Provenance is developing a service designed to make supply chains more transparent in order to build greater trust between companies and customers. The London-based startup’s platform blends blockchain, mobile, and social to allow companies to show consumers the entire journey a product takes while also allowing the customers to contribute and verify information as well. It has signed up more than 200 retailers and producers to its platform in industries as food, beverages and fashion.
“We take it for granted that when we buy a product at any point in the supply chain that we’re putting a lot of trust in a brand,” says Provenance CEO and founder Jessi Baker. “We try to educate companies about blockchain, but they reason they are coming to us is because they want to be trusted by their customers.”
London-based Provenance grew out of research on blockchain founder Jessi Baker started doing several years ago for her PhD in computer science. As part of her PhD, she become one of the first people to use blockchain for the supply chain. Since then, Baker has worked with non-profits, and developed pilot projects such as a program to verify that tuna being caught by fishermen were meeting social sustainability goals.
In shifting to building a company, Baker decided to focus on trust between brands and consumers. To reinvent the notion of trust, Baker felt that transparency was key and that blockchain could help. It allows company to create a verifiable trail that follows their product from start to finish. On the Provenance blockchain platform, companies can provide details of every partner and producer in the supply chain.
Are the ingredients organic? Are they cruelty free? Are they free of harmful chemicals that are bad for the environment? Using blockchain certificates, the platform verifies where a product comes from so that brands can confidently market themselves in ways that align with customers’ values.
“I’ve always been a strong believer that aspects of the product like ‘who made it?’ and ‘where does it come from?’ should be part of the buying experience,” Baker says.
The platform allows consumers to contribute comments, reviews, or personal stories via a mobile app that get verified and attached to the product. This further builds data as well as the stories around a product.
The startup has raised more than $1.1 million in venture capital from such notable sources as singer Peter Gabriel.