Ethical sourcing is a growing concern in supply chain management. More and more consumers want to know that the products they buy were made with materials that are obtained in a sustainable way. Over 85% of American consumers are willing to boycott businesses that use irresponsible methods in their supply chains. But how can businesses be sure they are being sustainable from start to finish? And how do they share that information with their customers?

Bext360 is providing a digital solution that provides supply chain transparency. Founder Dan Jones talked to us about how working in Congo showed him the importance of supply chains and digitization.

Funding Round Details

Bext360 logo
Company: Bext360
Security Type: Convertible Note
Valuation: $7,750,000
Min Investment: $1,000
Platform: SeedInvest
Deadline: Sep 20, 2020
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Can you give us a brief elevator pitch for your company?

Bext360 provides a software solution to digitize supply chains for global commodities to prove origin, authenticity and sustainability while derisking these supply chains. We respond to consumer demand for traced products and enable access to capital for companies and first mile producers.

What inspired you to take the leap and build this company?

My time in Congo demonstrated the urgency to ensure companies are providing accurate data about their supply chains — including the social and economic conditions of those involved in sourcing minerals, cocoa and other products, and the environmental impact of these products.

What past experiences prepared you to start, build, and lead your company?

In my early years at DIA, I had an extraordinary opportunity to implement technology in challenging environments. It demonstrated how quickly technology and innovations could be adapted to the needs and challenges of emerging economies to address economic issues like banking and livelihoods as well as governance issues such as trade and education for nation states and SMEs. And my 8 years in Congo revealed that digitization and vertical integration are possible at every location on Earth.

What is your vision for the future of the industry you are operating in?

The vertical integration of these supply chains and the ability to finance the producers will fundamentally change the structure of sourcing. Producers will have the ability to compete and provide products that minimize impact. And consumers can choose with their wallets by selecting products which have proof that they were made with greater stewardship to the planet and the producers or collectors/paid laborers.

Who is on your team and how did you come together?

Our company is led by myself, our COO and CSO. 

COO Dean Kingston and I worked previously on supply chains and commodities. He contributes his experience of engineering small hardware, biomapping (in the medical science world) and a methodical approach to implementing new systems in tough environments and at scale. Dean and I have been designing Bext360 systems together from the beginning in early 2015 before we launched officially. He is famous for creating some beautiful models via motorized Legos. We’ve known each other for 20 years, and I greatly appreciate Dean’s ability to execute my vision and develop our product roadmap. 

I met our CSO, Allyson Quijano, while she was working on governance and technology interventions with The Carter Center in DR Congo with political activists and civil societies. Since our core commodities — minerals, cocoa, palm — are sourced in developing countries (where she’s worked for the last decade), we rely on her expertise in human rights, legal systems and challenges so that our systems are inclusive and address the vulnerabilities of communities at origin and customers operating in these regions. She supported us in our early days with project design for launch in Uganda. Allyson drives our model for increasing impact with producer groups and NGO partners and for improving sustainability models for our corporate customers.

Do you have any competition, if so, how do you differentiate?

Competitors have a more narrow focus than our company so we are differentiated by our commitment to comprehensive end-to-end data tracking technologies — from origin, across processed lots, various organizations, integrations, retail and compliance with sustainability, ESG and regulatory requirements. So IBM’s focus on services to enable domestic tracking for food safety involves only a small aspect of what our software covers. 

Additionally, we are blockchain agnostic, which means we do not trap our customer’s data in a single blockchain or associated cloud. Our tools allow for ERP, traceability and sustainability across the entire supply chain, from producer to the retail customer.

What does your business model look like?

We are a SaaS company, so our revenue strategy is based on subscription based cloud services. Our contracts are annual and are based on two license classifications.

What brought you to equity crowdfunding and how do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?

Since our company mission is built around transparency, we determined that crowdfunding democratizes fundraising in a manner that is consistent with our company’s ethos. The process requires more diligence for companies at this stage so we learned to be confident about how we’ve approached and grown our model over the last several years. And finally, we know that globally consumers are interested in sustainable products and brands so we wanted to provide an opportunity to invest in our product, which operates in the green tech and sustainability space. 

What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?

Our experience deploying our technology in the developing world opens the door to new opportunities for innovation in emerging markets and will change the way businesses operate in these regions. We are encouraged by the CAGR of green tech and sustainability and hope investors consider the opportunity to effect change across the globe while investing in as passionate team and innovative systems. 

As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? Have you set any future goals for the company?

Potential acquirers include ERP companies (SAP, NetSuite, MS Dynamics) and large marketplace companies (such as Amazon and Zalando) with customers who are demanding information regarding the social and environmental impact of the products sold on these platforms and developing regulations requiring proof of traceability and other sustainability claims. 

We at KingsCrowd are excited to see where Dan and his team take the company. Bext360 is currently raising on SeedInvest.