Blockchain startups in France - Kalima DB

Startup interview: Kalima Systems, the blockchain for IoT

Kalima Systems, a winner of B-hub 2020 open call, offers a dedicated blockchain for IoT. In this interview, the Kalima team led by André Legendre, tells us about their solution and their vision of the environment for blockchain in IoT in the next years.

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) identifies the network of physical objects embedded with sensors, applications, and other technology for the connection and sharing of data over the internet with other devices and systems. Such devices vary from ordinary household products to specialized industrial equipment.

Over the last few years, the IoT has been one of the most significant tools that are used in the 21st century. Everyday items, such as kitchen appliances, vehicles, thermostats, baby monitors, can be linked to the internet through embedded devices.

Utilizing low-cost computing the cloud, big data, analytics, and mobile technologies can share and collect data with minimal human intervention. Digital platforms will log, track, and change each connection between connected objects in this hyperconnected environment. The IoT’s computational tools use this data to turn ideas into results, influence business processes, and contribute to innovative ways of operating. There are also a variety of technological and security issues, which however remain unaddressed.

Another issue with the current IoT networks is scalability. If the number of devices linked to the IoT network increases, the existing centralized structures for authenticating, approving, and connecting various nodes on the network may become a bottleneck. This will entail massive investments in infrastructure that can support a vast volume of information sharing, and the whole network will go down if the node becomes unavailable.

Where does blockchain enter the equation? How can blockchain solve IoT security and scalability challenges?

Blockchain has the potential to help solve some of the problems of IoT protection and scalability. Blockchain is a revolution in the knowledge game due to its specific features and advantages. At its heart, the blockchain mechanism consists of a distributed data database, exchanged by system users, which remains on the Internet: transactions or events are authenticated and registered in the ledger and cannot be consequently updated or erased. It offers a means for information to be recorded and exchanged by a user group.

Kalima Systems is a use-case of a startup that shows how blockchain and IoT work together and provide solutions that solve the challenges regarding data’s security and scalability from the connected objects.

To see how these two different sectors work together, we interviewed Kalima Systems, a French company founded by André Legendre and based in Paris which has developed a proprietary blockchain technology dedicated to the internet of things. Their mission is to help their client to collect, transport, and share data from their connected objects in real-time and with confidence.

How did you come up with the idea?

In 2009, we started working on a distributed ledger project for the industry and decided to launch Kalima Systems in 2012 for its first use in the supply chain for an automotive supplier. In 2016, blockchain functionalities were added to better secure data and smart contracts.

What is the problem that you are solving and for what type of clients?

The Kalima blockchain allows its customers to have a secure database containing all transactions between users and to have the whole history of actions taken.  Kalima Systems’ mission is to protect the integrity of data and therefore to transmit it completely and purely so that it is then mobilized by its customers for future processing. Kalima Systems is an embedded Blockchain because we have created a technology that can be inserted into connected objects, even in very small objects. These two elements guarantee secure data traceability, which allows Kalima Systems customers to work with complete peace of mind. Our customers are industrial large companies in the sector of industry 4.0, (automotive or aerospace for example), the remote monitoring of infrastructure, and the smart city, smart economy segment.

How does your solution work? Describe the product use-case in 2-3 paragraphs.

One use-case we have with our client Enedis (Enedis manages the public electricity distribution network for 95% of continental France) is the remote monitoring of their substation where the high voltage electricity is transformed in medium voltage electricity before being sent to the electricity network.

Enedis wanted to have a solution that would enable their maintenance team to access data of their substation in real-time and in mobility (on a tablet or a smartphone). Their need was to have a way to anticipate incidents with a real-time precise overview of the condition of their infrastructures, leveraging IoT technology (Temperature sensors, Humidity sensors, flood sensors…) to provide interconnection between equipment and maintenance teams in real-time and in a secured way.

Kalima Systems installed gateways in the substations to collect data from all the sensors and send them to the server and to mobile devices of maintenance teams through the Blockchain Kalima. Oursolution is a mix of hardware and software, which provides Enedis a way to have predictive maintenance on their equipment and to reduce the number of incidents on their infrastructures.

Why use blockchain for this solution?

The blockchain is not only a secure way to transmit data but it also guarantees the immutability and integrity of data which means that data flows back correctly and that this data will be saved to have convincing proof of every event that occurs. These elements are crucial when you deal with infrastructure monitoring and predictive maintenance.  It is very important to have proof that an alarm has been triggered, or that a maintenance worker was on site for intervention, and to have qualified data for your predictive maintenance.

Did you already test your solution? How did it go so far?

The solution was tested and validated on a substation near Paris is now being deployed in production in the Paris area.

How is it better than other solutions?

This solution is very easy to deploy and is very cost-effective. Because the data istransmitted through the Kalima Blockchain, it allows Enedis to process data effectively and to have a record of every maintenance operation that has been processed on their infrastructures.

How was the startup evolution so far?

Since 2012 we have developed our startup in the French market reaching clients in the automotive, aerospace, energy, and smart city market segment but the blockchain market is an international market by nature and that is why we knew we had to go international. Moreover, the French market represents only 3% of the total market when North America and Asia will both represent more than 80% of the market.

That is why we started this year our international development in the US, the Middle East, and in Asia. We are now starting an STO (Security Token Offering) fundraising to finance this international development.

How do you see it grow in the next 2 years?

In the next two years we will have a strong presence in the US, Asian, and UAE markets, still being a major actor of the blockchain for IoT in France and in the European Market.

What do you think the landscape of IoT and the use of blockchain will look like 10 years from now?

In terms of revenue, the global demand for the Blockchain IoT market stood at 62.39 USD Million in 2019 is expected to reach 14,165.87 USD  Million in 2028 at a CAGR of 86.5% between 2020 and 2028. So we believe that this market will be very popular in the next ten years. We believe that Blockchain technology is one of the missing links to settle scalability, privacy, and integrity concerns in the Internet of Things. Blockchain technology could be an extremely effective solution needed by the industry.

In conclusion, blockchain shows the potential to help solve some of the issues of scalability and IoT protection. Blockchain can be used in IoT for its special features and advantages. Kalima Systems is a startup that allows us to see how these two industries can work together. Their product allows its customers to have a secure database containing all transactions between users and to have a history of all actions taken. Kalima Systems is an embedded blockchain because they have created a technology that can be inserted into connected objects.

 

B-hub for Europe is a Startup Europe supported project dedicated to connecting blockchain innovation ecosystems.