Business 18 January 2019

Paul How

UPS invests in blockchain e-commerce startup

Logistics giant United Parcel Service (UPS) has acquired a stake in blockchain-powered e-commerce platform Inxeption Corporation.

According to a press release, the investment is in order to “create innovative new e-commerce solutions for B2B [business-to-business] sellers and buyers.”

Inxeption’s Zippy product uses blockchain for hosting online merchants’ websites, complete with checkout processes, shipping, analytics, and allowing the retention of the ownership of customer data without a third party.

It was not announced how large an investment UPS has made in the San Francisco-based startup, or for how much.

Inxeption was founded by CEO Farzad Dibachi, Mark Moore, and Terry Garnett, who had previously worked in Oracle.

Of the investment, Dibachi said, “This partnership represents the future of commerce. Business customers need secure platforms that protect their customer data and proprietary information, while making it easy for them to interact and even collaborate more effectively with their customers.”

The press release said UPS will work with Inxeption in the development of new solutions to be brought to market.

UPS Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Warren said, “Inxeption’s technology is attractive to UPS because it helps unlock new efficiencies for customers using B2B e-commerce platforms. UPS creates alliances and partnerships to gain market knowledge and position the company as the shipper of choice in ecommerce.”

This is not UPS’ first foray into blockchain. Last February, it applied for a patent to use blockchain in the routing of packages for international shipments. The patented system would also allow for the writing of smart contracts within the supply chain.

DHL, together with professional services company Accenture, has studied the use of blockchain for the logistics industry, based on a working prototype tracking pharmaceuticals, finding much potential in the technology for eliminating waste and fraud, while reducing costs. DHL has already partnered with blockchain-based trading platform TradeIX in a receivable finance program where financing was provided by Standard Chartered Bank and insurance by AIG.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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