VST Enterprises CEO, Louis-James Davis, wins Finance Monthly CEO Award

VST Enterprises is proud to announce that its CEO, Louis-James Davis, has won a Finance Monthly CEO Award. The publication, which focuses on FinTech, finance and business news carefully researches each year to identify the most hard-working, ambitious and forward-thinking CEOs in the corporate world.

Louis-James has said: “I am delighted to be selected as a winner, having seen VST Enterprises soar in the last year. This year, the company has announced a number of strategic partnerships that will harness the power of our scannable code technology, VCode. This year we’ll start to see VCode being used in many different sectors, enhancing security and saving money in areas prone to fraud and counterfeit.”

The company has grown exponentially this year under Louis-James’ leadership. It has recently received significant investment from private sources, with Louis-James retaining 80% of shares in the company. VST Enterprises has recently been valued at £220million.

Finance Monthly’s Editor-in-chief, Mark Palmer commented: “It is imperative for every business striving for success to have a leader whose diligence, innovative thinking and ingenuity inspire their team to demonstrate the same qualities and achieve excellence. We are happy that all of the individuals that are listed within Finance Monthly’s 2017 CEO Awards are corporate leaders who aspire to these qualities and whose enthusiasm and hard work help their companies successfully accomplish their goals.”

Read more about Louis-James’ achievements in the Finance Monthly CEO Awards Winners Edition here.

VST Enterprises is now valued at £220million

Cybersecurity firm VST Enterprises has announced that it will be closing its fourth round of funding, which opened in May 2016. This recent round saw the business secure £11.4million in funding. Subsequently, the valuation of shares has jumped from £225,000 to £2,000,000 per 1%, with a money business valuation of £220million.

Although venture capital investment has not been ruled out in future, the business made the decision not to seek venture capital funding at this time; instead the investment came from a collection of private investors. VSTE’s CEO Louis-James Davis remains the lead shareholder via LJ Holdings & Investments, this route of funding means the CEO maintains autonomy as he and the VSTE team continue forward with a vision that has seen great success to date.

VST Enterprises’ scannable code technology, VCode®, is currently used to verify entitlement to benefits in India, as a method of payment across the UK, and to securely deliver bespoke content with a wave of a mobile handsets. $2bn is set to be saved for the Indian government by implementing the secure fraud prevention system.

Louis-James Davis, CEO of VST Enterprises, says:

“We are extremely pleased with the investment we have received, and the interest in the company that has gone along with this. We received a lot of interest and had to choose investors wisely, ensuring they all had a lot to give the company in addition to the cost of the shares purchased.

VST Enterprises has come a long way in the last year, and the investment we have received will make the business prosper, enabling the founders to realise our vision, using VCode® Technology to solve growing and ever more complex cybersecurity issues such as ID theft and counterfeiting of digital assets across sectors, channels and geographies.

The company now lists 25 shareholders and investment came from various sources, ranging from technology specialists, industry experts and contacts outside of the tech and security industries. Notable investors include Chris Lightbody, the first to invest in VST Enterprises, Humberto de Armas, who made one of the larger investments and Fintech expert Guy Weaver, Director at KPMG.

The investment will be used for talent acquisition and to continue to fulfil some of the impressive global opportunities the business currently has, such as the roll out of VCode® technology to verify entitlement to benefits internationally. Talks to deploy VCode for benefit fraud prevention are under way with officials in India, Africa, Russia, Latin America and Central America. The funding will also continue to cultivate the ‘Virgin’ model approach that VST Enterprises has adopted with forthcoming projects such as the deployment of VApparel® which will be used to enable instant payments for fashion while eliminating counterfeit from the clothing supply chain. Further handpicked joint ventures in key sectors such as Logistics, Art, Broadcasting, Media, Ticketing and Travel are also set to finalise throughout April & May.

Chris Lightbody, a serial entrepreneur himself and the first investor to join this funding round, says:

“When I first met Louis-James, I was instantly impressed with him, his vision and his business. VST Enterprises prides itself on offering infinite possibilities through simple secure, ubiquitous technology. I was proud to offer capital to help the company realise this vision, and to assist them in reaching the right contacts and sectors which is now happening at pace.”

Guy Weaver, a Director at one of the world’s foremost professional services firms and also an investor in VST Enterprises, comments:

“Technology is rapidly evolving, which means global markets are pulsing with innovation, entrepreneurship and investment opportunities. What attracted me to VST Enterprises is the genuine long-term vision to solve a global security problem. VCode® is not a solution looking for a problem, it’s a real antidote with global capabilities across multiple sectors and channels. The possibilities are huge and this excites me, as an investor but also as an advocate.”

