Everledger, a blockchain supply chain based in London, UK, announced that it raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Tencent Holdings. Other investors include Graphene Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Lotte, Fidelity and Vickers Venture Partners.
Everledger's main product is a blockchain platform for the origin and traceability of diamonds. This week, the company launched an upgraded version that extends it to other supply chain areas such as gems, fine wines, luxury goods and e-waste management. When asked if the company plans to introduce more such solutions to the market, Kemp said: "The vast majority of work will be carried out in the above industries, but some work in other industries (protected by the NDA agreement)."
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Founded in 2015, the Everledger platform is created based on the Superbook Fabric, which records the source, ownership, characteristics and transactions of assets. In addition to the blockchain, the platform also uses artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart tag technology.
Today, after four years of hard work, the company has finally won the support of technology giants such as Tencent.
Leanne Kemp, founder and CEO of Everledger, said the company will use the new capital to further develop its products and bring them to the Chinese market.
“At this stage of our development, having this strong investor community to join us is both a testimony to the innovations we have demonstrated so far and a statement of our vision for the future. They will support us in influencing millions of people in developing countries, Even in the industry of billions of people, good business practices are more compelling."
Tencent's chief strategy officer, James Mitchell, said:
“Everledger's application of blockchain technology has increased the value to consumers and reduced the risk of companies across the industry.”
The two companies will work together to introduce blockchain-based diamonds to WeChat users. Kemp said:
“Everledger and Tencent are a natural pair. We share strategic synergies, including several solutions that are part of their ecosystem.
“For example, we will launch the world’s first WeChat applet to support blockchain diamonds, linking key stakeholders in the diamond value chain to enable WeChat users to purchase more transparent and safer jewelry.”
Everledger has established partnerships with Spanish jewelry designer and manufacturer Facet, American jeweler Fred Meyer, Gemological Institute of America, Hong Kong jewelry group Chow Tai Fook, and Indian diamond manufacturer Sheetal Group. The company also has a community project called Moyo Gemstones that aims to enable Tanzanian miners to work safely and get more financial security.
“Only last year, our number of customers on five continents increased by 300%. We are generating revenue healthily and focusing on our continued customer engagement and market adoption.”
Everledger's team is also growing. Kemp from the UK said that the company currently consists of 90 people from five countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, India and Israel.
Sustainable and ethical supply chain management is becoming a popular use case for blockchain technology. Just last week, the Australian startup OpenSC, co-founded by BCG Digital Ventures and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Australia), raised $4 million in seed funding to track the existence of “significant” environments or human rights in the supply chain. Risk of goods.
Last month, tech giant IBM launched a blockchain network called Trust Your Supplier, and many well-known companies such as Lenovo, Nokia and Vodafone. Join it and become a founding participant. Their goal is to simplify supplier validation, process and lifecycle information management.
However, blockchain-based supply chain management is not a panacea and does not solve all problems. As St. Steven of The Block wrote earlier this year:
"The blockchain in the supply chain can't repair humans, and humans are a fundamental aspect of the supply chain. Humans can switch from real products to fakes (such as RFID radio frequency identification), and blockchains don't know how to distinguish Because it gets information from the tag, any fake product to which the tag is attached may be judged to be true by the blockchain."