Anti-Counterfeiting Startup Chekkit Raises $500k Pre-Seed Funding
By Adedapo Adesanya
Chekkit Technologies, a Nigerian-based anti-counterfeiting startup, has announced a $500,000 pre-seed round as it looks to expand its team and technological infrastructure to achieve its goal of consumers’ safety.
According to the company in a statement, it aims to save more lives and further secure the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and pharmaceutical industries.
The round saw Pan African VC, Launch Africa, Japan Strategic Capital, Blockchain Founders Fund and two syndicate groups of angel investors. The company also received a grant from Netherlands’ Orange Corners programme.
Founded in 2018 by Messrs Dare Odumade, Chief Executive Officer and Oluwatosin Adelowo, Chief Marketing Officer, Chekkit offer product verification and anti-counterfeiting solutions using Blockchain.
The company claims to protect manufacturers and consumers against food and drug counterfeits.
Speaking on the latest development, Mr Odumade said, “We are super-pumped about the future as we develop unique technological products to protect the lives of millions and also directly improve the act of doing business for several brands by learning about consumers in the largely informal African markets.”
He also revealed plans to launch “the first consumer intelligence software-as-a-service for consumer brands to create end-to-end loyalty campaigns, aggregate engagement data and distribute rewards in-house and with their marketing agencies for the first time ever, enabling consumers to directly interact with brands through QR and USSD shortcodes printed directly on the product package.”
In 2020, Chekkit announced a pilot in Afghanistan. This move came after the company finished the first runner up in a blockchain pitch competition — sponsored by Fantom, a DAG-based smart contract platform — at the AfricArena Summit in November 2019.
After the event, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fantom and Chekkit for a 3-month pilot project to track and verify 80,000 pharmaceutical products sold.
Mrs Biola Alabi, a leader of one of the angel syndicate groups, speaking on why they chose Chekkit as a viable investment said, “I’m excited that the company is building and using blockchain to build out its solution. Chekkit, with an experienced team, local and global traction, are poised to save more lives, and I’m proud to be an investor and lead a team of other investors to build.”
Mrs Alabi will join Chekkit’s advisory board, bringing with her years of experience in media and communications. She currently serves as a non-executive director at Unilever Nigeria Plc.
As contained in the company’s statement, Chekkit has secured over 7 million pharmaceutical products, protected over 200,000 consumers, and expanded its partnership with the Afghan government to verify and track over 200 million products.
It has worked with pharmaceutical companies like Merck, Royal Star Pharma, and Nabros Pharmaceutical in Afghanistan. Chekkit has also worked with Indomie, Nivea, and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc.
In 2020, the company deployed its COVID-19 USSD Help & Information Center in partnership with the African Union and the Africa Centre for Disease Control.