To keep an eye on counterfeits this startup’s SaaS solution is a guarantee of authenticity for brands.

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Established in 2018, Ennoventure tackles the issue of counterfeiting across industries by providing an in-depth, non-disruptive approach to verifying the authenticity of products.

In the past few years, demand for contactless payments as well as other payment methods that are digital in India has increased dramatically. While the adoption of digital payments is beneficial but it also has attracted criminals who place consumers at risk of purchasing counterfeit products that are difficult to identify.

The estimated annual loss due to the counterfeiting of goods in India across all sectors like FMCG currency notes, pharmaceuticals alcohol, automobiles and other products is estimated at about Rs 1 crore as per the report of the Association of Authentication Solution Providers Association.

Recent advancements in machine learning and computer vision have also made it simpler to duplicate packaging designs for products and require solutions to stop counterfeiting. However, a lot need a massive process overhaul that requires additional capex investment.

In the last few years, demand for contactless payment and other methods of digital payment in India has been growing rapidly. While digital payments have their advantages, it has also brought in fraudsters, who can put customers at risk of purchasing counterfeit items, that are difficult to recognize.

“The market is overflowing with solutions using stickers that do not provide transparency and reliability. To fight the issue of counterfeiting, all businesses in every industry sector must utilize modern technology that offers assurance, transparency and trust to their customers,” says Padmakumar Nair Co-founder and CEO of, Ennoventure in a chat with YourStory..

To address counterfeiting concerns To combat counterfeiting issues, college classmates Padmakumar Nair and Shalini Nair created SaaS business Ennoventure Inc,which provides brand authenticity and engagement across all industries that include FMCGs, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, as well as high-end products.

In 2018, the company was founded. Ennoventure tackles counterfeiting concerns using a non-disruptive approach to checking authenticity of the product without the need to alter the existing design of the package and printing procedure.

“Our anti-counterfeit product incorporates a cryptographic invisible signature to the packaging and makes use of AI as well as cryptography in order to provide authenticating and a seamless packaging experience using phones,” he adds.

Inception

While at MIT, Padmakumar learned that every two minutes, a child from Africa suffers from malaria–an uncurable disease that can be treated with counterfeit malaria drugs. This was the reason to him to consider the best ways to stop counterfeit drugs from coming into use.

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In the first quarter of 2017, Shalini was running a product-based company working with business intelligence, analytics, and business data when Padmakumar who was her fellow student at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, Kottayam, approached her to create Ennoventure. In August 2018 she filed two US patent applications. One was approved in November of the same year, the other in February, 2019.

The company’s founders created Ennoventure’s solution specifically to focus on securing the authenticity of brands by securing packaging and design of businesses, something which can be easily tracked by all those involved in all the supply chain.

The company is headquartered at Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US and with an R&D center located in Bengaluru, Ennoventure has a staff of 69 across sales, operations, product and marketing, as well as HR.

While Padmakumar is in charge of the growth strategy of the startup and vision for the organisation, Shalini leads innovation and strategy.

How do they work?

This company’s SaaS product includes an online platform for brands-for example, Enncrypto and microsites and Vyu application for the user. It is accessible on each of Android or iOS phones The free application is secured by a login and is only accessible to users.

It allows brands to upload their images on the microsite for download, and later print the protected artwork. When the products are made sold on the market, the customer can upload a photograph of the item on the microsite. This certifies that the item is authentic or fake. The startup is certified regarding quality control systems as well as information security management through ISO. International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Padmakumar says “Our product, Enncrypto is developed with a view to our customers’ design packaging, printing, and design procedures. We didn’t want interfere with them, and so, we created a software that will verify whether their goods are authentic, without altering or adding steps to the procedure.”

“We make use of AI as well as cryptography in order to create the cryptographic codes invisibly the packaging, which counterfeiters would not be able access. We also use a variety of algorithms that detect suspicious activity. For instance Deep neural networks detects fake products, and then flags them for investigation, while the blockchain records the ‘e-pedigree’ for the item from the moment the product was manufactured.”

CTO and founder Shalini also adds, “Operating on a SaaS model, Enncrypto is nimble and discreet. While other tracking tools may be apparent, Enncrypto is more reliable since it’s hard to detect.

“This solution is extremely economical, and its flexibility allows it to be used within less than 48 hours on various packaging styles. Everyone who is involved in distribution, from the logistics team to the manufacturer can examine the product and determine its authenticity, even the final buyer. Our technology also provides education because it contains information about the product including its the composition, dates of manufacture, adverse consequences, and so on,” she says.

The business model and the attraction

Ennoventure mostly operates on B2B models, working with brand managers and product directors who wish to ensure that their products are authentic and packaging. Even though these tie-ups are its sole source of income however, the company hasn’t released information about its revenues.

“We also focus on packaging heads because they are interested in authenticity and the brand’s reputation for engagement. We combine both (brand authenticity with engagement) to deliver authentic experience,” says Padmakumar.

The company is currently working with five unidentified companies across different sectors.

Future funding and how to proceed

In April of 2018, Ennoventure raised $500,000 in an initial round of seed capital, then a Series A round worth $5 million in 2021 , from Fenice Investment Group, USA. The company also raised $500,000 via the bridge round that took place between.

Regarding the future plans of the startup, Padmakumar says,

“We constantly expand the range of products we offer and the geographical areas that we serve. We are focusing on item level fingerprinting and expanding to encryption of products. The main focus of the R&D as well as technology team is recycling and sustainability and we have already developed solutions for the reduction of carbon footprint.”

Ennoventure’s recycling strategies include electronic leaflets in place of printed instruction books.

It is currently operating across it’s operations across the US, Europe, India, Africa, and the Middle East regions, and plans to expand to Africa, the Asia-Pacific as well as Africa.

According to a new McKinsey Global Institute analysis, counterfeiting in a dozen technologies–ranging from mobile internet to cloud computing and advanced genomics–could have a combined economic impact of $550 billion to $1 trillion per year by 2025. International studies cite the global anti-counterfeiting market is $150-200 billion in size.

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