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Board Seats for Rick Orloff & Suzy Monford FOR GSD Venture Studio Portfolio Company CIRT


Internet of things (IOT) and data insights start-up Consumption Information Real Time (CIRT) and its subsidiary Q-Hop have appointed two US tech industry heavyweights to their advisory board, including Rick Orloff, the personal data security officer of the late Steve Jobs.


Orloff spent seven years at Apple, leading and building global security programs to protect Apple’s sensitive data and critical initiatives, as senior director, information security and special projects.


According to the Cyber Future Foundation, where Orloff is a director, in this capacity, he designed critical security programs protecting over 500 million customer records and billions of transaction records.


Orloff is currently chief security officer at Code42, a US cyber security software company. He was previously vice-president and chief information security officer at eBay, where he designed, delivered and operationalised security programs supporting a global e- commerce business with over 157 million customers.


In addition, the start-up has appointed Suzy Monford, former group vice-president, e-commerce new markets at Kroger Group, the largest retailer in the US.

Monford has won a number of awards, including Top Woman in Retail Tech and Top Woman in Retail Grocery.


Monford tweeted yesterday: “Many thanks Ajay Lalu and team Q-Hop for the warm welcome. Point-of-sale systems, supply chain, customer data analytics/curated CX [customer experience], e-commerce and AI [artificial intelligence] for grocery are the key areas for massive disruption and invention in retail today. I'm happy to have the opportunity.”


Q-Hop, which has been identified as a potential unicorn by Silicon Valley stalwarts Gary Fowler and Derek Distenfield of GSD Venture Studios, says it is attracting the right people that will propel it onto the global stage.


The three-year-old company has in recent months been receiving recognition for its Q-Hop autonomous checkout solution.


Q-Hop is a contactless, cashless payment solution that provides hyper-personalised promotions and uses a variety of payment platforms, including PayPal, Bitcoin, Masterpass, Zapper, SnapScan and mobile wallets.


Ajay Lalu, co-founder of CIRT, says: “It’s momentous for Q-Hop to have this calibre of people serving on our advisory board, as a three-year-old start-up; this is validation that what we built in Q-Hop is both market-relevant and industry-leading. They see the opportunity to be part of building the next African unicorn and want to be part of our journey to success.

“To have access to the experience of both Rick and Suzy is of itself a success. We are building strategic relationships that allow us to propel and go global. For us, these appointments signify two things; firstly, it shows we are capable of building world-class solutions such that we can attract the likes of Suzy and Rick to our board.


“Secondly, we shouldn’t be afraid to approach the best in the world. We can really be competitive with the rest of the world. If we as Q-Hop can do it, we want other African start-ups to build innovative world-class solutions and do it as well.”


Explaining Orloff’s role on the board, Lalu says he will help the start-up review its security protocols and data privacy policies, systems and processes. Monford will advise on Q-Hop product and business development.


“Having them on our board gives investors confidence that if we can attract the best in the world, then we must be the best too. Our global ambitions mean we must have diverse teams in diverse locations with diverse skills and experiences, including gender diversity. We are truly building a global company.”


CIRT has in the past year launched solutions such as Fridgeloc, Vaccloc and the Temploc cold supply chain monitor solution, which have garnered international recognition. It won the commerce tech category at the Global Start-up Awards Africa in 2021.


Last year in January, CIRT teamed up with Microsoft in the US to drive these IOT solutions globally to help accelerate digital transformation. CIRT integrated its solutions with Azure IOT central and Microsoft Power BI services. CIRT signed a multi-year global strategic alliance agreement with Microsoft.


Originally published in ITWeb