Verifact founder reeled in business idea from his days as a commercial fisherman
Frank Fleming’s firm offers food safety and sustainability is software
Founded by: Frank Fleming in 2009
Verifact, a Cork-based software business, is aiming to expand its operations in the US over the next year. The company currently has projects in Ireland, Britain and Spain, as well as a small operation in the US.
“We’re hoping to grow in all of those countries and add more European countries as well. We want to get bigger projects in the US,” said Frank Fleming, founder of Verifact.
The company, which specialises in solutions to support food safety and sustainability, was founded in 2009 and has 12 staff.
“A typical client is a retailer or a brand buying from multiple suppliers. We go into those suppliers and identify data points and gather data in near real time. We use that live information to identify if there’s a problem with a product,” Fleming said.
“We can identify problems early rather than leaving it until the product has gone the full way through the supply chain. That feeds into sustainability, as you can stop the issue early before you’ve distributed the product.”
The information Verifact gathers can be used to carry out risk analysis on suppliers for its clients, enabling those customers to work out where costs could increase due to a higher probability of issues occurring.
The origin of Verifact goes back to Fleming’s own experience observing the supply chain from his prior role as a commercial fisherman.
“I was in consultancy in supply chains from 2009 to 2015, very much focused on the food industry. I could see different problems with certain processes and high risk parts of things. That’s where the idea for Verifact came from, as we use software solutions to put visibility on data that can de-risk the supply chain,” he said.
The business has worked on several projects with the European Space Agency (ESA), including one which helped establish its credentials early on.
“We did one in 2015 on wild-capture seafood, seeking ways to improve safety and sustainability. Then we did a further one in aquaculture in 2019 and we completed another relatively recently focused on the pork industry,” Fleming said.
The business has been supported by Enterprise Ireland since its early days and Fleming said the agency has provided enormous help to Verifact.
“Our plan is to scale up in the food and product safety arenas. Enterprise Ireland has been very good, and we worked a lot with them to get on to the path for the ESA projects,” Fleming said.
“They’ve provided a broad range of support around marketing and learning about new markets. They have also helped with the software development itself.”