By John Larsson, co-founder of Riktig

My co-founder Viktor Tigerström and I have been working on a solution to the problem of authenticity in physical items for a long time before we eventually decided to start up a company, called Riktig.

Riktig, by the way, means “real” or “authentic” in Swedish, since we’re both from Sweden. Our company provides its customers with a Smart Authenticity System built on the technologies of RFID and blockchain. Any item can easily be protected from fraud or counterfeiting by tagging with an RFID chip and initializing it with a smartphone. Thereafter it can be verified by anyone in the world with a smartphone app.

The backbone of the system is a verification protocol that leverages the blockchain and is wholly independent of any third parties. This means that once an item has been issued it can be verified by anyone forever.

Before settling in Malta as the place of registration of our company we had travelled around Asia for a while, and researched several promising blockchain nations. Malta proved very forward-thinking in terms of technology, and has an outspoken blockchain strategy. When we found the call for the MITA YouStartIt validator programme, we had no doubts we should give it a try.

The YouStartIT validator helped us validate the business idea through a structured process of customer interviews and testing of market assumptions. Our success in this process earned us a spot in the next edition of the accelerator programme, which supported us as we refined the prototype into a working MVP.

Riktig is currently working out of Malta Stock Exchange’s facilities in Valletta, and it is currently employing three full-time employees. We have also found a local advisor to help us with business development. Malta Enterprise is supporting our efforts through subsidised employment costs.

We pivoted a couple of times but eventually found the really promising opportunity of protecting physical documents to prevent fraud or tampering. This is especially applicable for certificates in education or accreditation where fraud is common. We have already found a pilot customer in Malta which has taught us much about how users expect to use the system, and has served as a very valuable showcase for other clients.

Malta has shown to be a very welcoming place for entrepreneurs and we look forward to taking Riktig to the international market with our roots firmly planted on the blockchain island.