What € 30M funding really means to us: Accelerating sustainable procurement

February 3, 2017 David McClintock

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In December EcoVadis announced some big news that — we hope — will change the trajectory of sustainable supply chain progress. We have closed a growth equity funding of 30 million Euro – our first such institutional funding – from Partech Ventures.

You can read the full press release here 

 

This is, of course, an important milestone for EcoVadis and the entire team here is extremely excited. But it is important to note that the most significant aspects of this event are not just about money, but about the new resources, partnerships, technologies, initiatives, team members, and collaboration that it will bring to accelerate EcoVadis’ growth. Here are some thoughts on what it took to get to this pivotal point, and the implications — what this investment really means — for EcoVadis, our team, and our customers and their stakeholders across the world.

9 years of organic growth to get here

First of all, on behalf of the team here, we can thank our Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Pierre-François Thaler and Frédéric Trinel for their tireless dedication, and who have devoted their intelligence, passion and seemingly endless energy to building EcoVadis since 2007. They pioneered a new market space for globally benchmarkable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ratings, and steered the business to grow organically – reinvesting all margin into the business – to achieve over 50% growth year after year. Bravo, and thank you!

The market has spoken

When EcoVadis started in 2007, our customers were pioneers: Sustainable procurement was an esoteric niche. Adopting EcoVadis made them very “early adopters”. Fast forward 9 years, and you find sustainable procurement is among the top priorities for over 93% of Chief Procurement Officers (CPO),  and the demand is getting stronger every year.  EcoVadis now serves over 150 purchasing organizations using our sustainable procurement service, and over 30,000 of their suppliers/3rd parties have been evaluated and received CSR Scorecards, and many have updated them yearly.   All indicators show that sustainable procurement is becoming a ‘necessity’ for large enterprises.  (Stay tuned to find out more about how this figure and others are changing in our latest Sustainable Procurement Barometer 2017 study, coming soon!).

Destination: Growth!

This investment means many great things for our team and resources:

  • Growing our team: Of course we will be adding key resources across all our teams: Evaluation Services, Customer Success Managers (to expand our ability to help procurement teams implement our sustainable procurement solution), Supplier Engagement Team (who help companies through the evaluation and Scorecard sharing processes), and IT development.
  • Research & Development to improve our ratings and services and platform: We are accelerating our R&D investments to maintain our market leadership by creating the next generation of CSR rating solution. We are selecting and adapting advanced technologies such as big data related technologies, Natural Language Processing and machine learning, to enhance our productivity, constantly improving our quality in order to enrich our CSR rating solution.  
  • Expanding coverage: We are investing in our global presence, so we can cover the countries and languages around the world where our customers are: Both those companies being evaluated, as well as buyers using our sustainable procurement solution. Already to be able to service customers in over 128 countries, our team represents over 40 nationalities (and nearly as many languages!) and this will continue to grow.

A focus on quality and performance

We will be making these investments over the coming years with a laser-focus on delivering more value for our customers, as well as our partners. Here are some of the strategic goals:

  • Even more reliable, more consistent ratings
  • Quicker turnaround times
  • Accelerated release of new platform features and capabilities
  • Bigger capacity and easier on-boarding and sharing
  • Broader and better local language support
  • More advanced and flexible software integrations (e.g. APIs and services)
  • Richer data management and reporting features
  • … (There’s of course more, but sorry I can’t share all the secret sauce… 😉

If you want to go far, go together

We want to acknowledge that we did not get to where we are, nor can we continue towards our goals without the support of our ‘extended team’. Thank you to our partners, advisors, and most of all our customers for their support, feedback, and sticking with us through our growth. We are thrilled to now count Partech among these partners. Their expertise and global view will be essential as we embrace new technologies and partners to improve and grow our business.

Buckle up…

We look forward to working with all of our customers and partners in this next phase of the journey in CSR ratings and sustainable procurement – but be sure to hang on tight: In this part of the ride we’ll be accelerating fast!

 

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