South Africa startup Registree has partnered with the University of Cape Town (UCT) to create blockchain-based records for thousands of students, and plans to expand across South Africa and to Europe and the United States (US).
Founded in 2017 by a team of UCT students and staff, Registree has built a privacy-focused platform that allows universities to integrate sensitive student records into larger data ecosystems while guaranteeing complete control over their personal information.
The Registree platform also allows employers to identify talent from thousands of graduates, eliminating major search friction in the labour market. This pilot with UCT sees a decentralised public ledger implemented in a practical and user-friendly way, which Registree chief executive officer (CEO) Co-Pierre Georg said demonstrated the power of blockchain technology.
“We started Registree because we realised that universities struggle to fully use of the vast amount of student data they collect due to information sensitivity,” Georg said.
“The consequence is that students sometimes fall through the cracks and struggle to find suitable employment. Employers also struggle to find the ideal graduate, which in turn can hinder their ability to attract great talent.”
To solve this issue, Registree uses a combination of traditional databases and the Ethereum blockchain, a system deployed directly on the university’s infrastructure.
“We are very excited show that blockchain can solve real-world problems in a very practical and user-friendly manner,” said Georg.
“Our blockchain-powered platform allows universities and third parties to fully leverage sensitive student data, while giving students unparalleled privacy and control over their data. Our platform allows employers to search the universe of graduates for all participating universities. This significantly reduces the cost of finding the ideal graduate because employers don’t have to trawl through a plethora of recruitment platforms which each only have a subset of all graduates.”
The self-funded Registree, which has so far onboarded over 3,000 students onto the platform, said there is strong demand further afield for a service like this, and plans to launch to the wider public in the first quarter of next year.
“We focus on South Africa for the moment, but plan to expand internationally. Our offering is particularly powerful for emerging markets where we expect the largest growth in the higher education sector. But we also plan to expand into the US and in Europe where the cost of higher education has skyrocketed. But for 2020 at least, we will focus on South Africa,” Georg said.