Anti-Counterfeit Startup ScanTrust Raises $1.2M Seed Round

04.05.2015 15:46

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ScanTrust has closed a $1.2 million round of initial seed funding led by AngelVest Group and SOS Ventures with participation from strategic partners in the packaging industry and select angel investors. Startupticker asked ScanTrust CEO Justin Picard about the background of the financing round.

Headquartered on the EPFL Innovation Park in Lausanne, Switzerland, and also equipped with a fast-growing branch in Shanghai, China, ScanTrust provides a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution for product authentication and supply chain traceability to brand owners and secure document issuers. The offer is based off the Company’s groundbreaking invention of the world’s first copy-proof QR code, which can be directly printed into a product’s packaging or label that readily allows consumers or supply chain inspectors to quickly and easily verify whether the product is real or fake using only a mobile phone.

ScanTrust CEO and co-founder Justin Picard explains to Startupticker: “We sell a SaaS (software as a service) digital solution  to brand owners and document issuers that allow to protect themselves and consumers from counterfeiting by  verifying  the authenticity of products with their smartphone using our patent-pending copy-proof QR Code. The value for our customers is in the security of the system, the ease of verification, the simplicity of integration in the supply chain, and the ability to visualize data and monitor supply chains and markets in real time.   We already have a working solution that is in use by customers and is the only one on the market that allows to authenticate products securely using a mobile phone without special equipment (such an optics adapter).  We also have a "core tech" team in Lausanne led by one of the top researchers in the field of image security, that brings continuous improvements to our reading and  authentication algorithms and continues to push further the limits of what can be done with smart labels, secure graphics and mobile phones.”

ScanTrust has already paying customers, for example an important  European player in the labeling industry, and  a large multinational in Fast Moving Consumer Goods. In addition the company has started  large scale pilot projects that will allow ScanTrust to accelerate revenue growth in the coming months. This most recent round of funding will primarily go towards building out the product and engineering teams, as well as supporting on-going projects with existing customers and onboarding new customers.

Facts about counterfeiting
With the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) projecting that by the end of 2015, the global value of counterfeit and pirated goods could be as high as $1.77 trillion, counterfeiting is exacting greater economical damage to brands and risks to consumer health. From the melamine-tainted milk and infant formula scandal that shook China in 2008 to the thousands of lead-laden toys sold in the US, the number of disturbing counterfeit incidents—fake alcohol, drugs, cosmetic products, and even eggs—has drastically increased. At a time when no consumer can be 100% certain of a product’s safety, ScanTrust seeks to restore reliability and confidence back into the market.

“Counterfeiting is not a new problem and many solutions have been developed to solve this problem; however, traditional solutions to prevent counterfeit goods have proven ineffective at providing a scalable, global solution,” said ScanTrust CEO and co-founder Dr. Justin Picard, a long-time industry veteran who has developed several disruptive counterfeit detection technologies that are currently used on billions of products from global brands and is a methodology co-leader on the OECD Taskforce on Charting Illicit Trade. “We believe ScanTrust’s purely digital platform provides a secure product authentication that is cost-effective, easy to implement, consumer friendly, and scalable.”

Nathan Anderson, another co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer, leads efforts out the Shanghai office.  “Since our inception, ScanTrust has been a ‘global’ startup,” says Anderson. “Counterfeiting is a global problem, and with demand for premium products increasing in emerging markets such as China, our Swiss-Chinese footprint allows us to align our support efforts with the needs of our customers. We are excited to build our team to support roll-out of a technology that will inevitably have positive impact across the globe.”

About ScanTrust
ScanTrust a leading provider of secure cloud based product authentication and supply chain traceability solutions. By combining industry leading secure 2D barcodes with a comprehensive software suite, ScanTrust helps brand owners  protect against counterfeit goods, monitor their supply chain and enhance trust.   ScanTrust has offices in Lausanne, Shanghai and Beijing.  

ScanTrust has been supported by a number of programs and won a number of startup prizes including CTI Startup, VentureKick and Venture Leaders, Swisscom Startup Challenge, IMD Startup Competition, TOP 100 Startup Award, SPECO and Innovaud, FIT (Fondation pour l’innovation technologique), Prix Vitoz, 1776 startup, Beijing Challenge Cup.   

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Much interest in Swiss start-ups