Ditto may well be one of the most interesting fintechs you have not read much about. It is now on a mission to put that right. And now, as co-founder Max Alexander tells EPI, it plans to target the UK market

Since raising seed finance in November 2021, Ditto has been winning contracts with a number of notable clients. Ditto provides a piece of technology that allows off-line data synching and connectivity for payment systems in addition to many other apps that rely on an internet connection to fully function.

One of its big areas of demand is for mobile payment services where you have POS relying on cloud-based software to take payments. Ditto enables those payments and orders apps to synchronise data when the internet link is down. It uses a daisy chaining of connectivity using a mix of alternative wireless transports – bluetooth, wireless LAN – between multiple devices – a pin pad, smartphones, tablets till, kiosk, kitchen screens etc – to ensure payment. The resiliency of Ditto’s technology is such that the USAF is using it for a battle field management system. Max Alexander, co-founder of Ditto, summarises success to date and sets out ambitions for international growth.

From seed funding to major contract wins

 EPI: From seed funding in November 2021 to contract wins in Q122 with Japan Airlines and the USAF is pretty rapid business progress. Summarise the Ditto USP?

Max Alexander, co-founder of Ditto

Most business applications for payments, ordering and much more are being developed to be cloud dependent which means that when they are patchy or there are no connections to the cloud, the application cannot work properly or at all. This means that crucial data entries and changes are lost, and processes are interrupted and fail to complete.

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Ditto has developed technology that enables these apps to connect, function and crucially synchronise data without a cloud connection. It works by automatically managing the complexity of using multiple network transports, such as Bluetooth, (peer-to-peer) P2P Wi-Fi and Local Area Network, to find and connect to other devices and then synchronise any and all changes. Therefore, data can be shared without any latency or security issues as all data changes are stored locally and will sync instantly when cloud or peer devices are discovered.

The technology comes as a software developer kit that allows developers to build Ditto’s smart and resilient communications platform into their own applications for taking and processing payments which is what the US fast food chain Chick-fil-A is doing. Or Ditto partners with PoS suppliers like Spont in the Netherlands, to integrate Ditto into their own hardware and software-as-a-service solution for hospitality applications.

EPI: Other big early contract wins include the US Army and Lufthansa in Q422…can you comment on client feedback-how are those early contract wins panning out?


Our software kits have allowed these large organisations to integrate our communications platform with ease and some speed. This has meant there is real confidence in how they can continue to invest in technologies including mobile PoS to support deskless workers like flight attendants with both more digitisation and more offline-first mobile applications. The ease of how you can make this offline data synchronisation seamless captures the imagination. Customers report how they can build an integration that synced enormous amounts of data between devices just by writing a couple of queries and claim it reduced time to market for rolling out a major new PoS by two years.

Airlines, military and hospitality sectors

EPI: From the military to fast food…which industry verticals are going to be key to Ditto success?


The two verticals driving our business today are airlines and hospitality chains. Airlines are progressing digital transformation plans that are moving flight attendants and other crew from relying on paperwork and instead use digital apps on tablets or smartphones to manage flights, do safety checks and cabin services, such as meal ordering and taking payments.

Because of obvious poor cloud connectivity in the air and even on the ground these apps need to work without an internet connection and Ditto provides a peer-to-peer connection and synchronisation platform for this. So, demand from airlines has been strong and customers include Alaska, Delta and Japan Airlines who use everything from logging flight safety checks to taking orders for in-flight meals.

In hospitality, modern PoS and restaurant management systems rely on cloud connections. Typically, there are a multiplicity of connected devices in a restaurant from smart ordering, to connecting customer orders to kitchen and service staff, including staff using handheld devices, so if the Wi-Fi signal goes down, it has a massive knock-on impact on that restaurant and customer service.

In situations like this, putting in a back-up server is not an option due to the costs, lack of space, and accidental damage from spilled food and drinks. As such, restaurants must be able to rely on instant out-of-the-box peer-to-peer sync solutions to share order data across nearby devices and collaborate even when offline. We have done just that in the US with Chick-fil-A, one of the most profitable fast-food restaurants globally.

 International expansion

EPI: And now you plan to launch in the UK? Why is the UK market of interest?


Our success in the US translates well to the UK where there are similar types of businesses in the hospitality industry with multi-site restaurant chains that have invested in cloud-dependent complex systems to sell and make up orders. For these, any interruptions can lead to lost revenue. The UK is an excellent stepping stone into the rest of Europe too.

EPI: On funding, is international expansion dependent on further funding rounds?


During our Series A funding led by Acrew Capital with participation from US Innovative Technology Fund (USIT), True Ventures and Amity Ventures, we raised $45m. We have used that funding to help us expand on our core technology that enables developers to build real-time mobile and IoT applications that work anywhere, with or without an internet connection.

EPI: Any other international markets of interest?


We are already in a number of markets across the globe including the US, Netherlands, Japan, and New Zealand. We are looking internationally for other markets and use cases that can benefit from our technology.”

Just after speaking with EPI, Ditto announced another new business win. Thanks to its offline data sync in internet dead zones, parents and healthcare workers in developing countries can now be kept in the loop about their children’s malnutrition risks.

In such countries, a sudden loss of the internet could be a matter of life and death. Over 3 million children will die this year from malnutrition, making it the leading cause of death of children under the age of five.

Ditto teams up with ShareMy.Health

The Ditto Edge Sync Platform enables apps to synchronise data in real-time even without internet connectivity. This is helping the humanitarian arm of digital health firm ShareMy.Health deliver health workflow solutions to non-profits fighting child malnutrition in Africa, Asia, and worldwide.

ShareMy.Health’s digital health platform empowers non-profits, families, and governments to work together to end malnutrition. Adults use smartphones for nutrition screening, intervention, and monitoring to enable health professionals to respond immediately with the proper support. Since the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are critical to avoid irreversible brain damage and stunting, timely communication saves lives. However, most nutrition screening occurs in areas where connectivity is intermittent or unavailable, forcing community health workers to rely on paper or spreadsheets that are difficult to access and share and risk non-compliance with privacy laws.

ShareMy.Health realised it needed secure data synchronisation within its application. Ditto provided its highly resilient offline data synchronisation connectivity solution, enabling device-to-device data sharing even when internet access is spotty or non-existent.

Using the Ditto software developer kit (SDK), ShareMy.Health built a mobile app for child malnutrition screening in the field that can communicate while offline with nearby devices, sharing data without latency or security issues. Now the moment a child’s screening data is recorded in the app, action can be taken immediately across all nearby devices.

Fighting malnutrition in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria

“We’re thrilled that Ditto enables us to reach all children, everywhere, regardless of challenging internet conditions,” said Galen Murdock, CEO ShareMy.Health.

“Timely communication saves lives. That’s why offline data synchronisation is vital to our commitment to ‘care better.’ Since Ditto utilises all radio signals to synchronise data, it is delightfully difficult to break connectivity.”

ShareMy.Health has rolled out Ditto to fight child malnutrition in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria and is expanding to other African countries, the Philippines, and Latin America.

Max Alexander, Ditto’s co-founder, said: “This is about solving a data synchronisation challenge to improve and potentially even save young lives. We’re humbled that ShareMy.Health is utilising our technology to keep vital lines of communication open to support the fight against child malnutrition. It is a major test case of how Ditto’s daisy chaining and offline data synchronisation delivers resilience and high performance in difficult conditions.”