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Fakes, beware of this new app

sandhya@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 17, 2019 | Last updated on October 17, 2019 at 09.35 am
new app, blockchain, technology

(KT file)

The app offers patented blockchain based platform that combines different technologies in a unique way.

What started as an endeavour to help identify counterfeit/expired medicines, has evolved into a very simple, yet effective system capable of verification and tracking of everything.

The Verify App - started in 2018 - distinguishes authentic versus fake products and now has evolved into comprehensive platform with track and trace, marketing, analytics and reporting capabilities.

Rehan Hassan, CEO, The Verify App, said: "The app offers patented blockchain based platform that combines different technologies in a unique way. We realise that technology has already disrupted many industries, so why not use it against the counterfeit industry at large? By taking existing solutions combining them and then making them simple enough to use either personally or industrially with just smartphones was the challenge. It's the simplicity of our blockchain encrypted solution that makes us different."

Hassan shared 1 child dies every 5 minutes because of fake (expired or substandard) medicine in Sub Saharan Africa alone. "It's not that they didn't have access or money for the medicine. they had obviously saved and spent what little money they had. It's just that their parents (and quite often even the medical professionals) couldn't tell the difference between what is genuine and what is fake. I felt that by using technology we must be able to protect innocent lives."

So far the startup has raised only seed and development capital from its principal shareholder and plan to raise in range of $3 million to $5 million to help develop sales channels and the startup's presence. "It was my way of giving something back to society and after a successful exit on an earlier business, I felt it would be nice to invest in something truly meaningful. We had no idea that this is something that could snowball to have so many other uses, from tracking documents, authenticity or even for governmental applications like customs. Our solution is just so simple, yet effective and secure that it's uses are virtually unlimited just as a anti-counterfeit tool, however when we add to that the way we can measure, store and track movement of products, locations, times the solution could become truly disruptive. Also from a tracking perspective As we discovered this, it just made sense to focus on building the solution until it was ready and I decided to fund this personally until the solution was ready to go live."

Hassan is a tech investor/entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in telecoms and has held a number of senior management roles worldwide He founded Towershare and after a successful exit of that business, founded SRH Inc as a private investment company with interests in technology and infrastructure.

"From commercial perspective, Verify App ticks all the boxes when it comes to counterfeit control. It empowers consumers by utilising their smart phone to authenticate purchases and instantly report the retailers who stock fakes/substandard/expired products. Manufacturers can maintain product visibility beyond their warehouses and watch out for unwanted product diversion. Governments can use long distance readers to inspect large number of products quickly and efficiently. The app has the ability to display AI powered product features and promotional videos/usage tutorials when a product is authenticated. Verify App offers brands the ability to establish a unique consumer connect via communication medium which is credible and efficient at low incremental costs. A strong response to our 3in1 solution in GCC has strengthened our resolve to fight the criminal organisations involved in the counterfeit business," said Danish Jamil, Manager Strategy and Finance The Verify APP.

The startup was recently accepted by Dubai- based Gulf Brands Owners Protection Group to look at how technology may be used to solve some of their issues. "We hope to have access to and work closely with brands, IP owners, and law enforcement agencies to roll out our platform on a large scale throughout the GCC. The UAE, and Dubai in particular, is one of the most active places when it comes to anti-counterfeit action and embracing new technologies and initiatives. The government takes consumer health and safety very seriously because of which hundreds of millions of dirhams worth of unsafe and illegal items are confiscated every year. Whilst we are in talks with a small number of businesses already, we hope to find the right partners that can help us scale and go to mass markets in the most effective way," added Hassan.

E-commerce platforms are contributing towards proliferation of beauty and fashion accessories around the globe. Ezeenah, a beauty e-commerce store based out of Dubai, UAE partnered with The Verify App, to implement smart chips into products to ensure product authenticity and fight against online counterfeiters. "We do our best to educate consumers on the quality products out there, but unfortunately, they still get duped by unscrupulous operators into buying dangerous, fake and cheap cosmetic products", said Zareen Shah, founder of Ezeenah.

Shah adds: "Consumers can use their smartphones to verify the authenticity of all products bought through Ezeenah. All they have to do is to download The Verify App (available for free on iOS and Android app stores) and scan the product for half a second. The scan will display a picture of the product along with product details. The Verify App also acts as a communication channel by which experts at Ezeenah will be able to inform consumers about product tutorials, informative videos and upcoming promotions whenever they scan a product. By Ezeenah implmenting The Verify App's blockchain based anti-counterfeiting platform, customers can shop with the confidence that the products they have purchased are authentic.

"We not only want to empower our customers and make sure they know that we only stock authentic and certifiable products from the highest quality brands around the world but also take our consumer engagement to a whole new level. As a result, consumer smartphones are utilised to protect and police against counterfeiters and fake manufacturers, " said Shah.

- sandhya@khaleejtimes.com

author

Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.


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