After working at NASA as a rover roboticist, Khawaja Shams underwent something of a career pivot, joining AWS to team up with engineer Daniela Miao on DynamoDB, a fully managed NoSQL database service. Not content to stop there, Shams and Miao left AWS to co-found Momento, a Seattle-based startup that's today emerging from stealth with a "serverless cache" optimized for cloud computing.
What's a serverless cache, you ask? Well, Shams describes it as an elastic, "highly available" cache that delivers commonly used data to apps and databases faster. He claims that Momento's platform lets developers add a cache to their cloud stack with around five lines of code, accelerating databases that run in public clouds such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud.
"Legacy caching providers offer a different model that requires customers to provision and pay for their peak capacity. These inelastic services are highly inefficient, expensive, require a lot of work to get right, and simply do not scale," Shams told TechCrunch in an email interview. "Momento allows customers to provision a secure cache, capable of handling millions of transactions per second, with a single API call."
Shams makes the case that legacy caching services are complicated and inefficient, forcing engineering teams to waste time tinkering around with too many configurations. Moreover, he says, because they don't automatically scale, they require engineers to provision for peak usage -- leading to wasteful spending.
By contrast, Momento handles load spikes while abstracting away configuration. The platform automatically optimizes, scales and manages caches, also securing caches with end-to-end encryption and audit log support.
Image Credits: Momento
"Cloud computing made it easier than ever for customers to rapidly provision resources. Unfortunately, during the growth-focused phases in the recent years, customers have ended up massively over-provisioning capacity and are struggling with large bills from their cloud providers," Shams said. "Momento is helping customers optimize one of the top line items on their cloud bills."
To Shams' point, cloud costs for some enterprises skyrocketed during the pandemic as digital transformation efforts accelerated. A 2022 survey from Anodot, an analytics platform, shows that nearly half of businesses (49%) are finding it difficult to get their cloud costs under control. According to a separate poll by Flexera, more than 50% of companies now spend over $2.4 million on the public cloud each year.
Momento claims to have closed "multiple six-figure deals" with customers including CBS, NTT Docomo and smart home company Wyze Labs. The startup got an early vote of confidence from VCs including Bain Capital Ventures, which led Momento's $15 million seed funding round that closed this week. The General Partnership participated alongside Flickr CEO Don MacAskill, former Mozilla CEO John Lilly and other angels.
Shams says that the funding will be used to expand 25-employee Momento's engineering team, build a "full-cycle" go-to-market team, grow the Momento platform and add support for additional public clouds.
"Due to the recent economic downturn, organizations are actively seeking cost savings and efficiency. Caching tends to be among the top line items on their cloud bills, and Momento’s ability to save on their caching is appealing," Shams said.