A blockchain startup for ethical supply chain management just raised $4 million in seed money.
OpenSC, a joint venture of the BCG Digital Ventures and environmental protection group the World Wide Fund, announced today $4 million in seed funding from investors Christian Wenger and venture fund Working Capital. OpenSC uses blockchain technology to track goods for ethical malpractice.
The capital will be used to further develop blockchain-based supply chains such as overfishing and human rights violations, incoming OpenSC CEO Markus Mutz told CoinDesk. With the funding, Mutz left his role as a director at BCG Digital Ventures to be the full-time CEO of OpenSC.
The funding round came on the heels of its international pilot project with Austral Fisheries, part of Maruha Nichiro Group, one of the world’s largest seafood companies. OpenSC helps Austral monitor the fishing process of its Patagonian Toothfish — more commonly known as the Chilean sea bass.
The fishery company collects data from fishing boats’ GPS and put the fishing locations in the blockchain platform through an automated algorithm.
Retailers and customers throughout the supply chain can learn where the fish are caught and who catches them by scanning the QR code on the products, Mutz said. The blockchain platform will increase transparency between suppliers and customers throughout a supply chain so that it will be easier to monitor the whole process.
Mutz said the company will also work with Nestlé to trace the food company’s milk products from farmers in New Zealand to customers in Middle East and palm oil sourced in the Americas.
The Nestlé project will apply OpenSC’s blockchain technologies to a large-scale supply chain, which could serve as a model for other big companies, he said.