5 Minutes With: Dominic von Trotha Taylor, CEO iov42

By Sean Ashcroft
Blockchain tech startup iov42 helped shape the first phase of the EU's blockchain capability, and its innovative tech is also combatting illegal logging

 

Tell us a little about yourself and iov42

At iov42, we help organisations by codifying their processes on our platform, whether that’s a timber supply chain or a bank’s mortgage applications. We then provide proof that their rules are being followed by everyone involved. 

Mine is an unconventional career path. I joined the Royal Navy after school and specialised in submarines. I left aged 29 and completed an MBA. I then spent 21 years at Paypoint, and in 2019 joined iov42. I was inspired by their vision to disrupt the monopolistic corporations that were dominating the space at the time. I felt I could help guide this process, and make the pathway to market more established. 

How is iov42 different from other blockchain startups? 

We created a novel operating platform that overcame the constraints of early blockchain applications. That was very bold and daring. Before iov42 no platform was able to support a wide range of applications for businesses and governments. 

We are pioneering in an area where very few other companies are active. Very few blockchain companies are platform-based businesses. More often they’re driven by individual use-cases, building solutions on existing platforms. So we are definitely coming at this from a challenging perspective, but an ambitious one, too. 

I’m looking forward to getting customers as excited as we are about our platform and what it can do. When that happens, we’ll have the opportunity to scale a compelling offering for a number of organisations around the world. 

What’s it like being a Covid startup?

The Covid crisis did pile-on extra challenges on top of the ones a startup can expect to face, but fortunately our sector has not been as challenged as many others, because one thing the pandemic has done is to show that digitisation of the workplace not only works, but is necessary. 

Businesses are looking to radicalise analogue solutions in favour of faster, more effective, more efficient digital solutions. They are also seeking solutions that are ready to deploy at an operational level, which pretty much describes our platform-based approach. 

What’s the biggest challenge you face? 

Every startup is challenging, because you start with nothing and have to create something really incredible. At iov42, we need to make sure the team stays focused and energised, so we can get the reputation of the platform out there, pursue work with new customers and partners, and continue striving for further growth. 

Working on anything exciting?

We were chosen by the European Commission to help design and develop the first phase of European blockchain capability improvements, beating corporate giants including EY, Vodafone and Deloitte, and were one of just seven companies to secure an EU contract. The EU’s aim is to go beyond what existing blockchain solutions can offer, to improve EBSI (European Blockchain Services Infrastructure).

We’re also working with Timber Chain, a new service to enable stakeholders across timber supply chains to improve efficiency, transparency and security. The sustainability of international timber markets is too often corrupt and fragmented. Data will be stored and secured by our distributed-ledger tech in a way that makes it impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system.

What does 2022 hold for iov42? 

We need to walk before we can run. The first steps will be important, because we need to move in the right direction. Right now we’re working on some important proofs of concept to build trust in our platform and what it can deliver. I’d then like to see us generate early-stage revenues from customers who are beginning to use the platform more widely. This will be key to scaling iov42.

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