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AGUA: Revolutionizing Global Collaboration for Funding Transparency (with Growth Graduate Atix Labs)

Atix Labs Blockchain Argentina
Mar 04 , 2024
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Atix Labs

Amount invested $326,895 USD Funding Status graduated growth period Founded in 2013 by Agustín Ferrari, Ailin Gonzalez, Alan Verbner, Audrey Tan & Marcio Degiovannini
Female Founded
Generating Revenue


The collaboration between Atix Labs, a recent acquisition of the multinational software development company Globant, and UNICEF exemplifies a partnership in harnessing technological innovation for social impact. As a graduate of UNICEF Venture Fund’s growth funding round, this strategic alliance has yielded AGUA, a unique, open-source, blockchain-enabled white-label platform that marks a significant step forward in accountability and transparency, particularly in NGOs, government bodies, and social enterprises.  

Building Transparency and Trust for NGOs at Scale 


Before diving deeper into AGUA's mechanics and advantages, it's worth noting that this project stems from an acute need identified within organizations that regularly deal with the allocation of funds. Organizations are under pressure to ensure the appropriate utilization of these funds to maintain stakeholders' trust. This pivotal requirement birthed AGUA, a platform that breathes transparency into the funding process by allowing complete tracking of projects funded through grants and loans, whether in crypto or fiat currencies. 

AGUA uses blockchain technology to create an open, verifiable, and transparent record of all financial transactions related to a project. It provides a structured framework for defining projects. Each project comprises milestones and activities, each with a budget, acceptance criteria, and an assigned auditor. Leveraging the decentralized nature of blockchain, AGUA ensures no single entity can alter or manipulate the data, guaranteeing a robust audit trail and accountability throughout the project's life cycle. 

Real-world Applications of AGUA

Globant's collaboration with Yunus & Youth, the organization backed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus that supports the development of social businesses by young people, and the IOV Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2017 and a partial funder of AGUA, whose focus is to democratize access to blockchain technology applications and tools for impactful organizations,   offers a perfect demonstration of AGUA's capabilities. 

For 5 months in 2023, the three organizations piloted the use of AGUA. 6 entrepreneurs from the Yunus network, including Nigeria (Kitovu), Canada (The Global Sunrise Project), Brazil (Afrosaude), Portugal (The Newsroom), and Argentina (Data Genero and 1201 Project), received funds provided by the IOVF for the execution of impact projects. 

The entrepreneurs previously prepared a spending execution plan in accordance with their objectives, which ranged from improving digital platforms, acquiring work equipment, and access to the media to disseminate their work to the purchase of a multi-crop thresher to allow small local farmers to reduce losses from peasant harvest treatment. 

AGUA interface and mobile

Project plans were published in AGUA and both the Y&Y and the entrepreneurs indicated the movements of funds made and uploaded the evidence of the purchases and contracts made to carry out their project. 

This way, through the use of AGUA, the transparent and responsible use of funds towards its impact objectives was guaranteed. 

Being an open-source solution, AGUA contributes to the growing ecosystem of blockchain solutions, contributing significantly to the transparency pillar that our backers are interested in. As an accelerator platform, it enables organizations to have their tailored solution in less than three months, from planning to going live without the risk of vendor-lock-in. 

Currently, AGUA is part of Globant's portfolio of solution accelerators, and talks are underway with international financial institutions and other entities to include it in their solution portfolios. Both the IOV Foundation and Yunus & Youth intend to continue using AGUA for new projects, cementing its relevance in future endeavors. 

Emerging Technology Development Is Challenging

The overall feedback of our partners using AGUA was very positive, especially around its usability and easiness of use. Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement, especially when tracking cryptocurrencies. A key obstacle lies in the general need for understanding cryptocurrency-related terms and operations among users, which, while not related to the platform, did end up impacting the responsiveness of our support team. Despite everything, these challenges and the feedback obtained have served as a springboard for future improvements to make the user experience even more accessible, which is always key in this type of project 

Way Forward

Heartfelt credit is extended to the UNICEF Venture Fund team for their unwavering support, dedication, and patience. The journey of Atix Labs from small startup to being part of a multinational giant like Globant wasn't without its challenges. However, UNICEF’s understanding and guidance were pivotal to this transition. The journey of Project AGUA is just beginning, and its potential for ushering in a new era of transparency and accountability is immense. The future of AGUA promises to be revolutionary with the support of UNICEF, and we're all here, waiting with bated breath for the next wave of breakthroughs.

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