Legal and IP News

Bloccelerate backs Cygnetise to use blockchain for authorized signatory sharing

authorized signature

Today London-based Cygnetise announced it raised a pre-Series A round of funding from Bloccelerate. Cygnetise is one of the companies that benefited during the pandemic because of the need to digitize business processes.

Founded in 2016, by the end of 2020, Cygnetise raised a total of £2.3 million ($3.1 million).

Here’s the problem it aims to address. When you enter into a contract with a company, how do you know the person that signed it is authorized to do so? Never mind outsiders, even for someone inside a large organization, it’s good to be able to find out who is allowed to sign checks, NDAs or other contracts. Historically this has involved emailing Word files or spreadsheets containing authorized lists of signatories. 

And with these sorts of documents, there’s always a risk that you don’t have the current version. 

Hence Cygnetise enables a shared repository of the signatories, which an organization maintains and grants access to on a need-to-know basis. It also makes it easier to track changes, such as who added a signatory and when. 

Blockchain is used to store hashes or fingerprints of data, which proves the data has not been altered. The solution uses an enterprise version of Ethereum, but it could use a different ledger because of the limited data stored on the blockchain. The solution is hosted on Cygnetise servers at Amazon Web Services.

“We have not yet seen the demand for a higher level of decentralisation to date, as the existing security and immutability is significantly more of a value add than what our customers already have,” Cygnetise told Ledger Insights via email. “We plan to utilise other blockchains but only when we have the requirement.”

Sam Yilmaz, General Partner at Bloccelerate, said, “With blockchain, we now have a ledger that is easy to maintain, ever-up-to-date, historically auditable, and easily shared with all stakeholders. Using Cygnetise’s solution could be as obvious as using a printer instead of a typewriter for the use case it’s targeting.”

The startup was co-founded by CEO Stephen Pomfret and merchant banker Shaun Blake who came up with the idea. Blake is the company’s largest shareholder.

Meanwhile, Seattle-based Bloccelerate raised a $12 million fund in December last year to focus on investing in enterprise applications using blockchain. Previous investments have included crypto tax software firm ZenledgerBlockApps, Centrifuge and B2B payments startup Corechain.