In contemporary times, organizations are faced with a formidable obstacle in the form of counterfeiting. Consequently, many firms are embracing potent anti-counterfeit technologies to combat this critical challenge. Ennoventure is a pioneering technology company that specializes in providing solutions for product authenticity verification. Their solutions are developed by harnessing cutting-edge technologies. Padmakumar Nair, CEO, and Co-Founder of Ennoventure Inc. recently engaged in an exclusive interview with Rajeev Ranjan, Editor of Digital Terminal. During the interview, Nair expounded on their solutions, journey, growth strategies, and other pertinent topics. Read the full conversation below:
Rajeev: Please provide information about Ennoventure and its solutions. What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
Padmakumar: Ennoventure Inc. is a leading SaaS-based company that specializes in providing covert brand authentication and engagement solutions for various industries, including FMCG, Food and Beverage, Agrochemicals, and more. We understand the significant challenges posed by product counterfeiting, and our innovative approach offers a non-disruptive solution that enables product authenticity verification without requiring any changes to the existing packaging design and printing or manufacturing processes.
Our anti-counterfeit technology leverages the power of Artificial Intelligence and Cryptography to embed an undetectable cryptographic signature onto the package to create a connected packaging experience through smartphones. This signature serves as an invisible and non-reproducible code that counterfeiters cannot decipher, making it a superior alternative to easily copied QR codes or stickers that can easily fall off the product.
We have introduced our new technology, Ennlighten, a seamless artwork management platform that encrypts packaging with proprietary covert signatures for securing products. It is paired with Vyu, our mobile app for easy product authenticity verification using the camera of the smartphone. Another newly launched solution, Ennteract, adds connected brand experiences at the point of authentication. Together, Ennlighten, Vyu, and Ennteract provide a comprehensive solution for brands to protect products, verify purchases, and engage customers. One can elevate brand integrity, customer trust, and loyalty with our user-friendly platform, cutting-edge technology, and interactive experiences. Ennlighten, Vyu, and Ennteract together enable a better future for all by safeguarding against counterfeit products, thereby fostering trust and confidence in the market.
Rajeev: Can you share about your journey so far, including the initial challenges you faced and how you overcame them?
Padmakumar: Ennoventure, a technology company that specializes in anti-counterfeit solutions, has made significant progress since its inception. Starting with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and undergoing angel and bridge funding rounds, Ennoventure raised a Series A round of USD 5 million, led by Fenice Investment Group, after three years of hard work and dedication.
Ennoventure's efforts have been recognized by various industry accolades, including winning the Most Secure Anti-Counterfeit Technology award at the EMEA Security Conference and Exhibition in 2022, being named Brand of the Year by CEO Story Magazine in 2022, and receiving the Leap and CXODX Smart Innovations Award in 2022. Ennoventure has also been selected for prestigious programs such as the Google Startups Cloud Program and Microsoft for Startups, and has been listed among the most innovative machine learning companies based in Cambridge and Massachusetts.
Despite these achievements, Ennoventure has faced challenges in attracting investors' capital and growing the business. The impact of the global pandemic on various sectors, including Ennoventure's, has posed additional setbacks in fundraising efforts. Another challenge has been the lack of awareness in the industry about the importance of cutting-edge anti-counterfeit technology and the need for its implementation. Ennoventure has been actively working on informing customers about the demand for anti-counterfeit solutions and their potential to safeguard and strengthen brands.
Additionally, Ennoventure has faced difficulties in finding experienced personnel with in-depth understanding of anti-counterfeit strategies and technologies. As a result, the company has hired recent graduates and provided them with comprehensive training to bridge this gap.
Ennoventure's commitment to combating product counterfeiting and protecting brands is further reflected in its membership in the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), where it aims to strengthen its technical expertise and deliver relevant solutions globally. The company's acceptance into the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) Accelerator Program's Cohort and selection as a Member of Area 2071 also highlight its growing recognition and participation in the innovation ecosystem.
Ennoventure's journey from its early years to its Series A funding round has been marked by milestones and challenges alike. The company's dedication to developing cutting-edge anti-counterfeit technology, raising awareness in the industry, and investing in talent and training demonstrate its commitment to growth and innovation in the field of brand protection.
Rajeev: How do you perceive the current trends being adopted by scammers for counterfeiting products across various industries in India?
Padmakumar: With the rapid advancements in technology, especially computer vision, counterfeiting has become commonplace today as it takes just a smartphone and a machine learning program to replicate the packaging. With any visible security feature, it is easy to copy the product packaging as is, with the micro dots or minor changes. In fact, current AI developments aid scammers in generating copies with minimal effort.
Rajeev: What is your growth strategy for 2023?
Padmakumar: Ennoventure is currently focused on leveraging the funding received to support its growth plans and drive its global go-to-market strategy. The company is targeting businesses across diverse industry segments, with a particular emphasis on furthering its presence in the European and US markets as part of its expansion plans.
In addition to expanding its technology offerings, Ennoventure is committed to making a positive global impact by focusing on sustainability and recyclability. The company's solutions are designed to help reduce carbon footprints by educating consumers on product recycling and reuse actions, and by replacing paper instruction booklets with e-leaflets, contributing to environmental sustainability.
Ennoventure is also actively exploring new product verticals and global geographies as it continues to grow and expand its reach. The company is dedicated to creating value for its customers and contributing to positive social and economic change worldwide.
With its strong focus on innovation, market expansion, sustainability, and social impact, Ennoventure is poised to continue its upward trajectory and establish itself as a leading player in the global anti-counterfeiting technology market.
Rajeev: How do you aim to create technology-powered experiences that enable a better future for all?
Padmakumar: Our seamless artwork management platform, Ennlighten, encrypts packaging with proprietary covert signatures for secure products. Paired with Vyu, our multiplatform mobile app for easy product authenticity verification using the camera of the smartphone. Additionally, Ennteract, adds a range of brand experiences at the point of authentication. Together, Ennlighten, Vyu, and Ennteract provide a comprehensive solution for brands to protect products, verify purchases, and engage customers.
Ennoventure provides a cost-effective and efficient anti-counterfeiting solution that can be applied to product packaging in just 48 hours, without compromising security.
One of Ennoventure's standout features is its commitment to accessibility and sustainability. The company has taken steps towards accessibility by providing packaging that is inclusive for visually impaired users. Through inclusive messages that can be easily heard on a smartphone, Ennoventure makes it easier for users with visual impairments to identify authentic products, ensuring that its solutions are accessible to a wide range of users.
In addition to accessibility, Ennoventure is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint and implementing sustainable practices. The company has replaced traditional paper leaflets with e-leaflets, minimizing paper usage and waste, and supporting environmentally friendly practices. These efforts, combined with Ennoventure's packaging solution that includes brand protection and anti-counterfeit features, contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.
Ennoventure's innovative approach to packaging design not only provides accessibility to visually impaired users but also demonstrates its commitment to sustainability. By offering reliable and secure anti-counterfeiting solutions that are accessible and environmentally responsible, Ennoventure sets itself apart as a leading player in the industry, driving positive change in the market and contributing to a more inclusive and sustainable world