The value of dust

Photo credit: Diana Levine

Knowing the origin and authenticity of products is an age old problem, and one that's become more acute as manufacturing and supply chains become global and complex. But being able to tag, reliably track the journey and record the provenance of a Monet or a microchip at very low cost globally is no easy task. DUST Identity is building just that - a physical and digital platform for secure, low-cost, un-forgeable tracking of goods.

A well-known French poet once said "It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas." That about sums up DUST Identity. The company founders, Ophir Gaathon, Jonathan Hodges and Dirk Englund, developed a way to deposit diamond nanodust in unique, non-replicable patterns to tag products and provide a powerful new verification technology for supply chain management. Think QR codes just in diamond particles no bigger than the crosssection of a human hair to authenticate and protect supply chains in luxury goods (e.g. watch movements), airplane parts and communication devices (down to resistors on circuit boards.) The idea is genius in its simplicity.

Besides offering a unique tag that cannot be reverse engineered, DUST's technology has a few additional advantages. Diamond nanodust is non-toxic and safe. It's cheap - 0.1¢ to apply full article protection at much less than the cost of RFID. The technology is durable and can survive harsh manufacturing processes. Applied on an area the width of a human hair, it fits on the world's smallest electronic components. And while it's secure today, the optical properties of diamonds can be leveraged to add additional layers of security.

DUST Identity is a timely and needed solution for global organizations that must ensure the integrity of their increasingly complex supply chains and security of manufacturing operations. Kleiner Perkins led the Seed round for DUST Identity in 2018, and we are delighted to lead the Series A.