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Blockchain food provenance platform OpenSC secures $4M in seed funding

Tue, 17 Sep 2019, 04:37 am UTC

OpenSC, a venture jointly developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF-Australia) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Digital Ventures, has secured $4 million in seed funding from strategic impact investors.

As per a press release, the new capital injection will be used to enhance the firm’s digital platform, which utilizes blockchain and other technologies to track food and products and to promote sustainable and ethical practices in the food supply chain for businesses.

We’re on a mission to help producers, retailers, and consumers choose products that are good for the planet and good for workers. We’ve reached a point where technology has evolved and can be harnessed to create a whole new level of transparency and rebuild trust,” Markus Mutz, BCG Director, said, adding that OpenSC hopes to transform how humans produce and consume.

Mutz told Financial Review that currently, there is core friction that disconnects consumers and producers. He further explained that sustainable and ethical producers have a hard time being rewarded for their efforts, whereas customers also find it challenging to identify sustainably and ethically sourced products.

The incoming OpenSC CEO said the company can complement existing certification schemes by supporting businesses with the latest technology.

Noting that current certification schemes employ manual auditing process, Mutz believes that “technology is now at a point where we can do that in a more automated way and sense data for all products being products being produced.”

However, he made clear that OpenSC will not fully replace the manual method or replace the current certification schemes. Instead, the firm aims to leverage opportunities with the available technology.

But over time, we will be able to verify more of those dimensions with technology and data. However, that is a very long journey,” he noted.

Impact investors who joined the funding round include Working Capital and digitalswitzerland founder Christian Wenger.

The financing round came on the heels of OpenSC’s international pilot project with Austral Fishers, which is one of the largest seafood firms in the world. Under the partnership, OpenSC helps Austral track the fishing process of its Patagonian Toothfish (or commonly Chilean sea bass).

It has also teamed up with the biggest revenue-based food firm Nestlé to establish a distributed ledger system that will provide anyone access to verifiable sustainability and supply chain data.

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