According to a Forbes report published June 6, 2019, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of the beer brand Budweiser has invested an undisclosed sum of money in supply chain blockchain startup BanQu.
Bridging the Gap
At a time when the blockchain market is still in its infancy, publicly-traded firm Anheuser-Busch InBev has doubled down on its investment in distributed ledger technology (DLT) startup BanQu.
Per sources in the know, Budweiser’s parent concern has expanded its Series-A investment in the fintech startup which is looking to minimize the bridge of logistics between the producer and the end consumer.
Supply chains for consumer goods and commodities are typically plagued with several intermediaries who are all vying to fill their pockets by charging exorbitant commission.
The vast majority of farmers or producers who are present at the starting point of such networks often don’t have access to banking services which could otherwise help them reach brands, organizations, and governments in a cost-effective manner. Instead, they are at the mercy of mediators who possess a virtual monopoly over deciding the price of raw materials.
Such a mechanism not only adversely affects the producers but also allows go-betweens to consolidate power to corner a price in the supply chain.
BanQu wants to do away with such centralized forms of supply chains by connecting members at the earliest stage of production directly with retail consumers.
Giving Power Back to the People
The Minnesota-based startup has already helped more than 200,000 individuals connect directly with producers and has an ambitious plan to alleviate close to 100 million people out of extreme poverty by 2023, the report reads.
Maisie Devine, a director at AB InBev, said:
“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.”
Founded in 2015, BanQu has raised about $2.6 million in funding to date.
The company first partnered with AB InBev in August 2018 when the two firms tested a DLT-based pilot in Zambia that helped close to 2,000 small-scale farmers and unbanked producers. Since then, the joint-project has expanded to India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, and the U.S., among other countries.
In similar news, BTCManager reported on March 5, 2019, how an Indian consortium of food companies had decided to embrace DLT to make the opaque supply chain more transparent.