Fastdata.io, a real-time stream processing company, said today it has raised $1.5 million from Nvidia and other investors.

The startup was built on the idea that its stream processing software engine could use graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate just about any kind of real-time data processing. And it can accelerate real-time streams at about three orders of magnitude faster than current competing stream engines, such as Apache Spark.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Fastdata.io will use the financing to invest in developing the company’s product, marketing, and talent acquisition. The company’s leader is CEO Alen Capalik, who has expertise directing low-level kernel development for high-frequency trading financial systems and advanced cybersecurity technology.

“I’ve had to do real-time processing for security and high-frequency trading in my past life, and I was always underwhelmed,” Capalik said in an interview. “But when Nvidia came out with CUDA, exposing GPUs for a different kind of processing, that was an ‘aha’ moment for me. We are developing software that can accelerate all the real-time workloads.”

“[Security is] a huge problem,” Capalik said. “If you have hackers, you have to know what is happening in real time.”

He said that the company can accelerate real-time stream processing at 2.5 to 3 times faster than rival Spark.

Fastdata.io has developed high-performance computing (HPC) software, called FDIO Engine, which exploits the massively parallel processing capability of GPUs to provide economical, real-time, inline processing of big data in motion. Capalik said this could really accelerate processing in real time for applications such as finance, fraud, security, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality, self-driving cars, and the Internet of Things.

Jeff Herbst, vice president of business development at Nvidia, said in an interview with VentureBeat, “We were attracted to this because it’s a turbocharged version of what can be done with GPUs. There’s a huge amount of data in the world, with more created in the last six months than in the last 1,000 years. A lot of it can’t be processed in real time. If they can make this happen, it solves a huge problem in the data-processing ecosystem.”

The software can also reduce power requirements in the data center by more than 90 percent, whether running in the public cloud or on private servers. This new level of efficiency will save billions of dollars in power costs, while tremendously reducing carbon emissions for cloud providers, the company said.

Fastdata.io will exhibit at the GPU Technology Conference on May 8-11, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. The company was started in 2016 and has 10 employees. It will launch a private beta this summer and a public beta later in the year.

Nvidia has also invested in other companies that are tackling a piece of the task, like MapD and Datalogue. And Nvidia has stepped up its investment in AI startups in the past year.

“We are circling the problem from so many angles now, with artificial intelligence and GPUs being used to solve big problems,” Herbst said.

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