Adaverse, the Cardano Accelerator and leading Web3 venture fund in Africa, has successfully participated in a funding round for Chekkit, a consumer intelligence and anti-counterfeiting App improving traceability in the supply chain for pharmaceuticals and consumer goods companies. This seed funding round was joined by other prominent investors, including RTA, Launch Africa, and Blockchain Founders Fund.
Chekkit is on a mission to save lives by mitigating the counterfeiting of consumer goods and pharmaceutical products through user verification and supply chain traceability. In developing countries, it is estimated that 1 in 10 medical products are substandard or falsified. In Africa alone, the pharmaceutical and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) markets lose over $300 billion to illicit drugs and retailers of unverified products, resulting in half a million deaths annually. The key element missing in the FMCG supply chain is a lack of transparency, traceability, and verification, and that is what Chekkit wants to solve with its blockchain solution.
Vincent Li, Founding Partner at Adaverse said, "Chekkit is not just another anti-counterfeiting solution. Rather, it aims to repair the prevailing rift in consumer-manufacturer trust with the blockchain-secured channel, prioritising consumer insights. We see the potential to transform the supply chain industry and disrupt the DataFi market and we're excited to support the scaling of the infrastructure."
Dare Odumade, Chekkit Founder and CEO
Driven by innovation, Chekkit CEO and Founder Dare Odumade is a serial entrepreneur and software developer whose sole aim is to improve the lives of millions through technology. After losing a friend to counterfeit medication, he was determined to prevent millions of avoidable deaths from fake drugs and consumer goods. Combining technology and healthcare, Dare is committed to making a difference. “The dangers of counterfeit drugs are too high, and not many people in Africa are alarmed or aware,” he said. “Lack of transparency in the supply chain for FMCG puts many lives at risk, and we can stop this with technology.”
In the Q&A interview below, Dare Odumade, CEO of Chekkit, talks about the healthtech company, his motivation, and how blockchain is helping to ensure data protection and fortify traceability.
Q&A with Chekkit’s CEO, Dare Odumade.
Q: Tell us about Chekkit and how it all began.
Chekkit is a blockchain-powered consumer intelligence platform that specializes in providing anti-counterfeiting and traceability solutions for packaged medications and other consumer products. Our supply chain traceability solutions are designed to meet the needs of both urban and rural African populations, especially those with lower internet penetration.
We offer anti-counterfeit sticker labels, which are approved and attached by the manufacturer. Consumers can verify these labels at the point of purchase using USSD, SMS service (without internet), or a mobile app. They can also engage in survey questions and receive instant rewards directly on their phones. This real-time data is processed to generate insights for brands to better understand their consumers.
Q: What has been your main achievement since the product launch?
Dare: In 2019, I teamed up with Oluwatosin Adelowo and Samuel Ukhueleigbe to build Chekkit Technologies. Since our launch, we’ve made significant progress in securing over 50 million pharmaceutical and consumer goods products, ensuring that consumers can have confidence in the safety and authenticity of the products they use.
Recently, we were officially announced as the first approved GS1/NAFDAC traceability solutions provider in Nigeria. Currently, our team primarily operates out of Lagos, Nigeria (HQ), with a presence in the UK and India, where we also have staff members. We are proud to say that we’ve helped over 1 million vulnerable consumers in Nigeria and 80,000+ in Afghanistan verify the authenticity of their drugs and shared rewards with them through our team effort and partnership with leading firms including Merck Pharmaceuticals, Royal Star Pharma, Flour Mills of Nigeria, etc.
We had also signed an MoU with the Fantom Foundation and the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health to improve transparency in the pharmaceutical market before the unrest began. We’re dedicated to continuing this important work and expanding our reach to help even more people globally.
Q: What sets Chekkit apart from other traceability Apps in the market?
Dare: Chekkit’s use of blockchain technology, combined with its consumer-focused mobile app and enterprise solutions, provides businesses and consumers with a powerful tool to combat the spread of substandard and falsified products. One of our standout features is the anti-counterfeit seal, which can be verified in areas with limited internet access through the USSD code, making it a versatile solution for low-income and rural communities.
In addition, Chekkit provides businesses with real-time consumer data and analytics through its ChekIntel service, available on the Chektrace and ChekTrack platforms, helping them optimize their operations. We help brands optimize consumer engagement through rewards programs and gain valuable consumer intelligence on their needs and preferences. By using our platform, brands can not only build consumer confidence and loyalty but also combat the risks associated with counterfeit products.
Q: How will Cardano integration and Adaverse improve your platform?
Dare: We have chosen Cardano as our infrastructure due to its widespread usage and dependable, scalable infrastructure. With Cardano, we will implement unique identifier storage and authentication infrastructure, consumer incentives, loyalty point tokenization, and open-source API infrastructure, all of which will enhance our consumer intelligence and support the interoperability of gateways and platforms.
Additionally, Adaverse will provide us with advisory and tech support to improve our blockchain technology and open doors to enterprise business opportunities. We are excited about these prospects, as they enable us to tackle key business challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with cutting-edge technology.
Q: What’s the next phase of development for ChekkitApp?
Dare: We have a clear roadmap for our recent funding and are excited about what’s ahead. In the coming months, we will be focusing on leveraging Cardano’s infrastructure to build out our platform. This includes logging unique identifiers and ChekkitApp user data on Cardano via our Chekkit ledger, enabling end-to-end UID verification through the ledger, and tokenizing consumer loyalty rewards while enabling distribution on exchange platforms. We aim to have all necessary implementations in place within a 12-month period with support from Adaverse and EMURGO Africa, and we’re looking forward to the positive impact this will have on our platform and the fight against counterfeit products.
"Startups like Chekkit are well positioned to take advantage of the emerging data-driven economy in this digital age. With the building blocks of Web3, and the use of Cardano blockchain tools, Chekkit can help young economies leap ahead in data authenticity and gain valuable consumer insights," says Shogo Ishida, co-CEO of EMURGO Middle East and Africa.
Adaverse is a Cardano-focused accelerator set up jointly by EMURGO Africa, a subsidiary of EMURGO, the official commercial arm of the Cardano protocol, and Everest Ventures Group, a leading blockchain and digital asset venture studio, looking to identify and scale promising Web3 projects in Africa. Since its inception in 2021, Adaverse has invested in and incubated thirty-five (35) startups building infrastructure projects such as Web3.0 and Layer2 in Africa, Asia and beyond.
Adaverse is dedicated to helping young startups grow and assisting founders in building sustainable and globally-relevant businesses. Adaverse is seeking to commit more resources to expand its reach in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, to help launch innovative solutions, particularly Cardano-based projects as part of its efforts to usher in a digitally-advanced global economy.
For more information on ChekkitApp, visit the website.
Startups that are African-focused building Web3 solutions can apply for funding at Adaverse.
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