A common scenario, Adler says, is a user working in Excel when the computer suddenly slows down. This might be because the user’s antivirus software has suddenly started updating itself, initiating a battle for resources. Once the software sees that there’s a problem, it waits to see if the user has figured out a solution. If the problem happens less frequently, Soluto’s software attempts to identify changes to the system–such as the removal of software or changes to settings–that could correlate with the improvement. Once data is gathered from a large enough number of users, the system can recommend actions that could help other users.
Adler notes that the statistical aspect is important here–in many cases, problems are caused by how particular versions of a piece of software interact with particular hardware and a particular version of Windows. By collecting that data, Soluto can show users what’s worked for others who run the same systems.
The company says it is conscious of privacy concerns. Adler says the software collects no information about the user–no registration details are required to download the program, and Soluto gathers no information about the users’ demographics. Soluto has so far raised $7.8 million in two rounds of funding.
The judges at the Disrupt conference liked Soluto but expressed concerns about how it would distribute its products. The logical partnership is with PC vendors, said Chi-Hua Chien, a partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers, which has not invested in Soluto. However, he added that Soluto probably would not be able to make such deals because many PC vendors have deals to load their machines with the software that may slow them down.
Shmuel Chafets, director of business development at Giza Venture Capital, one of Soluto’s investors, says the investment appealed to him because of its technical sophistication and broad consumer appeal. “If you have ever owned a PC, if you’ve used it for even an hour, you understand what Soluto does,” Chafets says,
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