Ennoventure Inc, a pioneer in covert brand authentication and engagement across industries, has led the way in tech-based solutions against counterfeiting. The company is a unique SaaS platform for authenticating and engaging brands across several industry sectors, with headquarters in Massachusetts, USA. Shalini Nair and Padmakumar Nair established the company in August 2018 with the intention of creating cutting-edge solutions to address the issue of counterfeiting encountered by companies worldwide. In their product offerings, the company incorporates AI and cryptography. Ennoventure uses proprietary, US-patented technology to encrypt data so that stakeholders can scan it with their smartphones to verify the product’s authenticity. Ennoventure was incorporated in Delaware in 2018. Ennoventure Technologies, a subsidiary, was established in March 2020 to lead research and development. CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Padmakumar Nair, CEO and Co-Founder and Shalini Nair, Co-Founder and Board Director of Ennoventure Inc.
- Briefly describe your company and how you and your founder came up with the idea for the company?
Ennoventure Inc is a pioneer in covert brand authentication and engagement across industries, including, Pharmaceuticals, FMCG, Agro-Chemicals and Luxury Goods. Ennoventure has devised a strategy to address issues arising from counterfeiting in businesses by envisioning a non-disruptive solution for verifying product authenticity without having to change the client’s existing package design and printing process. Our anti-counterfeit solution adds an invisible cryptographic signature to the packaging and leverages AI and cryptography to deliver an authentication plus connected packaging experience through smartphones.
One of Padmakumar’s classmates at MIT informed him that a child dies from malaria (a sickness that is completely curable) every five minutes in Africa, only because of fake anti-malarial medications. The development of the product was sparked by this. At the beginning of 2017, Shalini Nair was leading her own AI-based start-up when Padmakumar approached her about beginning the process of establishing Ennoventure with the aim of combating counterfeiting. Shalini had two US patent applications submitted by August 2018; one of them was approved in November 2018 and the other in February 2019. One for the verification of the authenticity of products using smartphones by scanning labels which contain our invisible cryptographic code and the other pertaining to design and how the cryptographic code for a particular design is optimised. While one patent was granted in November 2018, the other one was in February 2019.
Ennoventure Inc. was established in 2018 with the goal of being an innovative company that develops digital solutions to problems that people face every day. By securing the packaging and designs of companies that can be easily traced and followed by everyone in the distribution chain, this solution is designed to guarantee brand authenticity.
2. Briefly describe the USP of the firm?
Through the use of cutting-edge technological solutions, Ennoventure works to create technology-powered experiences that enable a better future for all life, every day. The following distinctive qualities characterize its most recent anti-counterfeit products:
- There is no need for the product manufacturers to alter anything in the production process, hence there is no CAPEX required
- No design change is required for product packaging
- No special ink needs to be applied on packaging
- An invisible cryptographic signature that cannot be copied, therefore, better than easily reproduced QR codes
- Embedded throughout the packaging, hence, better than hologram stickers that can easily fall off the product
- Works with any printing material, including blisters
- Simple to use at consumers’ end, i.e. mobile-scannable
- Global tracking to track fakes and parallel imports
- Can be made available on several platforms for customers to scan the product, including the web, app, and social media
- Along with being an anti-counterfeit feature, it can serve as a brand-engagement tool
3. How has the company evolved since its inception? Could you outline your key milestones?
Initially we started out with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), tested it out in the real market and undertook a few angel and bridge funding rounds before moving ahead with raising a series A round of USD 5 mn.
At the EMEA Security Conference and Exhibition, Ennoventure recently took home the prize for Most Secure Anti-Counterfeit Technology 2022. The CEO Story Magazine has named Ennoventure, the brand of the year 2022. It also took home the Leap and CXODX Smart Innovations Award 2022. For the Google Startups Cloud Program, it was chosen to receive Google Cloud credits, training, and business and technical assistance.
Additionally, Ennoventure has been selected by Microsoft for Startups. It was listed among one of the 96 Most Innovative Cambridge based Machine Learning Companies. It was also featured among one of the 101 most innovative Massachusetts based Machine Learning companies. Ennoventure was also awarded ‘The most innovative brand protection technology 2021’ at EMEA Security Conference and Exhibition. It further got accepted into Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) Accelerator Program’s Cohort. Also, Ennoventure was selected as a Member of Area 2071.
Furthermore, Ennoventure is now a member of the International and Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) with a mission to strengthen its commitment and technical expertise to combat product counterfeiting and privacy and deliver relevant solutions across geographies.
4. Could you please tell us about the company’s growth strategy?
Last year, Ennoventure received funding to the tune of USD 5 million in a Series A round from Fenice Investment Group, USA. The digital technology that the company uses is patented, and does not need process or design adjustments in manufacturing to guarantee brand protection. Key markets for Ennoventure include India, South Asia, Africa, US and EU.
5. Can you elaborate on your future plans?
The funding received in the Series A round will be utilized in expanding team size and sharpening a go-to-market strategy for international markets. Apart from the spotlight on India, Ennoventure plans to solidify their position in EU and US markets using the funds they have been granted. The added target markets will also require company infrastructure and size to change. Ennoventure is also expanding to include encrypting products, not just packaging, at an item level. Their efforts also turn towards addressing sustainability and recycling efforts. The company already has existing solutions to reduce carbon footprint.
6. Insights/views on how technology can combat counterfeiting and the roadmap to a fake-free product world?
The level of internet penetration in the country, along with the proliferation of smartphones is reaching great heights. Indians are capable of accessing boundless information. While there are security measures in the form of sticker-based solutions, they lack reliability and transparency. So far, anti-counterfeiting tech has rested largely in the hands of manufacturers along with their distributors. With Ennoventure’s proprietary covert technology, anyone can check for authenticity using a smartphone – the manufacturer, the end consumer, and every single person in the supply chain. This process gives confidence to consumers that manufacturers truly care about the quality of products and make sure that no slip ups affect the end consumer.