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Fighting against greenwashing: Women-led startup Provenance pockets $5M to boost transparency among businesses

Provenance
Image credits: Provenance

Provenance, a London-based sustainability marketing tech company, has secured $5M funding led by Working Capital Innovation Fund and Nordic Eye.

Other investors, including The Brandtech Group, Digital Currency Group, and Strategic angels like Nicolas Cary (Blockchain.com), Jon Reynolds (SwiftKey), and Peter Gabriel (musician & activist), also participated.

How will the funding be used?

The UK company will use the funds to develop its software product and supercharge brand and shopper reach. Further, the company also plans to scale its team size to 50+ in 2022, investing in talent across product and engineering, sales, marketing, and partnerships.

Jessi Baker, Founder, and CEO, Provenance, says: “Provenance is fighting greenwash with transparency tech, and helping brands unlock commercial value from their positive social and environmental impact. We’re already driving results for small independent brands and global brand groups alike, and we can’t wait to expand our community. This funding will help us grow our first-class team and product and accelerate our goal to empower 1 billion citizens to choose products that match their values.”

Trust in green claims is low

According to Capgemini, four in every five shoppers are changing their purchase preferences based on sustainability. However, Consumer trust in green claims is low. 

As per the Euroconsumer report, 53% of shoppers admit they can’t tell the truth apart from greenwashing when it comes to products. 

Tackling greenwashing

Founded by Jessi Baker, Provenance is pioneering Proof Point technology that empowers online shoppers to make positive purchases by surfacing trustworthy, proof-backed sustainability claims at the point of sale. 

According to Provenance, Proof Points are digital sustainability claims that sit in e-commerce pages and enable shoppers to click through to view relevant evidence or independent verification.

It supports digitised claims from ‘Net Zero’ and ‘Fully Recyclable Packaging’ to ‘Living Wage’ and ‘Female Owned Business’. 

The company also enables brands and retailers that are making a positive social and environmental impact to grow market share by increasing shopper engagement, conversion, and trust.

Growth figures

As per the company’s claims, its solution is driving a 27% increase in conversion, and a 2.8x increase in engagement at the point of sale.

The company has tripled its customer base in the last 12 months and is now empowering 150+ leading brands and retailers across the food & drink, beauty and fashion industries, including Cult Beauty, Douglas, GANNI, Napolina, Arla, and Unilever. 

Provenance is live in 18 markets across Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific.

Provenance works with 81 verifiers and over 20 certification bodies – including B Corp, Soil Association, Leaping Bunny, and GOTS – to enable brands to surface third-party verification online.

Investor

Nordic Eye is a Danish venture capital firm based in Copenhagen and Los Angeles, California. The VC invests in selected Nordic early-growth companies in tech and lifestyle business areas. 

Christian Tarp, Partner & CIO of Nordic Eye, says, “Shoppers are increasingly voting with their wallets for the world they want to see. But they’re also wary of greenwashing, and brands that are making genuine progress on sustainability are struggling to win the deserved commercial returns on their ESG initiatives. Provenance’s proven, scalable solution is helping brands increase engagement, conversion, and trust in today’s key battleground of e-commerce.”

Dan Viederman, Partner of Working Capital Innovation Fund, says: “To change global supply chains for the better, we urgently need greater transparency about products’ social and environmental impact. Before Provenance there hadn’t been a trusted way to communicate verified or evidenced claims, at scale, about supply chain working conditions. We’re delighted to support the company to grow, as it continues to demonstrate how ethical production can lead to consumer engagement.”

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