Press Release: Impact Tech Venture OpenSC Raises $4 Million in Seed Funding
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
OpenSC, an impact venture developed in partnership by the World Wide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF-Australia) and BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), the global corporate venture, investment, and incubation arm of Boston Consulting Group, today announced that OpenSC has raised $4 million in seed funding from strategic impact investors. The funds will be used to further the development of OpenSC’s digital platform, which leverages blockchain and other technologies for tracking food and products, as well as helping people and businesses avoid illegal, environmentally-damaging, or unethical products.
Impact investors who have joined the round include Working Capital (supported by Humanity United), an early-stage venture fund focused on scalable solutions that promote ethical supply chains and protect vulnerable workers, and Christian Wenger, founder of digitalswitzerland and a key figure driving technology innovation and entrepreneurship in Switzerland.
Following a successful international pilot with OpenSC and Austral Fisheries (part of the Maruha Nichiro Group, one of the world’s largest seafood companies) and tracking of its Glacier 51 Patagonian Toothfish product, as well as a positive reception when the impact venture was launched in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, this round of funding will power OpenSC’s next stage of development.
OpenSC is focusing its technology platform on building transparency around commodities that are currently known to have significant environmental or human rights risks within their supply chains, such as seafood, timber, and palm oil. In addition to scaling up work with Austral Fisheries, OpenSC also has recently announced a collaboration with Nestlé. As the first major food and beverage company to pilot blockchain technology in this way, Nestlé will use the OpenSC platform to trace milk products from farms in New Zealand to consumers in the Middle East, and, later, to track palm oil sourced in the Americas.
OpenSC is the result of a collaboration that brings together BCGDV’s expertise in corporate venturing and developing blockchain-enabled supply chain traceability solutions, with WWF’s 30 years of leadership in supply chain transformations to reduce environmental impacts. OpenSC is the first impact venture to spin out of Panda Labs, WWF’s global innovation program, which was founded in 2017.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Magill.