Building an impactful SaaS Start-up: How Emitwise is accelerating the transition to net zero emissions 

 

Founders Mauro Cozzi, Ben Peddie, and Eduardo Gómez set out to build a company together in early 2019 that would have the greatest possible impact on mitigating the current climate crisis.  After determining pain points for large enterprises through research and speaking to numerous sustainability managers on this journey, they decided upon a SaaS carbon accounting platform that would allow businesses to accurately measure, manage the carbon footprint of their operations and supply chain.  

 

Emitwise's prize-winning and machine learning-driven platform is growing quickly due to rising pressure from governments, consumers, and clients on multinationals to cut emissions.  Increased regulation has been met with an influx of funds into Environmental Social Governance (ESG). This has left a prime opportunity to automate and innovate upon costly and lengthy consulting processes while also building an environmentally impactful company.  For Emitwise this, in turn, has meant expanding to over 30 employees in just two and a half years, backed only by seed funding. 

 

I spoke to Pierre-Louis Godin, one of the first employees in the business.  He explained to me that after the initial scoping of data requirements, all relevant information is uploaded onto the Emitwise platform.  

 

"We automate the calculation of the emissions, and then we produce visualisations for the functional teams to be able to understand potential carbon hotspots within the organisation and sources of emissions.  After that, we produce reports, whether it be for external investors, shareholders or other reporting frameworks.  We also help our customers track their performance with regards to carbon reduction targets." 

 

Aside from its product, Emitwise has taken pains to ensure that it is also setting an example internally. Speaking about his personal motivations for joining Emitwise, Pierre-Louis emphasised the importance within the business of not just 'talking the talk'.  The company is in the process to become a Certified B Corporation, with a continued focus on their internal sustainability processes.  This is combined with employee-led company values that influence hiring processes matched by a founder-led passion for people and planet. 

 

"People don't come to work at Emitwise for the regular 9 to 5.  They don't just come to collect the paycheck. People are genuinely interested in tackling the most pressing challenge of the 21st century.  You see a lot of motivation and passion in working with our customers to help them reduce their carbon emissions.  It's what really drives people here."  

 

The London based team is scaling quickly as the company finds traction with both clients and investors. Now sitting at around 30 individuals, including a team of internal carbon accounting experts, they have received $6.2 million in seed funding from the likes of ArcTern Ventures, a specialist Cleantech fund, alongside a number of angel investors.  

 

"We're really finding a lot of traction in the manufacturing sector.  It's where most of our client base is and where there's the greatest need; as you'll know, this sector accounts for a third of global emissions.  With the ease of our data collection, we find it's a great sector to service.  Beyond manufacturing, we also work with 18 different verticals ranging from construction to tech companies, and everything in between." 

 

With Emitwise's overall mission focused on accelerating the transition to net-zero and driving climate impact, doubling down on existing success within the manufacturing sector is definitely on the cards for the short term.  Beyond this, however, the sky's the limit, and the team has ambitious plans for expansion into new sectors and new geographic territories over the coming years.  Whereas a few years ago 'AI and machine learning for emissions reduction' could have been side-lined as a social venture, with each month that passes, it is becoming clearer that this ClimateTech start-up, and the type of business it represents, could not be better positioned for growth. 

The In-Focus interview series is a collection of articles commissioned by Atara Partners with some of the world's fastest-moving technology businesses and their leaders.

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