29-Oct-2019 - Ark-Biodiversity GmbH

Genomic methods and big-data to contain the illegal animal trade

Ark-Biodiversity and HTGF have completed the first joint financing round

Ark-Biodiversity is the newest foundation of the serial entrepreneur Alexander Olek. The 50-year-old father of four children says: “I don’t believe in the survival of humanity without biodiversity; and I do not believe in the conservation of biodiversity, unless our societies find joint mechanisms to assign financial value to biodiversity and develop business models that benefit from its preservation. Nobody can address all of the causes of global species extinction, but our technology has the potential to address at least one of them.”

“The global illegal trade in protected and endangered species and the products derived from them is gigantic. With the already existing political and legal frameworks of the Washington and Nagoya agreements supporting us, we could effectively prevent illegal trading of endangered species by consistently applying our innovations.”

Ark-Biodiversity’s business plan is based on a patented technology that makes it possible to generate one standardized complex genetic fingerprint from any higher living being. This genetic pattern is so extensive that, not least, the individual identity of any specimen of any species or product made from it, could be recognized and precisely characterized. This technology has the potential to enable government agencies, non-governmental conservationists, and academic research to address paternity, geographic origin, and other breeding-related, ecological, and academic issues that are critical to curbing illegal trade in protected and threatened species.

The global enforcement of a genetic control system for all transactions involving protected organisms requires additional prerequisites: Although genetic information must be comprehensive, it must be compressed enough to make enormous numbers of analyses affordable. In addition, Ark-Biodiversity’s technology has an inherent genetic address system that is valid for all living beings. Hardly any transaction with a protected or threatened species can be checked for its legality today. The universal genetic address system from Ark-Biodiversity, combined with modern data and transaction technologies such as Blockchain, could process billions of annual transactions with any living creature in a forgery-proof manner and thus give the Washington and Nagoya Accords the teeth they lack so far for effective enforcement.

Following its successful proof-of-concept, the company will begin to attract additional partners, pilot customers and investors to its growth strategy. In particular, Ark-Biodiversity will partner with IT-industry partners specializing in mass transaction processing to provide its genetic information to all stakeholders and carry all transaction of CITES and Nagoya regulated organisms, or products derived from them. Ark-Biodiversity invests the funds raised in the investment round in product and market development in preparation for strategic growth financing.

Tobias Faupel, Senior Investment Manager of High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), comments: „Ark-Biodiversity’s business model shows that investing in sustainability can also be economically attractive. We are pleased to leverage high-tech for the protection of species together with an equally courageous and experienced founder team.”

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    Ark-Biodiversity GmbH

    Ark-Biodiversity develops state-of-the-art genomic and information technology methods for the containment of the global illegal trade in protected and endangered organisms. The illegal animal trade is today the fourth largest criminal sector in the world and, together with climate change an ... more

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