On the 6th June, blockchain firm BanQu announced that it has raised its Series A extension round with help from brewing giant Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev’s venture capital arm ZX Ventures. With this funding, BanQu aims to expand its supply chain network in new and existing global markets to address poverty.
Last year AB InBev, the worlds largest brewer, partnered with BanQu for its blockchain pilot in Zambia. The impressive pilot was part of AB InBev’s 100+ Accelerator project, which hosts and funds sustainable startups. BanQu helped over 2000 local cassava farmers by connecting them to the buyer using distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Now, the company’s blockchain platform operates in 12 countries, including Costa Rica, India, Jordan, and its home nation, the US. It aims to expand into China and Mexico by the end of this year.
BanQu’s key remit is to connect those at the very end of the production line to the whole supply chain. This allows, for instance, impoverished farmers visibility of where their products go and therefore opportunity to grow their business.
“Farmers at the world’s ‘last mile’, traditionally excluded from the global economy and lacking a verifiable economic identity, are now visible, financially empowered, and connected in the global supply chain of AB InBev,” said BanQu CEO Ashish Gadnis.
The Belgian headquartered brewer is also focused on transparency and traceability. Last week’s investment, made from its innovation division ZX Ventures, is in line with the group’s sustainability goals.
AB InBev’s Maisie Devine, the director of the 100+ Accelerator, stated: “Over the last year, we have implemented the BanQu platform with over 4,000 of our direct farmers in Zambia, Uganda and India. Through this work, we are helping to create a digital ledger of farmers’ transactions that will create an economic identity and enable access to financial services. This will ultimately allow farmers to grow their business and improve the livelihoods of their families and communities.”