Humberto de Armas, a leading investor in VST Enterprises, added:

“Louis-James and the team are what I call “Ethically Brilliant.” They have developed a dynamic technology and have chosen to partner with top tier companies and bring in exceptional talent to take VSTE’s VCode® to market.  Excited to be a participant.”

VST Enterprises launches audience engagement tool VStreams with ZiMovi

VST Enterprises today announces the launch of VStreams®, in a joint venture with ZiMovi, provider of innovative video hosting, communication and marketing platforms.

VStreams® is an interactive customer engagement tool that enables rich content to be sent quickly and easily to a target audience. It also allows viewers to interact easily with recorded video streams. When a viewer scans a VCode® via VStreams®, they will be able to join a conversation, answer a question, and even respond to a channel owner with their own video. Users can scan VCodes® to instantly purchase products, get further information about the brand, product, or personality on screen.

The VCodes® used by VStreams® can either be embedded into video content or scanned with a mobile device such as an Android phone, iPhone or tablet. Using VST Enterprises’ VCode® app, audience members can scan codes on screen to instantly interact with a video, or scan a code on any collateral or merchandise in a text or email to link directly to video content hosted on ZiMovi.

Video on demand is ubiquitous in entertainment, news and marketing content. A study by Cisco[1] estimated that by the end of 2020, video will account for 82% of consumer internet traffic. However, video content is vulnerable to piracy, which presents a persistent and costly threat to the entertainment industry. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has recently estimated that around 6.7million Britons access pirated films, music and other material online[2]. VCodes® will be used to prevent video piracy on the VStreams® platform, ensuring that video content is traceable, preventing counterfeit and piracy.

Louis-James Davis, CEO of VST Enterprises, says: “ZiMovi’s video platform is enabling further growth for what’s fast becoming the most popular way for audiences to consume entertainment and promotional material. We are proud that our VCode® technology enables all functionality that ZiMovi needed in one. The VStreams® joint venture will enable both ZiMovi and VST Enterprises to grow together globally as the code technology is deployed.”

Paul Greaves, Co-Founder & CEO at ZiMovi, says: “We are excited to work with VST Enterprises to make high quality video content more accessible for brands and consumers. The flexibility of  VCode® technology makes it the perfect tool to suit our customers’ growing needs. Channel owners looking for a quicker way to interact with the audience to expand their fan base will benefit hugely from VStreams®. It will turn the passive activity of watching videos into something active that the audience is directly involved in.”

With VStreams® channel owners can interact directly with their audience, enabling them to grow subscriber bases and deliver only the most relevant content. It will drive website traffic and ensure greater brand protection than open source platforms allow. Using a VStreams® code, channel owners can send direct links to content to their audience via SMS, email, social media and on their website. VStreams® will be deployed in Summer 2017, and will further enable users to enhance their brand, grow their business and audience and own all generated data. The joint venture will continue to cultivate the ‘Virgin’ model approach that VST Enterprises has adopted with forthcoming projects such as VApparel®, which will be used to enable instant payments for fashion while eliminating counterfeit from the clothing supply chain.

Electronic Benefit Transfer White Paper


vst-enterprises-ebt-white-paper

The US electronic benefit transfer or EBT system is attractive to fraudsters due to lack of adoption and investment in new technologies.

As well as consumer to business fraud, the US government is also grappling with business to business fraud, where a business uses collated fraudulent transactions to restock its store. This activity has a direct impact on every member of the population, even those who are not in receipt of benefits. Every dollar of public money spent combatting fraud is a dollar less spent on essential services such as education, transportation or healthcare.

Unless the US government tackles fraud through the implementation of new technology with appropriate levels of security, fraud will continue to spiral. The US could learn a lot from emerging economies such as India, which is investing heavily in technology infrastructure, enabling it to educate its population on various levels of security and update payment methods.

To find out more about EBT fraud and its prevention in the future, read our white paper here.

Scannable code technology for clothes and footwear

Cybersecurity firm VST Enterprises has teamed up with an international fashion business to provide scannable code technology for clothing, footwear and accessories.

Dewhirst will use the proprietary technology, VApparel, at the point of sale to enable speedy purchasing and instant related product information.

The VCode technology behind the textile project will also prevent international circulation of counterfeit products and enable garment traceability.

Significantly, the universal technology is not limited to existing Dewhirst clients and can be deployed by any garment and accessory manufacturer or retailer wishing to improve protection against counterfeiters and fraudsters.

Louis-James Davis, CEO of VST Enterprises, said: “Dewhirst has a predilection for value, ethics and innovation, and the partnership will bring this traditional but innovative fashion brand to the forefront of modern technology.

