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Startup Daily TV: FlyBuys boss John Merakovsky brings brand loyalty power to supply chain integrity startup Orijin Plus as its new chair

- August 26, 2022 3 MIN READ
Orijin Plus cofounders James and Rhys Williamson. Photo: Andrew Pritchard
Former FlyBuys CEO John Merakovsky is one of three tech heavyweights to join the food supply chain integrity and loyalty solution Orijin Plus. 

Melbourne-based Merakovsky is the new chair of the Orijin Plus board, bringing a quarter century of digital technology and commercialisation experience to the team. 

Most recently, he implemented a digital infrastructure overhaul for the Flybuys platform and was previously CEO of ASX-listed Integrated Research and global information services company Experian. 

He said he was excited by the opportunity Orijin Plus presented to Australian brands looking to directly connect with, market to and reward customers in export markets. 

“Orijin Plus is unique in being the only platform I’ve seen globally that offers brands a complete ecosystem to securely reach, connect with and maintain loyalty among end consumers whilst distributing through traditional retail channels,” he said. 

“To date, manufacturers have typically lacked visibility of the paths their products take through the export supply chain and certainly have had no way to effectively understand consumer behaviour. The utility of blockchain product authenticity combined with rewards for product and brand loyalty is a true retail innovation, and that is why I wanted to join Orijin Plus.” 

Adding to that board experience is Kai Klippel, one of the driving forces behind the German loyalty giant Payback,  and a former CEO for international markets. 

Meanwhile, the business has appointed a founding member of Airbnb’s site reliability engineering team, Nathan Baxter, to the role of Chief Technology Officer. 

Baxter brings more than 15 years of experience in startups to Orijin Plus as both a founder and CTO, including seven years at Airbnb from 2012, where the technical team grew from 30 to 1500.

The appointments come after FMCG and food and beverage industry entrepreneur Scott Mendelsohn and strategic PR and communications advisor and Australian agri-food advocate Danica Bunch joined the Orijin Plus team last month. 

Orijin’s origin story

Orijin Plus was cofounded by brothers James and Rhys Williamson, who developed it to support exports of their Latitude 28 beef brand to China. 

The platform uses blockchain technology to help trace a product’s journey through the entire supply chain to retail shelves and then right through to final consumption. Consumers are also encouraged to contribute to that story and close the blockchain when opening a product thanks to an associated loyalty program, where they earn points towards a range of exclusive rewards. 

James Williamson said the success of Orijin Plus in China was the catalyst to open it to other brands and launch into new export markets. 

With that growth, he added that signing up a new chair, board member and CTO are significant milestones as the business ramps up its multi-brand and product ecosystem ahead of going live in Singapore later this year.

“John, Kai and Nathan bring significant combined expertise and firepower to Orijin Plus as we firm up participants in our premium brand ecosystem ahead of launching into Singapore and then identify and target other key markets around the world,” he said. 

“Our high-performance team – with broad international experience – will be laser focused on building and maintaining a unique, targeted and competitive edge for quality Australian food and beverage brands looking to connect with discerning consumers around the world.” 

James Williamson joined us on the Startup Daily show to discuss the appointments, his company’s story and plans and how their using blockchain to build customer loyalty and increase sales for the companies they work with. 

Click below to watch the interview:

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