Through its multiple verification services, Johannesburg-based IntelliCred solves the problem of false affiliations with unaccredited logo use on websites.
Currently in pilot phase, an array of IntelliCred packages provide global business-supporting programs from US$500 to US$45,000 per year.
The brand protective product IntelliSeal will be available online from US$100 as a customised business tool to suit company needs as from June 2013.
Speaking to HumanIPO, Shana Kay, co-founder at IntelliCred, explained the solution it offers: “The truth is anyone can copy the logo and pretend to be associated with this company.”
Finding logo abuse on websites a general phenomenon, Kay and her business partners started a verification business from which IntelliSeal evolved.
Its main purpose is “to help companies to manage that process. Instead of the traditional logo there will be an intelligence behind it”.
The idea is to also be an infringement detector to which the public can submit company names who use brands or logos under false pretences.
Eěrik van der Vyver, partner at Von Seidels Intellectual Property Attorneys, told HumanIPO: "The sooner you identify potential infringements, the more chance you have of stopping it without breaking the bank," pointing to the general expense of brand protection.
Although locally based in South Africa at present, the product is available as a worldwide solution, operating in US dollar currency to suit the United States head offices of many big corporate players such as Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, Kay said.
The new launch of IntelliCred focuses on the ICT industry, Black Empowerment Equity (BEE), business services and retail industry with more field focused services to follow.
IntelliGreen, a new product under development for the green industry, will also be released within a few months.
This tool will include extra features such as carbon footprint measurements.
Apart from catering for the African and South African market, international services are aimed primarily at the United States and the United Kingdom, including solutions for role players in the financial industry, such as accountants.
Van der Vyver added: "A company’s brand identity is certainly one of its most important assets. If you are serious about your business you cannot afford not to actively protect your brand."
Initially self-funded, apart from angel investment, the startup is pitching today (Friday) at the Seed Engine Demo Day in Gauteng, South Africa, in the hope of gaining ZAR2 million (US$223,338) investment for further launches of industry-focused products.
“We are just really excited to get our product out and it’s been a great journey and we have been looking forward to it,” Kay said about the launch.