Lumachain, an Australian blockchain platform founded by Jamila Gordron has raised $3.5 million in a funding round led by the CSIRO-linked venture capital investor Main Sequence to end modern slavery in Australia.
The round of funding comes after Lumachain got into a Microsoft startup scale-up program. The funds will be used to hire staff and expand Lumachains operations overseas.
“Our deeper purpose is to help end modern slavery,” said the firm. “For us, it’s personal: our founder Jamila Gordon was forced to work from the age of five, instead of attending school. We are passionate about ensuring children are given an education, and that adults are able to work in fair and safe conditions.
Lumachain promises to bring transparency to global supply chains, benefitting producers, enterprises and consumers. Its platform tracks and traces the origin, location and condition of individual items in a supply chain, in real-time, from farm to fork. This incentivises farmers and manufacturers to create high-quality, ethically-produced products.
Lumachain’s investment comes at a time when businesses across all sectors are under pressure to ensure they are not profiting from forced labour or other forms of modern slavery. Lumachain helps firms to reduce waste, avoid recalls and ensure they are compliant with the Modern Slavery Act introduced in Australia in 2018.
The firm adds that its technology allows enterprises to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and grow revenues and margins. And it allows consumers to know, with absolute certainty, the provenance, condition and quality of what they buy, and that it has been ethically and sustainably sourced.
Gordon, who grew up in Somalia before immigrating to Australia was lately a CIO at Australian airline Qantas and a senior executive at IBM, was forced into child labour as a five-year-old in Somalia.
“The way goods move within the supply chain is still very basic, which means there’s still a lot of waste, inefficiency and risk,” Gordon said in a statement. “With growing demand for better quality food products and ethical and transparent business processes, plus a rising middle class across Asia, we see tremendous opportunity to improve the productivity, security and safety of what we eat.”
Lumachain is working to achieve this vision by providing full transparency in supply chains, including ensuring that products are ethically produced, and helping to open up global markets to producers in the developing world. Lumachain is looking to use blockchain technology to make food production and manufacturing more transparent to help end child slave labour.