Veratrak, a London-based startup that aims to digitise the pharmaceutical supply chain, has picked up £1 million in seed funding. Leading the round is Force Over Mass, with participation from Seedcamp, Ascension Ventures, Blockchain Valley Ventures and TrueSight Ventures.
A number of individual investors have also backed the young company. They include ex-head of Corporate Strategy for Microsoft, Charlie Songhurst, current EVP of Operations at Vectura Group and previous vice president of Global Supply Chain at Baxter, Tony Fitzpatrick and Antonin de Fougerolles, CEO of Evox Therapeutics.
Launched in August 2018, Veratrak offers a “document collaboration and workflow management platform” targeting the pharmaceutical industry. The SaaS enables organisations to on-board both internal and external partners to verify, authenticate, review and sign-off on “critical documentation” related to various stages of the supply chain. These span the production, packaging, shipping and dispensing of medicine.
Specifically, users can communicate seamlessly with supply chain partners at different organisations, and chronologically execute the steps required to release a product to market.
Noteworthy is that the Veratrak platform is using blockchain technology to create what it calls an “iron-clad audit trail” of all document events, and in doing so claims to reduce the regulatory burden on Veratrak customers.
The overall result, claims Veratrak, is increased visibility for supply chain partners, and the ability to better react and adjust to events — which ultimately leads to better care for patients.
“There are a variety of cloud-based document management services operating in other industries; however, they are not regulatory compliant for the pharmaceutical industry,” says Veratrak co-founder and CEO Jason Lacombe.
“From the inception of Veratrak, we have built our software to be GAMP 5 compliant, to the highest security and quality standards, and have worked alongside users at pharmaceutical and life sciences companies to test our solution and provide feedback on what we are building.”
Meanwhile, Lacombe says the focus of blockchain companies to date has been on “serialisation” and getting companies ready to meet the European and U.S.’s track and trace regulations. “We chose to enter the market via the document sharing use-case, and not the serialisation use-case, because the serialisation space is already crowded with blockchain,” he adds.
A classic SaaS play, Veratrak charges customers a monthly per-head license fee. The pricing is volume-based depending on the number of licenses that an organisation purchases.
“We also offer all our paying customers free guest licenses to invite on their external partners to collaborate on document workflows,” explains Lacombe. “This creates some significant network effects and virality. We have seen this work well with other companies like DocuSign that invite collaborators via email to sign documents.”