Alibaba and Kodak backed startup, eApeiron,whose name comes from the Greek word for everlasting ,offers imperceptible and digitally traceable markers for brands to ensure authenticity of their products. The mark, which cannot be removed, is not visible with either UV or visible light to safeguard against counterfeiting. eApeiron is a global provider of innovative brand protection solutions. Counterfeiting is a problem for brand owners and requires a comprehensive solution, including the application of an end-to-end set of brand protection strategies and tactics. Other products provided by eApeiron include tagging systems with exclusive signature profiles for tracking products throughout the supply chain.
The new company, eApeiron, which was launched last month is targeting e-commerce.Globally, fake and pirated products accounted for almost half-trillion dollars in 2013, according to a report this year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, with 84 percent of seized goods originating in China and Hong Kong. Besides losses and brand erosion for companies, counterfeiting can result in lost tax revenue for governments and it discourages innovation.
It has been estimated that as much as USD 63 billion per year in revenue is lost to gray market diversion in the U.S. Within the IT industry alone, nearly USD 5 billion in profits is lost to gray market activity each year. The problem is more prevalent in other countries, potentially costing hundreds of billions of dollars per year in lost revenue to thousands of companies worldwide. Considering that manufacturers are losing so much to Product Diversion, it is no wonder that companies are now taking a hard look at their Brand Protection Strategies to combat this ever increasing problem.
“Everyone knows this is a problem,” said Kodak Chief Executive Officer Jeff Clarke, who cited the complex supply chains at many companies. “If you’re in charge of brand protection or you’re a security officer of a major brand, this means you’ve got a new tool.”
Miami-based eApeiron, which has it’s branches at New York,Shanghai and San Francisco, will locate its research, manufacturing and engineering operations within Kodak’s business park in Rochester, New York. Some research will also occur in labs in Shanghai and Tel Aviv. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Chinese e-commerce giant, is an investor and President Michael Evans will sit on eApeiron’s board along with Clarke, according to the company’s website.