Supply Chain Compliance — New Rules of Engagement

WV Top 3 Areas of Interest in Supply Chain Compliance

As we continue to dive deeper into the universe of startups working to solve problems in supply chain compliance, we’ve highlighted the following, broad problem areas that we know are ripe for disruption. If you are working on any of these problems, or know of amazing founders that are, we’re all ears!

  1. ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) — ESG regulations are naturally wide in scope; however, a subset of problem areas that our team is particularly interested in includes: forced labor tracking, managing and offsetting a carbon footprint, and maintaining a high standard of working conditions across a supply chain. These problem areas are traditionally very difficult to solve for, as they often required boots on the ground not only at a company’s own facilities, but also at layer 1, layer 2, etc. suppliers. Finding scalable, digitally-driven approaches to tackle these problem areas is a priority for customers, and therefore, a priority for us at WV.
  2. Network Interoperability — The ability to operate within a single vertical is no longer a clearly effective or scalable approach. Given how increasingly complex the global supply chain is becoming, startups must build solutions with the potential to work across verticals, disciplines, and problem areas. We’re excited about startups that are not only working with a strong pipeline of B2B contracts, but also able to collaborate with a wider range of stakeholders, be it government agencies, financial institutions, law enforcement, insurance, and even the end consumer…and speaking of the end consumer…
  3. Visibility / Provenance — Traceability within the supply chain is no longer just a valuable capability for in-house supply chain management teams. Today, consumers want to know where their products were made, how they were manufactured, and the impact that a product has had on the world, before ending up in their cart. Startups working on these problem areas have the opportunity to not only provide such visibility, but to also tackle additional subsets of solutions, such anti-counterfeiting, customs and border protections, and more.

WV Top 4 Technologies of Interest in Supply Chain Compliance

Sometimes a problem set drives the development of new technologies, and other times, new technologies can unlock problem sets that were otherwise not possible to target. We believe that continued innovation in the following technology areas will be crucial for manufacturers, shippers, importers, carriers, and merchants the world over, to abide by the increasingly stringent supply chain compliance requirements.

  1. Coding and Labels — Barcodes and QR codes have long been the standard for adding labels, coding, and other information onto physical goods. While we believe there is still room for innovation within the QR-code landscape, WV is also excited about new technologies that can attribute more information to a single SKU, make fraud detection easier (or make counterfeiting harder), increase product traceability for the circular economy, and possibly even enable a more engaging consumer experience.
  2. Blockchain — It’s 2022, and there is a lot of hype around blockchain technology. At WV, we see a clear potential for existing technologies to solve many of the biggest problems within supply chain compliance, but we’re also interested when new technologies can rise to the challenge. WV is excited to meet startups that are tackling the many hurdles to still overcome for “blockchain in the supply chain” such as: physical product authentication, know-your-vendor (KYV) solutions, as well as the chicken-and-egg problem of needing multiple stakeholders for a blockchain-based solution to hold its full merit.
  3. Connectivity, IoT, and Tracking — Edge computing is growing in capability, smart devices are becoming more cost effective, and the need for real-time insights is at an all time high. Whether it’s monitoring a container sitting in port, tracking a pallet as it crosses customs and border patrol, or managing a warehouse of goods, we’re excited by advances in both hardware and software solutions for the connected IoT industry, or Industry 4.0.
  4. Machine Learning (ML) — As we continue to explore the world of supply chain compliance, we find that machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are starting to play a nearly indispensable roll. Simply put, to build a successful, data driven startup within the logistics industry, it is becoming increasingly critical for data science and product teams to be able to glean insights from a collection of disparate data sources, from dozens to hundreds of datasets, and spanning years of historical records.

WV Elements of Startup Success

Finally, as we continue to explore this sector, WV has identified the following factors that we believe will be critical for startups to succeed when building solutions for supply chain compliance startups.

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Wittington Ventures

Wittington Ventures

Venture capital firm in search of disruptive innovations in food, commerce, and healthcare