BanQu Raises Series A Extension Round From ZX Ventures/AB InBev To Continue Its Geographic Expansion and Product Development In The Supply Chain Transparency & Traceability Space For Global Brands
Minneapolis, MN – June 6, 2019 – BanQu Inc. deepens its partnership with leading global brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev through an investment deal with ZX Ventures, the company’s global growth and innovation group. Launched in 2015, ZX Ventures’ mandate is to develop new products and businesses that address commercial and consumer needs, including end-to-end supply chain transparency, traceability, and efficiency in emerging markets.
BanQu has developed the world’s first and only non-cryptocurrency blockchain platform to help lift people out of extreme poverty by connecting them to the global supply chains that they participate in, and the brands, organizations, and governments that power them. ZX Ventures’ funding will propel BanQu’s growth into new markets.
“After BanQu’s outstanding pilot performance in our 100+ Accelerator, we are pleased to solidify the partnership with Ashish, Jeff and the entire team at BanQu through an equity investment. Together, we are working to improve access to modern banking for thousands of farmers in underserved rural markets, driving inclusive growth and contributing to our own 2025 Sustainability Goal as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” said Tony Milikin, Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer at AB InBev.
The funding secures BanQu’s fast-growing geographic presence in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with operations now live across 12 countries including Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Somalia, South Africa, Syria, Uganda, United States, and Zambia. Additional rollouts in China and Mexico are slated for later this year by the for-profit/for-purpose blockchain company.
“ABInBev has been an incredible partner to BanQu over the past year, and together we have innovated and scaled the BanQu platform across multiple countries and thousands of farmers. Farmers at the world’s “last mile,” traditionally excluded from the global economy and lacking a verifiable economic identity, are now visible, financially empowered, and connected in the global supply chain of AB InBev. The ZX investment takes this partnership to a whole new level of commitment on both sides. It cements our core shared vision of making the world a better place while being good business stewards,” said BanQu Co-Founder and CEO Ashish Gadnis.
The partnership with AB InBev was first announced in August 2018 after BanQu launched a successful pilot project in Zambia, benefiting over 2,000 of the region’s small-holder cassava farmers. Successive roll outs in Uganda and India have since ensued, making Brazil the fourth market where BanQu will assist AB InBev in reaching the global brewer’s 2025 sustainability goals.
“Over the last year, we have implemented the BanQu platform with over 4,000 of our direct farmers in Zambia, Uganda and India. Through this work, we are helping to create a digital ledger of farmers’ transactions that will create an economic identity and enable access to financial services. This will ultimately allow farmers to grow their business and improve the livelihoods of their families and communities,” said Maisie Devine, Global Director for the 100+ Accelerator at AB InBev.
The deal opens up new opportunities for BanQu to do business with FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies looking to build profit and purpose across their supply chains while ensuring UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are measured along the way. BanQu is now integrated with banks and mobile money providers like MTN and Airtel to start reducing cash risk at the last mile. The company aims to further expand its popular “track and trace” feature to AB InBev’s recycling, crop insurance, and labor-related enhancements in an effort to build micro-retailer eco-systems and true circular economies.
To date, BanQu Inc. has impacted over 200,000 “last mile” beneficiaries. The company aims to help lift 100-million people out of extreme poverty by 2023 through its unique blockchain platform.
About BanQu BanQu is a groundbreaking for-profit / for-purpose blockchain-as-a-service software company solving the toughest global problem – Extreme Poverty.
As the world’s first and only non-cryptocurrency blockchain platform, we help lift people out of extreme poverty by connecting them to the global supply chains they participate in, and the brands, organizations, and governments that power them.
About AB InBev Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with secondary listings on the Mexico (MEXBOL: ANB) and South Africa (JSE: ANH) stock exchanges and with American Depositary Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD). Our Dream is to bring people together for a better world. Beer, the original social network, has been bringing people together for thousands of years. We are committed to building great brands that stand the test of time and to brewing the best beers using the finest natural ingredients. Our diverse portfolio of well over 500 beer brands includes global brands Budweiser®, Corona® and Stella Artois®; multi-country brands Beck’s®, Castle®, Castle Lite®, Hoegaarden® and Leffe®; and local champions such as Aguila®, Antarctica®, Bud Light®, Brahma®, Cass®, Cristal®, Harbin®, Jupiler®, Michelob Ultra®, Modelo Especial®,Quilmes®, Victoria®, Sedrin®, and Skol®. Our brewing heritage dates back more than 600 years, spanning continents and generations. From our European roots at the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium. To the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery in St. Louis, US. To the creation of the Castle Brewery in South Africa during the Johannesburg gold rush. To Bohemia, the first brewery in Brazil. Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, we leverage the collective strengths of approximately 175,000 employees based in nearly 50 countries worldwide. For 2018, AB InBev’s reported revenue was 54.6 billion USD (excluding JVs and associates).
About ZX Ventures Established in 2015, ZX Ventures is the global growth and innovation group within Anheuser-Busch InBev. Headquartered in New York City, ZX Ventures invests in and develops new products and businesses that meet emerging consumer needs.