A blockchain startup for ethical supply chain management just raised $4 million in seed money.
OpenSC, a joint venture of the Boston Consulting Group and environmental protection group the World Wide Fund, announced today $4 million in seed funding from investor Christian Wenger. 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, 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.
Blocko, a South Korean blockchain firm working on enterprise applications of the tech, says it’s raised 9 billion Korean won (around $7.44 million) in an Series B+ round.
According an announcement on Thursday, Blocko said Korea’s oldest bank, Shinhan, as well as KEB Hana Bank, LB Investment and Dadam Investment took part in the round. The investment brings the firm’s total funding to date to over $20 million, according to CoinDesk Korea.
Blocko is working to build business-focused blockchain services, and has been working in conjunction with several national institutions such as the nation’s stock exchange, the Bank of Korea, Hyundai and the Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute.
In May, the firm launched a blockchain platform dubbed Aergo Enterprise, aiming to address the “growing need for data sharing between industries and companies in areas such as identity verification, document management, and the Internet of Things,” the firm told told CoinDesk Korea at the time.
Aergo Enterprise has since been deployed by more than 10 companies and institutions at home and abroad.
In the latest update, Blocko CEO Won-beom Kim said that aside from its enterprise work, the firm aims to “showcase various blockchain-based solutions that can be used in areas that have been difficult to implement, such as smart grids and dark data.”