“Dewhirst is pioneering the use of this technology on wearable items across its international network and we plan to work together to use VApparel for many more applications in future.

“We are looking forward to defining new ways to apply the technology as our partnership evolves.”

The technology will combat counterfeiting, which provides a sustained and expensive threat to the fashion industry, and results in regular legal proceedings, product redesign and lost revenue.

The cost of counterfeit in the EU sporting goods market alone is estimated at over €500m per annum.

This loss of revenue contributed to 2,800 jobs in the sector being cut in 2015. Though cheaper, ‘fake’ fashion can seem like a good deal to consumers, it is consistently of lower quality and, when damaging chemicals are used during production, it can even prove fatal to the wearer.

Anthony Wood, CEO of Dewhirst, said: “VST Enterprises is one of the most innovative businesses that I have come across, and Louis is one of the most creative entrepreneurs that I have ever met.

“It will revolutionise engagement with the customer pre- and post-purchase, across sectors and geographies, ensuring quality, safe, genuine fashion.”

VApparel also enables the delivery of targeted offers and promotions to compliment loyalty programmes and marketing strategies.

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VRCO SELECTS VCODE® TO AUTHENTICATE DRIVERS OF AIR VEHICLE PROJECT NEOXCRAFT

VRCO agrees partnership with VST Enterprises for the use of VCode

Innovative cyber security firm VST Enterprises (VSTE), has today executed a Memorandum of Understanding on the use of VCode® on the Neo X Craft project led by VRCO Limited, which is supported by Derby University, The Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering and the European Regional Development Fund.

VST Enterprises’ VCode® technology will provide secure end-to-end traceability, maintenance monitoring on aircraft, parts and components on VRCO’s low-emission, vertical take-off and landing autonomous flying vehicle.

VCode® is particularly suited to the Neo X Craft project as it can be scanned on or from a moving vehicle, from any angle and from great distances. While the vehicle is in prototype stage, VCode®’s flexibility will be indispensable, since permissions and data contained within the code can be altered to suit any developments that will emerge from testing and developing the craft. In addition to verifying identity, logging service records and tracing vehicles and parts, VCodes can be set to provide access only to users in a specified location.

Louis-James Davis, CEO at VST Enterprises, said: “VRCO is building an autonomous, aerial vehicle, and we are truly excited to deploy our adaptable, secure and versatile technology in such a future forward environment. Thanks to VRCO, a true personal VTOL craft will be available soon, and the benefits that VCode® can provide make it exactly the right choice for the vehicle of the future.”

Mike Smith, Chairman VRCO, said: “VCode® provides us with certainty around our craft, who flies them, which engineer works on them along with key metrics on operational hours down to the component level. The asset tracking and access control is a unique technology which we are delighted to adopt on our project. We can see many more applications for VCode® going forward.”

The Memorandum of Understanding covers the use of VCode to facilitate secure end-to-end traceability, maintenance monitoring on aircraft, parts and components. The unique features of VCode® will also enable authentication, service history intervals and warranties to be well managed. Further use of VCode® will cover pilot and engineer access and security.

VCode® is already being used to verify entitlement to benefits in India, as a method of payment for parking at 485,000 car park pay points across the UK, and to reduce fraud in the gaming industry.

globalbankingandfinance.com

businesscloud.co.uk

FOUR LESSONS FROM 2016 THAT WILL DEFINE APPROACHES TO CYBERSECURITY IN 2017 – An article by Louis-James Davis

While our understanding of cybersecurity is growing, it’s still far too limited. This year’s Cyber Governance Health Check Report revealed that only 33% of UK boards have clearly set and understood their appetite for cyber risk, both for existing business and for new digital innovations they have absorbed or introduced. Although this is up from 18% last year1, it may be nowhere near enough, since our vulnerability to cyber-attack is an urgent and growing threat. 

Businesses don’t have to be technology companies to mitigate the threats. They need simple, ubiquitous tech with end-to-end encryption, managed by experts in an uncertain and ever changing landscape of new opportunities and threats.

Innovation must be nimble and quick to market 

2016 has been about maintaining stability amid uncertainty. “Innovations” in secure payment, document transfer and delivery that have gone to market have echoed technology of pre-existing solutions, and the most revolutionary has been Microsoft’s 3D scan facial verification technology that we’ve seen in services like Selfie Pay. In 2017, security solutions must move beyond building upon pre-existing solutions. Research and development, and governmental investment in particular will be instrumental in safeguarding businesses against security threats and product shrinkage, as well as revolutionising process efficiency.

