Nov. 20, 2019
The name ‘Brightree’ was inspired by the fact that this company was founded by three bright guys. Kevin Peng (Co-founder & Managing Director), Teo Hong Wee (Co-founder) and Tong Kok Hua (Co-founder & Technical Director), who first met at Addvalue, while working for the Singapore listed company.
The trio worked together on a project where they developed a customised M2M Inmarsat BGAN terminal called Sabre Ranger for Schlumberger. Upon completion of the project and realising how well they work together, they created Brightree, a data logger that monitors bunkering.
What is Brightree and can you tell us more about its origins?
Hong Wee: Brightree is a platform that tracks the bunkering supply chain using IoT and Blockchain. (Bunkering is the process of refueling a marine vessel at the port.) By digitising the supply chain, Brightree reduces inefficiencies while eliminating fraud and fuel pilferage at the same time.
Kevin: I was the VP for a land-based satellite solution at Addvalue where we won a contract with Schlumberger, a U.S. oil exploration company. This is how I got involved in the Sabre Ranger project along with Hong Wee and Kok Hua.
Kok Hua: A year after, Emerson approached us, asking if we would provide our bunker data logger to them as the Singapore Marine Port Authority (MPA) requires all Singapore registered and locally operating bunker tankers to have a Coriolis mass flow meter and data logger on board. Emerson and Endress & Husser are the only two brands certified by MPA.
Hong Wee: Since 2017, Brightree has supplied close to 40 data loggers across Singapore, Taiwan, China and Indonesia. Then, in September 2018, we participated in the Shell Ideas Refinery Acceleration program where we pitched our bunker data logging and monitoring function.
How did Brightree and Blockchain come together?
Kevin: Through the program, we started discussions with personnel from Shell to consider the use of blockchain technology in our bunker data logger in order to create a fully digitized bunker supply chain. Being a technical person, I had no doubt about the use of blockchain technology and this is how we started to work with it.
Hong Wee: As we work with bunker operators and oil majors, we came to realize the seriousness of the fuel pilferage problem. At the same time, we hope that Brightree can utilise technology to protect the environment - such a solution is important in monitoring the IMO 2020 Sulphur cap regulation.
We believe that by combining bunker monitoring with blockchain for the document and payment transfer, we can significantly reduce pilferage and non-compliance in fuel emission.
What made you decide to build on Zilliqa?
Kevin: We met Zilliqa at Innovfest 2018 and were discussing about using them for the Shell demo. We find their team to be very responsive to our queries and since we are both startups, we have much to gain by partnering each other.
What is your vision for your project and upon meeting which/what milestone will you consider this vision to be fulfilled?
Kok Hua: Our vision is to use technology to protect the environment. Marine vessel engine emission is one of the most polluting in the world. Therefore, ensuring that vessels adhere to IMO regulations on Sulphur cap is a step in the right direction.
When more than 50% of world bunkering is using data logging and blockchain, we believe that our vision will have been fulfilled.
Did you have to make sacrifices to start this project? If so, could you share a little more about this?
Kevin: Brightree has been bootstrapping since our inception. When Emerson approached us, they told us that we would have to fund the development of the data logger on our own, without their financial support. We bit the bullet and took the risk to develop the logger. Now, it’s our main revenue generator.
Describe your project in one sentence.
Hong Wee: Combining IoT and blockchain will create the most transparent and auditable bunker supply chain.
Selected by Shell for their Idea Refinery program, Brightree is already building PoC for world-leading oil majors and traders. You can learn more about them here.