeds up communications is in demand, Cowan notes. EDJX, like many technology startups, is actually benefiting from the epidemic. “We’re drinking through a firehose,” Cowan said. The company has about 12 clients, including several large customers.

In addition to being on the right edge at the right time, EDJX is benefitting from employees working at home. The lack of distractions has made them more productive and allowed them to move to less expensive office space, Cowan said.

He expects the ongoing push toward IoT, all those smart devices and intelligent things that require near-instant response, is likely to further accelerate the pace of edge computing and at EDJX, said Cowan. The company is hiring on the heels of its last funding last month, looking primarily for engineering talent.

Mitch Mumma, well-known in the Triangle, is on the company board. “Intersouth(where Mumma is a partner) funded my first startup, 6Fusion, and was on the board there,” Cowan said.

He first became aware of the Triangle while on “The world VC tour” for 6Fusion, an IT metering software company, and a mentor told him to check out the Research Triangle. He was, in his own words, “blown away” by the mix of startups, established firms, and the university at NC State’s Centennial Campus and ended up relocating there. EDJX is currently operating primarily virtually, but is located in downtown Raleigh.

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