SuredBits is rethinking the way we monetize and distribute data

From left: SuredBits operations manager Dan Smith, founder Chris Stewart, and software engineer Nadav Kohen.

Traditionally, data has been distributed in large bundles with high upfront costs. Three University of Iowa alumni are looking to change that.

Their company, SuredBits, is using blockchain technology to allow people to purchase the data they need in micropayments, something that has not been possible with traditional financial systems.

Founded by Chris Stewart in 2014, SuredBits sells software packages that allow developers to stream real-world, real-time data to their own websites in exchange for cryptocurrency.

“Breaking into certain data markets is extremely expensive and prices a lot of people out upfront because the fees are so high,” Chris Stewart, founder and CEO of SuredBits said. We’re breaking that down, allowing people to pay for data access a la carte rather than having to fork up a bunch of capital upfront.”

“We believe that the future is going to a very large customer base and making a lot less money per customer,” added Dan Smith, Director of Product and Operations.

Stewart was accepted to start-up accelerator Boost VC in early 2015 and received funding there before landing an investment from Draper Associates. Stewart worked solo on SuredBits until Nadav Kohen and Dan Smith joined the team earlier this year.

The team recently launched their first product using live NFL data and plans to offer NBA data this fall as well. The product, an API (application programming interface) runs on the Lightning Network, a payment protocol that operates on top of a blockchain.

“Developers that write software to run all these applications need to be getting this data from somewhere,” Stewart said. “They need to be constantly querying those data sources.”

Looking forward, SuredBits plans to eventually distribute other kinds of data and have begun to work on financial-market data streams that they plan to make available soon.

“We’re building a platform where you can monetize these data feeds in a way that was just not possible previously,” Smith said.