Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Peter Gabriel invests in blockchain start-up

Steve Rogerson
July 24, 2018



Rock musician Peter Gabriel is funding UK blockchain-in-the-supply-chain start-up Provenance. The company has also secured funding from its existing group of investors, led by Working Capital Fund and including Digital Currency Group, Merian Ventures and Plug and Play, to continue its product expansion.
 
Alexsis de Raadt-St. James, founder and managing partner of Merian Ventures, will become chairperson of Provenance’s board of directors, and Chemain Sanan, partner at Working Capital, will join as a director.
 
"We need to be able to trust the source and distribution chain, particularly when it comes to guaranteeing that things are produced ethically and in an ecologically sound way,” said Gabriel. “I am convinced that the service Provenance provides, using their blockchain data system, is going to find a big role going forward and will be of great use to the consumer and provide a level playing field for smaller, independent producers on which to compete with the big players.”
 
He said that CEO Jessi Baker and her team were “very impressive and I fully expect them to do really well".
 
Provenance was one of the early companies to track products along a supply chain on the blockchain. The company aims to use its funding for setting a new standard for consumer trust in the food sector by implementing its blockchain-backed service with more than 1000 food and drinks businesses by 2025.
 
“Our mission at Provenance is to improve the lives and well-being of the people behind consumer products by bringing trusted, accessible information to commerce," said Baker. "This funding will help us develop our tools to meet the business need for more trustworthy supply chains while empowering shoppers to make a positive impact."
 
Working Capital is an early stage venture fund that invests in scalable innovations to meet the growing corporate demand for more transparent and ethical supply chains. It was created by Humanity United, part of the Omidyar Group, a diverse collection of organisations united by a common desire to catalyse social impact.
 
"Provenance's platform and use of technology can disrupt how companies and consumers track products in supply chains," said Sanan. “We have been continually impressed with Jessi's vision as a leader in the blockchain space, and are thrilled to continue our successful partnership with Provenance to realise our shared vision of more transparent and ethical supply chains.”
 
Peter Gabriel founded the group Genesis with a bunch of friends from school. Since leaving in 1975 he has pursued a solo career releasing albums and film scores. In 1980 he founded Womad (World of Music Arts & Dance), which has presented 170 festivals in over 30 countries. In 1992 he founded Witness.org, pioneering the use of cameras and technology in human rights work.