The counterfeit trade weakens global economies 

Counterfeiting was a direct cause of India’s cash crisis. On the surface the cash crisis seems a sudden threat, the reason for the withdrawal of the bank notes was driven by a rapid response to reform. Prior to the ban on old 500 and 2,000 Rupee notes, individuals were passing off fake bank notes for payment recreated with easy to acquire materials such as ink and synthetic paper. The reform momentum in India is building, and while the demonetization move may appear to be a threat, it signifies a positive move towards economic stimulus, minimising the circulation of bogus bank notes.

Counterfeit goods are a significant issue globally, and between November 2015 and February 2016, Interpol had gathered the largest ever haul of counterfeit food and drink ever seized. In the UK alone during that period, authorities recovered nearly 10,000 litres of fake or adulterated alcohol including wine, whisky and vodka.2 Some see these as victimless crimes, but the cost is spread to every individual, both financially through tax and physically, as products passed off as the real deal can contain harmful ingredients that can cause illness and even death.

In monetary terms, £600m in wine and spirits duty is lost through alcohol fraud annually. This is enough money to build a hospital the size of Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital every single year[1]. Fake cigarettes cost the UK economy £2billion a year3. If anti-counterfeiting solutions were implemented, these considerable sums would relieve strain on our public services and leave us all better off.

In 2017, the EU and UK governmental agenda will focus on crackdowns on counterfeit and corporate corruption. This will be a key driving force behind technological investment in 2017.

Mobile: the catalyst to innovation 

Mobile has seen significant growth in 2016, and more and more consumers trust their devices enough to use them to pay for goods or services at the point of sale. APAC leads the way in mobile payments, with 53% of connected consumers using their mobiles to make payments, in comparison to 33% in North America and 35% in Europe.4 When I think back to one my first mobile phones, Nokia’s 3210, which sold over 160 million units over its lifespan, it’s incredible to see the technological trajectory that mobile has taken.

We’ve seen mobile technology grow in ways we never could have imagined, and technological convergence has been the main proponent in this evolution. It’s amazing to think that one of the world’s first computers, the Manchester Mark 1 built in 1948 was the size of a room and performed what we would now consider to be basic mathematical calculations. Today computers are the size of your palm and we use them as our personal assistant, accountant, post office and shop front with no need to bring additional tools along with you. In 2017, tech companies will hone mobile solutions that will encourage better security and more consumer trust.

IT security must not be kept in silos 

In 2016, IT security has been treated differently depending on the user. Separate security strategies exist for mobile devices, the public sector, the b2b and b2c markets, the public and the private sector. As the way we work with electronics in our work and home lives converges, it is becoming more clear that the principles of cybersecurity should be the same for everyone. Simply put, this should be to ensure that data and transactions sent are genuine and uncorrupted, and that data and money goes directly to the intended recipient without interception.

The need to move towards a ubiquitous way of treating data becomes clearer as business and consumer IT overlaps more and more. Separate approaches to security threatens quick action against universal threats that loom over electronic payments, confidential patient records and even proof of entitlement to travel, work or claim benefits alike.

As we go into 2017, the takeaway lesson is that change is inevitable and necessary, presenting opportunities to become smarter, better and more effective. Technology must not stagnate. Old solutions will not be effective against new problems, and those who champion technology for good must be as reactive, nimble and hungry to drive forward as those malicious few who exploit the holes for financial gain, notoriety or simply to cause chaos.

 [1]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/521484/Cyber_Governance_Health_Check_report_2015.pdf

2  https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/largest-ever-seizures-of-fake-food-and-drink-in-interpol-europol-operation

2http://www.wsta.co.uk/publications-useful-documents/109-2016-budget-submission/file

3http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/counterfeit-cigarettes-flooding-britain-contain-7966333

4http://paymentweek.com/asia-pacific-leads-world-mobile-payments-latest-study-kantar-tns/

[1]http://www.wsta.co.uk/publications-useful-documents/109-2016-budget-submission/file

Manchester Tech innovators sign Indian authentication deal

VST Enterprises (VSTE), a pioneering cyber security firm has today announced a new multi-million pound deal with Sreeven Paytech, that will see the companies combine to eliminate fraud from the Indian benefit system.

VST Enterprises’ VCode® technology will provide strong authentication for the electronic benefit transfer system, benefitting 40 million households inititially. In addition, the companies will also be facilitating 2 million electronic financial transactions per month before expanding within the market.

An estimated $2bn is set to be saved for the Indian government by implementing the secure system. The VCode® system allows users to authenticate themselves and help fight against fraud, ensuring benefits and financial transactions reach the genuine recipients and not the fraudsters.

