a fertile market for startups , Le Lab/Idées

Your number is growing so fast it becomes difficult tell. They’re called Sweep, Sami, Greenly, Carbo… and they’re part of a new trend: automated carbon assessments, under the form of subscription software (SaaS). Among they, trace, a last born late 2020, which announces the lifting of 2 million euros with orange Ventures, from the Arché family office group and investors private companies, to which are added 500,000 euros of debt.

Several reasons explain the effervescence of this market: the increase in energy and environmental issues, and the obligation imposed on companies with more than 500 employees to achieve carbon footprint. A threshold that should drop to 250 by 2024. “Evil 20 % of corporate emissions are tracked and managed”, emphasizes Alexis Normand, co-founder of Greenly, which has just raised 21 million euros.

All these nuggets offer more or less the same thing: software that allows companies to simply calculate and visualize their greenhouse gas emissions, often across the entire value chain. For this, they have methodological standards already provided by Ademe in France, the GHG Protocol at international level or the ISO14064 standard.

“Excell Market”

They transform an “Excel marketplace” into a practical and ergonomic tool. “That’s not all, wants to insist a consultant specialized in the sector. It does not replace the interpretation, perspective and implementation of a climate plan. It’s like stepping on a scale to get your weight, but that’s not what your nutrition program will do. »

Many companies work with law firms. sustainable development consultancy, which will be responsible for support in its climate strategy. “They are two very different professions. Our goal is to offer a carbon management tool and improvement scenarios”, says Thomas Guyot, founder of Traace, which, like Sweep, targets large accounts.

Between calculations and estimates

The entrepreneur claims a “as much as possible” physical approach, as opposed to the monetary approach. In detail, the first integrates the calculation of CO emissions² based on physical realities (distances traveled, kWh consumed, etc.), the second, much more imprecise but faster, estimates an amount of CO² from a invoice. And when data is not available within the company, it is calculated based on industry estimates.

“Monetary is what we try to avoid, but sometimes it is difficult to do otherwise in the first year of the balance sheet. we purists we cannot be satisfied”, explains Nicolas Baron, specialist in green IT at EcoAct, a company specialized in sustainable development. The consultant, on the other hand, has a very positive view of these start-ups, which help to “evangelize” the market and put their foot in the footsteps of Business.

Several start-ups have a very monetary approach, such as Greenly. “Often, we are reduced to this”, laments Alexis Normand, which produces between 60 and 100 balances per month and expect an annual recurring revenue (SaaS financial indicator) of 5 million euros this year. It’s from justify: “We are not going to do everything physically. Only where this represents an item of great issue for companies. The entrepreneur is developing a French specificity, targeting SMEs and ETIs, which currently have no legal obligation. The pressure in this case comes more of investors and their customers.

Market to be consolidated

In SMEs, start-up Sami is also trying to do well and mixes monetary and physical approaches. The more customers gather, the more these nuggets refine your methodology. “Coverage Sectors of different activities allows for more feedback and reliable data”, explains Nicolas Crestin, co-founder of Sami, who made nearly 400 carbon footprints since its inception and makes your Open source methodology.

These nuggets managed to surf with an Ademe bag that took, until the end of 2021, 80 % of carbon footprint cost of VSEs and SMEs, up to 5,000 euros. Subscriptions, much lower than consulting firms, range between 1,000 and 10,000 euros depending on the size of the companies. On the other hand, funding continues modest, with the exception of Sweep, which accumulates 100 million euros of collected since its creation in 2020.

The market will consolidate among companies, startups and technology giants such as Salesforce or SAP, which seek to diversify their carbon footprints. Behind, a desire for these young shoots to stand upright in order to differentiate themselves: whether in size or the target company or sectors of activity.

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