Teaser of the company
Xylene works with companies in the coffee, cocoa, timber, minerals and cotton industries that act as importers and producers, giving them transparency and control over their supply chain. This innovative approach combines supply chain management with satellite technology (SatNav and SatEO) and blockchain to create supply chain transparency.
This is achieved through supply chain visualisation and offers central companies an overview of where suppliers are located and where material is sourced from and allows for decisions based on risk assessment. Furthermore, physical products are labelled and tracked along the supply chain from the source to the consumer through our mobile application. Information connected to the product is passed between stakeholders and its authenticity is validated through satellite data and blockchain. Creating added value by being able to connect the journey of a product to the point of sale. The consumer will also be able to connect to the origin of the product, support sustainable projects, balance its carbon footprint and/or recycle the raw materials present in its product at the end of its life.
Xylene has developed the following blockchain-based prototype in the scope of BlockStart:
Sustainability and transparency project for raw materials
Xylene is creating a transparent supply chain for SME adopters where essential steps of the material journey are tracked to deliver the best possible product to consumers. With the development, consumers will have the opportunity to experience the origin of the products themselves and connect to the community to interact with farmers in the country of origin. As part of the prototyping stage, the company significantly developed its traceability app and tested it with SME adopters in the field. This helped them to validate the user experience and begin with software development to achieve the successful pilot testing with real products.
Xylene’s solution works in three steps:
- Supply Chain Mapping & Risk Assessment through a web dashboard: visualising the supply chain offers central companies not only an overview of where suppliers are located and where material is sourced from, it also allows for decisions based on risk assessment.
- Product Flow Tracking through the mobile application: physical products are labelled and tracked along the supply chain from the source to the consumer. Information is connected to the product; it is passed between stakeholders using blockchain and its authenticity is validated through satellite data.
- Customer Engagement on the final product: being able to connect the journey of a product to the point of sales leads to added value of the final product. The consumer will also be able to connect to the origin of the product, support sustainable projects, balance its carbon footprint and/or recycle the raw materials present in its product at the end of its life.
Technical development during Prototype stage
For the prototyping phase of BlockStart Xylene set technical milestones around the product development by giving priority to the mobile application and the data layer component to enable traceability of product flows at SME adopters. For this it was critical to get a detailed understanding of the current structure of the supply chain at its SME adopter and the target which shall be achieved with the final implementation. Based on this, the development of the user experience was performed. As the mobile application is used by suppliers of SME adopters the user experience had to be intuitive and perform without disrupting current processes.
The early interaction of potential adopters, through short iterative testing cycles, was decisive in the successful development of both UX and UI for the mobile app.
In parallel, Xylene began the development of the backend structure including the blockchain. For this a simulation was created which stores transaction on a permissioned blockchain. User-friendliness and data privacy were key factors defining and measuring the success of this milestone.
Next steps in the development are the web dashboard and the fine tuning and integration of the blockchain layer in the final product. Furthermore, Xylene will continue conducting multiple pilot projects in order to collect more user requirements and most importantly identify features common to different targeted markets. Based on these requirements a standard scalable product ready for market uptake is planned to be achieved in the next 12 months.
Business development during Prototype stage
During the prototype phase of BlockStart business development efforts were mainly targeted towards strengthening the business and market strategy and creating an investment pipeline with a strong pitch.
Xylene created an in-depth competitive analysis and started initial efforts at developing a pricing strategy for the final SaaS product.
Together with the support of their mentor, the company performed a market positioning and began concentrated sales activities. During the prototype period it presented the pilot project to several potential customers in virtual meetings and managed to sign a pilot customer in the coffee industry, with two further SME’s interested and signing commitment letters. During these customer presentations, Xylene used the opportunity to validate its market fit and get a strong feedback on the need of its customers.
As the company is targeting pre-seed investment, it has been very active pitching its startup to angel investors. Investment will enable them to hire additional team members for software development and sales to accelerate the development of the pilot projects.
Meet the Team
Top-10 Startup of 2020 at the ESA Startup Competition
Top-30 Startup of 2019 at the MyGalileoApp Challenge
Incubation at the ESA Business Incubation Centre Hessen & Baden Württemberg during 2019
The BlockStart programme has been a great experience for us as a startup. The management has been very professional, and the organisation and communication has been very open and upfront. The prototype phase has given us the opportunity to develop our product and service in a customer-centric way while offering us expert support and guidance in the journey. From setting the targets for development and realisation to coordinating the approach for customer tests and investor pitches the mentoring has been at the highest level and with great enthusiasm. The virtual presentation and selection events have been engaging even though no personal meetings were possible. Overall, the prototype phase was a success for us, and we would recommend BlockStart to any Blockchain developer startup.
Total funding received under BlockStart: €16,000 (€1,000 for Ideation Kick-off and €15,000 for Prototype stage)