We’ve talked a lot already about some of the brilliant startups finding ways to make our urban areas a better place to live and breathe. You can read about those in our Smart Cities series, parts one, two and three. Many of the ventures we showcased are focused on air quality, safety and traffic, and often harnessing data from IoT devices.
Meanwhile, in the wider world of software, there’s a fiercely determined collection of startups with a wider, common goal of reducing our impact on the environment. Many of these startups, according to recent data from Crunchbase, are only at seed stage or early stage. But this is a good thing, and shows promise. Early stage, in particular, indicates to us that investors know what’s up, and are keen to invest in businesses that are tipped to see sharp growth.
With climate warnings aplenty and the impending COP26 summit, it’s clear that action is needed now, and not later. As a nation, we have been talking about reducing our carbon footprint for an almost laughable amount of time, with little progress to show. But perhaps better access to technology is the answer, and consumer applications will be a breakthrough moment that galvanises the public – giving us a more tangible way to understand our impact and what we can do to reduce it.
Unknown to many, there was somewhat of a ‘false start’ with climate startup investments, with the early 2000s seeing a peak and crash. The reasons for this are likely too complex for a short blog piece, but the failure can partially be attributed to low-quality startups and entrepreneurship, inadequate funding, and of course, the 2008 recession. On top of that, the market just wasn’t there, from a business and consumer level at least. Thus, cleantech 1.0 came and went.
Fast-forward to 2021; employees are talking, boardrooms are listening, multinationals are acting. This newfound wave of sustainability sincerity is refreshing, and combined with the not-so-rosy ecological outlook, we have reached the perfect storm.
As with all things, and as we’ve discussed at great length already, data is key. Thus, software is playing and will play a fundamental role in understanding our environment, our climate, our behaviour and if we’re not careful, our destruction.
“We can’t manage what we can’t measure. And once you measure, then you ask the question… ‘What do I do now?’”
Andrew Beebe, MD, Obvious Ventures
In a recent article, Crunchbase shared a number of well-funded software startups which give a good overview of where the market is at and the kind of problems that entrepreneurs are trying to solve.
Offering tools for cities to manage their planning, this Stockhold-based startup aims to help local councils and city planners navigate their transition to low carbon and zero carbon economies. Cities are estimated to contribute to approximately 70% of global emissions, so this is a clear area where simply ‘building greener’ isn’t quite as simple as using materials with an ‘eco’ or FSC sticker slapped on the side. ClimateView has just closed on Series A funding to the tune of $10 million.
What’s a startup list without a company from San Fran? SINAI are a west coast US SaaS business helping organisations measure their carbon footprint. With the rise of B Corp and more and more businesses opting in for Scope emissions measurement, this market is moving from niche to ripe. Companies all over the world are committing to net zero, but maybe they don’t quite know how just yet. SINAI provides the technology and the strategy, and have just closed on $10 million funding.
SaaS is a common theme across many more climate software startups, with founding members often emerging from tech backgrounds rather than winning over their investors with their eco credentials. The ‘tech startup bro’ stereotype is still alive and well, but it’s at least pleasing to see the money and the talent moving in a more climate positive direction.
We design, build and maintain tools much like those being developed at ClimateView and SINAI. But perhaps we’re a little different to the tech bros. Not only do we have the technical knowledge, the career experience and the fantastic in-house talent, but we have the green credentials too. Every single one of us at AndAnotherDay are here because we want to change the world. And a huge part of that starts with nothing less than understanding our impact on the environment.
We are a technology agency with sincerity at the heart, and nothing makes us happier than using our skills and expertise to drive our clients forward in improving lives, oceans, countries and continents. No job too small.