Rob Chepak, Co-Founder and CEO
Moving to a new location is exciting for any business owner, but there’s always one big challenge—how to organize all the paperwork piled up in files and cabinets for the move. Rob Chepak was facing that challenge while moving offices in 2018. How could he identify the critical documents and filter out the useless stuff quickly—an arduous task indeed! “I was looking for an easier way to manage paper documents. The history of my business was in those files,” Rob said.
That’s when Rob read about blockchain, which made him realize this technology can produce wonders beyond cryptocurrencies. It sparked his idea for using blockchain to tell a better story about an asset by securing the most important documents on a distributed ledger. He joined with Paul Hartzell, Shaen Bernhardt, and Bob Chepak Snr, who have decades of experience in management, sales, and private equity, to start TruDoss.
“Fifty-five percent of a company’s data is basically dormant. In the Information Age, some of that can become a source of value, but it has to be accessible and verified first,” says Rob, who serves as the company’s CEO. This is where TruDoss’ digital software platform takes center stage, helping businesses discover, organize, verify and share information quickly. Primarily focused on real estate and supply chain — sectors where the quality of information influences asset prices —TruDoss showcases data in a way that supports better asset trades and sales.
“We have a background in the virtual data room business, where we have moved billions of pieces of paper,” says Paul Hartzell, Co-Founder, TruDoss. Their experience helps clients not simply turn paper documents digital but adds assurances, permanence, inalterability, and immutability. “By conducting due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, we gained extensive knowledge in handling confidential information and highly regulated transactions,” he stresses.
Modernizing Document Handling with Data
TruDoss begins its work with data collection. “We’ve proven that we can modernize and upgrade data collection processes without disrupting day-to-day business,” mentions Bob Chepak Sr., Co-Founder, TruDoss. Their data-pull and data-push models can index material automatically in any format—be they PDFs, Word documents, images, or photos. TruDoss puts a digital fingerprint on everything and records the fingerprint ID on a blockchain. From that moment, the company tracks anything that happens, such as who reads or shares a document. “We construct an audit report of every activity within that system, which becomes a permanent history—not only to show the originality of the information but all the interactions with it,” Rob says.
The platform is ideal for business networks where various members are recording and building a single set of facts about an asset.
We are not here to sell an off-the-shelf software platform. We believe in listening to clients and providing a solution that does not replace their existing technology stack—but help them evolve from a technology and a business standpoint
TruDoss automatically creates the chain of custody for each strain of data, then makes it all 100 percent searchable. “High level due diligence starts with a great search engine,” Paul says. “Our customers search within a document or across the entire repository in seconds.”
TruDoss includes state-of-the-art data encryption, firewalls, and data redaction. Administrators can set time limits on document views. Access rights go to the user level. The combined security layers protect against bad actors who may try to alter information. With new trade regulations poised to change how supply chains operate in North America, Asia and the EU, local customs officials may need to verify the origin of every product to grant a reduction on tariffs. There are plenty of instances of firms trying to bypass tariffs by overlaying a Vietnam sticker on a mainland China sticker, so the real origin is hidden. The TruDoss platform can hinder bad actors by providing verifiable information about a product’s true origin. The platform runs in 12 languages and helps map up-to-date information about “supplier’s supply chains.” TruDoss’s platform makes the entire information handling process more seamless and secure.
“We want to help companies understand the importance of a supplier’s supply chain and map, track, and document every step. This is essential to making their own supply chain resilient by gaining insights into a product’s origin, shipping status, and end destination,” Paul continues. “The Made in America trend that is coming out from Washington will significantly increase businesses’ reliance on blockchain to facilitate the approval or rejection of product at the ports of entry into the United States. And we are all set to address this evolving need.”
In March, TruDoss received a “Notice of Allowance” from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, indicating it will receive a patent on its system. TruDoss says their blockchain database differs from decentralized blockchain tools that prohibit a central repository. A lot of those have struggled to get traction. “You have to walk before you can run. TruDoss shows that there’s a practical way to share verifiable information without compromising privacy,” Rob says. This type of enterprise ecosystem has worked in M&A and is ideal for professionals who want easy to secure critical information. When starting a new project, the company seeks to understand customer challenges first.
“We believe in listening to clients and providing a solution that does not replace their existing technology stack—but helps them grow from a technology and a business standpoint,” adds Shaen Bernhardt, Co-Founder TruDoss.
Along with the platform, TruDoss also takes a comprehensive approach to client servicing. In fact, it is one of the very few companies in the blockchain sector that offers 24/7 customer services. “That dialogue is so important. We get calls from people who know nothing about blockchain and IT specialists who get every detail,” Rob says. “Clients share their changing information needs with us and we can address that with our capable in-house teams.”
In this context, the team at TruDoss does not believe in installing any hardware at clients’ locations—it’s all about providing software-as-a-service and integrating clients’ systems with the platform. “Our platform automatically collects every piece of information, seamlessly identifies it, and deploys that to blockchain for creating immutable records,” Bob Snr adds.
"High level due diligence starts with a great search engine. Our customers search within a document or across the entire repository in seconds"
Interestingly, the entire process takes a few seconds. So, TruDoss is changing the traditional concept that every blockchain project is complex—requiring significant upfront monetary investment. TruDoss also keeps in mind businesses’ requirements for original files even after creating immutable records. That’s why through a cryptographic hash, the company ensures that the created file matches the original.
Instances Portraying Effectiveness
There are several instances where this unique approach proved beneficial for clients. In this context, Paul highlights an ongoing project where they are working with a government agency in the land title space. TruDoss connected to the clients’ county-level database of property title information, pulled updated records on a daily basis, and inserted identifiers on a blockchain platform. This helped their client verify and analyze updated land information faster than their competitors. In addition to this, the company is also going to work with a government agency to help them in digital transformation. “This is a dark data project. This government agency has a lot of records on file, in paper format, in antiquated digital formats. And we’re going to help them modernize the record-keeping using blockchain technology,” Paul mentions.
Backed by the prowess of many such examples of client success, TruDoss is all set to change how records are kept, and due diligence is conducted.
In a nutshell, TruDoss is for asset owners who believe great due diligence enhances value. Built on the TransCEND virtual data room, Ethereum blockchain, and Microsoft Azure, the platform creates an immutable record that raises the value of tradable assets and speeds up asset trading through friction-free due diligence. “We are not here to sell an off-the-shelf software platform. We believe in listening to clients and providing a solution that does not replace their existing technology stack—but help them evolve from a technology and a business standpoint,” Bernhardt concludes.