More companies are taking into account environmental, social and governance initiatives when making decisions, and Topl aims to assist them.
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The Houston-based company is building a blockchain ecosystem to prove a business’ ethical and sustainable business practices. ESG criteria are a set of standards used by socially conscious investors to guide potential investments.
“We help businesses prove what they are claiming,” Kim Raath, Topl’s CEO told Crunchbase News. “The trend in the ESG community has been around for a while, but today there is a need for absolute sustainability to move forward. Commitments mean nothing without proof.”
To advance this mission, Topl pulled in a $3 million seed round led by Mercury Fund with participation from investors including GOOSE Capital, Chingona Ventures, Beni Venture Capital, Blue Collective, RevTech Ventures and Social Impact Capital. The new round gives Topl a total of $4.4 million in venture capital funding since its founding in 2017, Raath said.
Mercury closed its first investment in Topl prior to COVID, said Blair Garrou, managing director of Mercury Fund, via email.
“We believed that, over time, impact and ESG would be woven into the operations of more and more businesses–and this has especially come true in 2020,” Garrou said. “We are big believers in Kim Raath and her co-founders’ vision that companies need a way to measure their ethical and sustainable business practices either for consumer, investor or regulatory purposes. Measurement needs to be transparent and validated, making a purpose-built blockchain the perfect platform.”
Topl came out with its first blockchain in 2018, specifically focused on catering to different commodities, and spent much of 2019 assisting companies on how to work on the blockchain. With this new funding, the company will continue the commercial push of the service and bolstering its customer success capabilities.
As the trend in conscious consumerism and conscious capital drives ESG claims, Raath expects Topl to grow with it. The company currently has 14 employees and expects to add five more over the next quarter on the commercial and growth side.
In 2021, the company is expanding its offering to include Blockchain-as-a-Service to enable its customers and technology partners “two click” functionality to gain off-the-shelf access to the Topl blockchain.
“We are making sure anyone can access the blockchain,” Raath said. “By introducing a product on top of the blockchain, anyone with any device can plug and play.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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