Software and data company Persefoni is using a $3.5 million seed round to launch its new business-centric sustainability reporting platform.
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The Tempe, Arizona-based company was founded in January by Jason Offerman, Kentaro Kawamori and Kim Stroh to develop a carbon footprint management platform that uses artificial intelligence to give companies a detailed picture of their organizational carbon footprint and automates sustainability reporting.
The seed round, the company’s first institutional funding, was led by Rice Investment Group with additional participation from Carnrite Ventures and five angel investors. As part of the investment, Rice Investment Group co-founder and Partner Daniel Rice IV joined Persefoni’s board of directors.
Annual sustainability reports are becoming “a need to have,” with more institutional investors asking for them as conditions for funding, Kawamori told Crunchbase News.
Last September, ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, more than 500 institutional investors—managing $35 trillion in assets—urged governments to take action on climate change and achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals.
Persefoni will use the funding on continued development of the platform, to add new features to meet demand from large companies, add new hires to its 18-employee base, and to move forward with its Series A.
“We need to focus on those clients that are already serious about sustainability, and we will do our Series A to focus on them,” Kawamori said. “Full availability will happen in the fourth quarter, which is when we will open the floodgates. We anticipate several million in sales by the end of the year.”
Persefoni’s funding comes on the heels of climate app Klima’s announcement last week that it launched its new beta app with help from a $5.8 million seed round. Klima’s vision is similar to Persefoni’s, but is designed for individuals to offset their carbon footprint.
Other indirect competitors have come online, as well, Kawamori said. One of those is Salesforce, 1which last September created Salesforce Sustainability Cloud, a carbon accounting product for businesses to keep track of their environmental impact and receive data-driven insights on ways to move toward carbon neutrality.
Meanwhile, in June SAP announced the first-stage product release for its Climate 21 program called Product Carbon Footprint Analytics, providing carbon emission insights for a company’s products by plant, profit center or cost center.
“Salesforce, which is progressive on sustainability, had a team looking for a tool like ours before we came on the scene, and when they couldn’t find one, they developed their own version in their CRM,” Kawamori said. “Compared to us, they are limited in capabilities, but it is great validation of the market. SAP, whose product is in the supply chain space, is complementary to us, and we are looking at them as a potential partner.”
Travel dashboard courtesy of Persefoni
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias