London-based Provenance picks up €4.6 million to tackle greenwashing with transparency tech

Female-founded Provenance has just picked up over €4.6 million in its mission to empower billions to choose products that better match their values. 

The new capital boost comes from investors across the impact, consumer brand tech and Web3 ecosystems. The round was led by Working Capital Innovation Fund and Nordic Eye with participation from The Brandtech Group and Digital Currency Group. Strategic angels include Nicolas Cary (Blockchain.com), Jon Reynolds (SwiftKey) and Peter Gabriel (musician & activist).

Jessi Baker, Founder and CEO, Provenance, explained: “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.”

At a time when more and more of us are making sustainability-based choices when purchasing, there’s also a growing problem of greenwashing (the term given to the process of providing a false impression or misleading information about the environmental impact of products/services). Provenance wants to tackle this, enabling consumers to make positive purchases for people and the planet, by surfacing trustworthy, proof-backed sustainability claims at the point of sale through its pioneering Proof Point tech. 

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. At the same time, the London-based startup enables brands and retailers that are making a positive social and environmental impact to grow market share by increasing shopper engagement, conversion and trust.

It’s claimed that this transparency tech solution is already driving a 27% increase in conversion and a 2.8x increase in engagement at the point of sale.

Founded in 2014, Provenance 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 currently live in 18 markets across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Against a backdrop of corporate tunnel vision on carbon and increasing regulation of green claims, Provenance empowers brands to talk to shoppers about their impact holistically. Proof Point technology supports digitised claims from ‘Net Zero’ and ‘Fully Recyclable Packaging’ to ‘Living Wage’ and ‘Female Owned Business’. Working with 81 verifiers and over 20 certification bodies, the company is covering all bases to ensure greenwashing and a lack of transparency becomes a thing of the past. 

Dan Viederman, Partner of Working Capital Innovation Fund, said: “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.”

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

Christian Tarp, Partner & CIO of Nordic Eye, added: “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.”