John Merakovsky, former CEO of FlyBuys, is one of three tech heavyweights to join Orijin Plus, the food supply chain integrity and loyalty solution.
Melbourne-based Merakovsky is the new chairman of the board of Orijin Plus, bringing a quarter-century of digital technology and commercialization experience to the team.
Most recently, he implemented an overhaul of the digital infrastructure for the Flybuys platform, previously serving as CEO of ASX-listed Integrated Research and global information services company Experian.
He said he was excited about the opportunity Orijin Plus offered to Australian brands looking to directly interact with, sell to and reward customers in export markets.
“Orijin Plus is unique in that it is the only platform I have seen globally that provides brands with a complete ecosystem to securely reach, connect and retain end users, while distributing through traditional retail channels,” he said.
“To date, manufacturers typically have no visibility into the paths their products take through the export supply chain and certainly have not had a way to effectively understand consumer behavior. The utility of blockchain product authenticity combined with product and brand loyalty rewards is a true retail innovation, which is why I wanted to join Orijin Plus.”
Adding to that board experience is Kai Klippel, one of the driving forces behind German loyalty giant Payback, and former CEO for international markets.
Meanwhile, the company has named Nathan Baxter, one of the founders of Airbnb’s site reliability engineering team, its chief technology officer.
Baxter brings more than 15 years of startup experience to Orijin Plus as both founder and CTO, including seven years at Airbnb from 2012, where the technical team grew from 30 to 1500.
The appointments come after FMCG and food and beverage industry entrepreneur Scott Mendelsohn and strategic PR and communications consultant and Australian agri-food attorney Danica Bunch joined the Orijin Plus team last month.
The Origin Story of Orijn
Orijin Plus was co-founded by brothers James and Rhys Williamson, who developed it to support the export of their Latitude 28 beef brand to China.
The platform uses blockchain technology to trace a product’s journey through its entire supply chain to store shelves and then to final consumption. Consumers are also encouraged to contribute to that story and close the blockchain when opening a product thanks to an associated loyalty program, where they earn points for a range of exclusive rewards.
James Williamson said the success of Orijin Plus in China was the catalyst to open it up to other brands and launch new export markets.
With that growth, he added that hiring a new chairman, board member and CTO are important milestones as the company ramps up its multi-brand and product ecosystem before going live in Singapore later this year.
“John, Kai and Nathan bring significant combined expertise and firepower to Orijin Plus as we empower participants in our premium brand ecosystem before launching in Singapore and then identifying and targeting other key markets around the world,” he said.
“Our high-performance team – with broad international experience – will be laser-focused on building and maintaining a unique, targeted and competitive advantage for quality Australian food and beverage brands looking to connect with discerning consumers around the world.”
James Williamson joined us on the Startup Daily show to discuss his company’s engagements, story and plans, and how they are using blockchain to build customer loyalty and increase sales for the companies they work with.
Click below to watch the interview:
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