The opportunity will also add a minimum of £4bn of user value to VST Enterprises’ company worth. A comparison in tech terms to the recent Facebook IPO whereas 1 active user is valued at $100.00.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said:

“VST Enterprises is a prime example of how UK firms are seizing the numerous opportunities available in overseas markets.”

“India is one of the world’s biggest and fastest growing markets, which is why the Prime Minister and I recently led a delegation of businesses there. It’s great to see VST Enterprises follow that with a new contract which will use the best of British innovation to deliver huge benefits for India and for the UK.”

Louis-James Davis, CEO at VST Enterprises, added:

“At VSTE we believe in infinite possibilities, so are thrilled to secure a major new deal to authenticate payments and  help eliminate fraud from the Indian benefit system.”

“Its great to see VST Enterprises follow the trade mission with a new contract which will use the best of British innovation to deliver huge benefits for India and for the UK.”
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox 

“Online security is a challenge facing large-scale government schemes across the world and VCode® will help provide faster payments quicker and safer than ever before.”

“We were honoured to join the Prime Minister’s trade mission to India and hope our technology can play a significant role in improving the lives of over 40 million households. And we hope this is just the beginning of our development into the Indian market.”

“The money saved for the government by implementing our system could provide life changing benefits to the population. India and could see new infrastructure, schools and a boost in their economy.”

K S Raju Managing Director,Sreeven Paytech Pvt Ltd, added:

“At Sreeven Paytech, quality is a continuous process that is reflected in the companies emphasis on improving technology and adopting global best practices to provide utmost quality deliverables to our clients.”

“We are excited to announce our joint venture company VEBT India Pvt Ltd with VST Enterprises for promoting their advanced VCode technology which can provide improved transparency in ‘electronic benifit transfer’ to protect against fraud and we are confident in bringing  quick adoption of  the VCode technology to India.”

“The recent developments in India with boosted online transactions has opened up various opportunities for VST Enterprises for creating custom solutions to multiple business verticals including media advertisement, healthcare, retail for loyalty and end-to-end traceability solutions to eliminate mainstream counterfeiting.”

The UK-India TECH Summit was hosted in New Delhi in November by the Prime Minister and her Indian counterpart, boosting hi-tech trade between India and the UK.

VST Enterprises’ VCode® technology allows genuine users to authenticate themselves across a variety of online transactions and interactions. It is currently being used to protect against fraud in many sectors, from document verification, to unattended car park payment systems, and interactive charitable-giving transactions.

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KPMG veteran joins VST Enterprises

VST Enterprises, the Manchester-based technology company behind award-winning scannable symbol technology, VCode® today announces the appointment of former KPMG Partner John Hughes as Chairman.

The announcement comes at a pivotal time in VST Enterprises’ international growth, having recently announced the addition of two former Elavon Vice Presidents to its business development arm in the US.

Prior to joining VST Enterprises, John worked with KPMG for 28 years where he became Partner in charge of Transaction Services.

As Chairman for VST Enterprises, John will not only bring his professionalism and breadth of industry experience, he also brings a work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit to match the current executive team. An essential combination to succeed in today’s competitive technology arena.

Louis-James Davis, CEO of VST Enterprises has said, “John is exactly the right person to act as Chairman for VST Enterprises. He recognises the rising urgency for a solution like VCode® and will channel our recent rapid progress into long-term success. Ultimately John will play a key part in enabling us to achieve our goal of eradicating fraud and counterfeiting on physical items with end-to-end traceability, by making VCode® a ubiquitous standard for user authentication and access control.”

At KPMG, John built a reputation for fostering success, working with budding new businesses including Pets at Home and Moneysupermarket.com to transform them into household brand names. John was at the forefront of defining how businesses approach due diligence, and conducted worldwide training on professional standards for business transactions.

“When I was first introduced to VST Enterprises, I recognised instantly a team of astute innovators determined to solve a security issue that negatively affects many lives and organisations on a daily basis. At VST Enterprises we have one goal right now; to deliver efficient solutions to counterfeiting and fraud that will improve access and security globally. This capability will range from online shopping and gaming, through to electronic benefit transactions and national ID cards.” Said John Hughes, Chairman of VST Enterprises.

“At KPMG I saw a number of smart businesses grow from a powerful vision into something very special, I helped foster growth and brought professionalism to bright young ventures. I am looking forward to doing the same for VST Enterprises.”

The versatile VCode technology allows genuine users to authenticate themselves across a variety of online transactions and interactions. It is currently being utilised to protect against fraud on a diverse range of financial transactions including shopping, gaming, document verification, unattended car park payment systems, and charitable giving.

VSTE bosses are already planning expansions into Asia through their office in Singapore.

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