Australian Anti-Slavery Food Blockchain Startup Lumachain Secures $2.4 Million in Funding Round

The decentralized, fool-proof Blockchain technology may have already created great disruption all over the world. But never before has it been used to track the food supply chain in a bid to eliminate unethically produced food items.

Lumachain, an Australian Blockchain-based SaaS startup, has raised a total of $2.4 million in a funding round steered by the Main Sequence Ventures. The funds, as reported by the Australian Financial Review, will go directly into helping the firm meet its staffing fees, besides helping them offset costs as a result of their international expansion.

Lumachain is wired to use the blockchain technology to track the pathway taken by food products right from where they are sourced from, all in real-time. The project could greatly help in ending modern slavery used in food production.

Born Into Slavery, Now Fighting it

Jamila Gordon, the startup’s founder, and an ex-Qantas and IBM executive, has first-hand experience of how slavery and exploitation are used in food production. She grew up in Somalia where she was enslaved from a tender age before immigrating to Australia.

Australia has already joined the clique of countries fighting modern slavery, having passed the Modern Slavery Act 2018. The country’s Council of Superannuation Investors appears to have identified the food sector as being among the likeliest promoters of modern-day slavery. Furthermore, Aussie’s fresh food industry, according to Jamila Gordon, isn’t satisfactorily digitized, besides being quite wasteful.

But the route taken by the startup, according to the founder, is in line with what’s now a global trend whereby, consumers and food stores alike are agitating for sourced food. The campaign, on the economic front, it will most certainly help reduce food wastage and recalls while ensuring that producers are compliant. These reasons could have compelled many to invest in the startup.

Inspirations to Create Lumachain

The success of Lumachain greatly hinges upon the huge demand for food products of better quality and the need for transparency in the food chain. She additionally sees the huge number of the middle class across Asia as being one of the determinants of the success of the Blockchain-secured project.

Jamila Gordon, however, isn’t at her current position by sheer luck. She first worked with IBM Australia before moving to Qantas, an airline company, where she rose to be a top senior technology executive.

It is at Qantas that Gordon learning the ins and outs of supply chains management on an international scale. She worked in Qantas and CIMIC alongside Tony White, the startup’s current chief product officer.

The entire $2.4 million in a funding round undoubtedly is a testament to how much belief investors have in Lumachain and the idea behind its creation. It is reported that the project has earned support from Microsoft already.

Blockchain in Fighting Forced Labor

The Blockchain technology is at the heart several initiatives helping fight ills and malpractices across the world. April 2019 saw UK’s Princess Eugenie team up with America’s anti-human trafficking Ambassador, John Richmond, in a bid to see how the technology could help.

Almost a year earlier, on March 2018, Coca-Cola along with the US State Department and three other firms rolled out a Blockchain-based labor registry platform. The project is highly expected to help highlight problems faced by about 25 million people working as forced laborers across the world.

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