- Worldover emerges from beta, raising £3m in seed funding
- Worldover’s transformative digital platform breaks down regulatory barriers to selling physical products worldwide
- Starting with cosmetics, Worldover aims to empower any business to launch any product in any market
- Founders are serial entrepreneur Edward Alun-Jones (CEO) and former Head of Risk and Compliance for Heathrow, Christopher Gudde (CTO)
By Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas
Globalization means the world is getting smaller, but also more complicated. You might have a global pool of potential customers, but if you can’t satisfy each country’s regulators that your product is safe and compliant, you have no chance of breaking into the market. Rising geopolitical tensions have created bigger and bigger rifts between compliance regimes – resulting in a huge headache for even the most ambitious entrepreneurs and product designers.
People selling physical products can spend 1 percent of their revenues in managing compliance. Worldover’s founders believed there had to be a better way, and have created a platform that slashes the time and cost involved. With a few clicks, it breaks down what’s needed to meet industry standards around the world, ingests and categorises existing documentation in any format, and provides a single source of truth for the company – and for anyone else needing proof that its products meet the bar.
Worldover, a platform that streamlines and accelerates compliance for cosmetic products in any market, today announces it is launching out of beta and has raised £3m in seed funding. The round is led by Index Ventures and Chalfen Ventures, with support from Entrepreneur First and Plug and Play Ventures.
Bringing physical products to market is a long, laborious process, a large part of which is due to the compliance undertaking required. With diverging global regulatory systems, product companies face ever-increasing requirements which can often prevent them from launching in new markets.
This challenge is particularly prevalent in the cosmetics industry where rules are both different across each geography and continually evolving: in the US, rules are different across states, while in 2023 a new federal bill will be phased in to regulate the industry; in the UK, every product label must change post Brexit; and companies are stilling catching up to China’s far-reaching 2021 cosmetics law. This all makes simplifying the compliance process an immediate need.
Tackling many of these evolving pain points, Worldover has built an accelerated, streamlined and more cost-efficient compliance process for cosmetics companies of any size. Currently, to bring a new cosmetics product to market, companies spend significant resources employing specialist consultants or bloated internal teams who spend half their time manually extracting data and comparing documents. Complex rules must be interpreted and cross-checked against ingredient lists that are sent from suppliers as unstructured, inconsistent documents and there is little collaboration or standardised workflows.
Worldover is working to remove the compliance barriers for companies to sell in any market, ensuring that physical products can more easily be launched nationally and internationally. By automating much of the manual data work required, the platform is able to reduce the time taken to achieve compliance by up to 90% and the cost by up to three times. It also serves as a collaborative management system for all compliance projects, with data and documentation updated across the supply and value chain in real-time, ensuring compliance is always up to date.
Worldover is working with certification bodies including the International Fragrance Association, in order to help ease the pathway for businesses to achieve accreditations. While Worldover is initially launching in cosmetics, the software has been made for use across any industry at scale, with plans to bring more sectors online in the future.
Founders Edward Alun-Jones (CEO) and Christopher Gudde (CTO) had already been working on solving compliance issues in previous businesses and joined together during the Entrepreneur First London programme.
Edward Alun-Jones, CEO and co-founder commented:
“We want to reduce the pain involved with bringing physical products to market. Currently, companies are spending up to 1% of their total revenue on making their products compliant through consultancy costs or the need for extensive internal teams which manually process documents. We've greatly accelerated the process by automating much of the data extraction. We’re starting with a laser focus on cosmetics, but our vision is to eventually enable any business to launch any product in any market.”
Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas, Partner at Index Ventures said:
“Across multiple categories, there is an urgent need to simplify global compliance. With rules only getting more complicated and divergent across geographies, Worldover’s solution to auto-generate documentation is a much-needed innovation and a timely one. Solving this problem requires real-world experience, extensive knowledge and strong technical know-how: a unique skill set that is held by Ed and Chris – I’m excited to work with them as Worldover grows.”
Published — Sept. 5, 2023