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Swedish TrusTrace empower global brands to take control and create more sustainable supply chains

Swedish-Indian startup TrusTrace offers a digital platform that enables fashion brands to track products and ensure compliance throughout their supply chain. For its innovative and impressive solution, TrusTrace won the 2023 spring edition of Lighthouse MASSIV, Mastercard’s partnership program that supports social impact tech startups that have great potential to contribute to tackling and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

TrusTrace gained valuable contacts from Lighthouse MASSIV
TrusTrace was founded in 2016 by four co-founders, when an idea emerged in light of the severe environmental changes taking place in India. The co-founders recognized that much of the destruction, such as deforestation, forest fires, polluted water and dumping of clothes and waste, originated, and was a consequence of actions taking place, in Western countries.

– We compared the situation in Sweden, where nature is well taken care of, and wondered why we care about what our backyard looks like, but not what happens further away, says Shameek Ghosh, co-founder and CEO of TrusTrace.

Next steps for TrusTrace – US expansion and continued relationship with Mastercard

TrusTrace currently works with over 50 global fashion companies and tracks products worth approximately USD 2.5 Bn (SEK 26 billion) every month. The platform is global and today, the company has over 120 employees. TrusTrace has worked with companies like Adidas, Brooks, Asics, Tapestry, Kappahl, Filippa K, Houdini and Fjällräven.

The future looks bright for TrusTrace, which has ambitious plans to further expand its presence in the US with a solution specifically developed for the country. Over the past 12 months, the company has secured several contracts in the US. The workforce is expected to grow to 160 employees in the coming year. In addition, the company is in the planning phase for a new funding round.

Recently, TrusTrace also launched “The Traceability Roadmap”, a practical guide on how companies can implement traceability in their supply chain. The guide combines theory with case studies and interviews and offers useful tools to support companies in their work with traceability.

– I believe that in the coming years, more companies will accept that traceability is a critical part of their business, and we want to be the dominant player in this area, says Shameek Ghosh.

TrusTrace keeps in contact with Mastercard and the Lighthouse team on a regular basis, updating them on new projects and plans.

– We see Mastercard as a source of credibility that we will utilize in the future, especially as we expand in the US, concludes Shameek Ghosh.

Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV opened new doors
TrusTrace applied to Lighthouse MASSIV for two reasons. Firstly, they saw a unique opportunity to put their platform and the data they collect into use. Secondly, they saw the program as an opportunity to, by partnering with a global company like Mastercard, strengthen the company’s credibility and benefit from the broad knowledge provided by the experts in the program.

Besides being a partnership program, Lighthouse MASSIV is also a multi-stage competition. In the first stage, five selected companies meet with Mastercard’s advisory board, consisting of business leaders and external relations experts from around the world. At this stage, the focus is on identifying new partnerships and collaborations. Each new partnership undergoes a quality assurance process by legal, design and technical experts before the results are reported back to the advisory board. The program winner will be the company that demonstrates the potential to impact the most people via partnership.

– The best part of the program was that it helped us connect with the right mentors and enter new industries, says Shameek Ghosh

This is Mastercard Lighthouse

In 2018, Mastercard introduced the Lighthouse partnership program with the aim of scaling innovative startups to strengthen and future-proof the financial ecosystem in the Nordics and Baltics. The program is conducted twice a year, in spring and fall. Since the first edition, Lighthouse has enabled and promoted over 1500 partnership meetings.

In spring 2020, Lighthouse was split into two separate initiatives: MASSIV and FINITIV. MASSIV focuses on supporting social impact startups with the potential to make a real difference, and that has the ambition to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG). FINITIV targets fintech startups.

– The tech and startup industry has faced enormous challenges. Programs that enable innovative companies to establish partnerships, find investment and scale are therefore more important than ever. Partnerships are needed to promote innovation in Sweden and the Nordic region, and to continue building the sustainable companies of the future,
says Mats Taraldsson, Head of Innovation, Fintech and Impact-tech Engagement at Mastercard Nordic & Baltic.

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