3 min read
Start-up bets on blockchain to disrupt global energy commodities market
Launched in January 2018, VAKT is an independent company formed by nine major names including energy giants Shell, BP, Equinor, Mercuria and banks ABN Amro, ING and Société Générale. It has since expanded its shareholder base to include Total, Chevron, and Reliance.
VAKT’s blockchain solution is digitising post-trade processing – everything that happens after a physical commodity trade is agreed. It’s one of the world’s first enterprise blockchain platforms to be in production.
The link in the chain
As VAKT’s strategic ecosystem partner, we have supported the start-up from formation through an accelerated scaling phase, to product launch and beyond.
Deloitte Ventures’ Blockchain Studio pulled together expertise from across several areas of the firm, including Risk Advisory, Tax and Consulting. The challenge? To help VAKT tackle everything from product strategy to customer onboarding, creating market interest before launch, advising on the regulatory environment and helping a new company with no employees to build teams from scratch.
Our cyber security specialists also tried their best to break the platform before it went live – thankfully, without any luck. Their security report was made available to increase customer confidence.
UK Blockchain Lead Tyler Welmans said, “It was a challenge bringing together a cross-business line team and we had to keep pace with a start-up that needed to move at 150 miles an hour. But doing that meant we were able to help launch something that has the potential to be extremely powerful in the future.”
A joint UK and US team also supported key members joining the consortium, putting our connections with VAKT and detailed knowledge of the platform to good use through the implementation and onboarding process.
Shaking things up
The blockchain platform went live in its first market in November 2018. By managing energy transactions on a distributed ledger that no single party controls, companies can transact in a more secure, standardised and efficient way. It also signals the end of paper-heavy processes and the discrepancies they inevitably create.
VAKT and its pioneering tech are grabbing global headlines and shaking up a trillion-dollar market. This success is also shining a light on what Deloitte can do to get large-scale consortium ventures off the ground.
“If you have a group of clients who want to do something but don’t know the right route, we have access to every capability you might need, as well as the experience. Very few companies can turn ideas into reality at this scale” continued Tyler. “It is rare to be given the opportunity to work alongside a consortium of leading global companies to bring breakthrough innovation to an industry of this size and scale.”
VAKT’s Head Business Development, Lyon Hardgrave continued, “Deloitte was instrumental in bringing us to this place. Each new customer we are adding benefits from Deloitte’s insights, and our success validates Deloitte’s faith in the shared ledger model.”