World-leading academic and human rights lawyer duo raise $6.3m to support crack down on global greenwashing and reduce ESG risk for corporates
- ESG SaaS platform, FairSupply will use the funding to expand internationally as regulators in the UK, EU, Australia and Japan crack down on corporate greenwashing
- 2022 Global ESG Monitor report finds Australia lags behind in ESG transparency
Sydney, Australia, 15 December 2022 – Cutting-edge environmental, social and governance SaaS platform, FairSupply has announced a $6.3m series A round led by AirTree, alongside Tidal, Minderoo Foundation and early adopter of the program, QIC.
The funding, which will be used to launch new products and expand to international markets, comes as environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting regimes gather momentum globally, with regulators in the UK, EU, Australia and Japan all cracking down on corporate greenwashing.
Founded in 2019 by expert human rights lawyer, Kimberly Randle, and one of the world’s most distinguished industrial mathematicians and supply chain academics, Dr Arne Geschke, the SaaS startup has become one of the world’s most recognised ESG platforms.
FairSupply provides corporate and institutional clients with visibility over ESG risk in supply chains and investment portfolios. Factors include modern slavery in the supply chain, Scope 3 carbon emissions, biodiversity and water use risk.
In its short history the company has already produced two world firsts – modern slavery foot printing and extinction-risk foot printing – and today it has analysed over $750bn of procurement and investment data for some of Australia’s biggest and most respected organisations including AustralianSuper, the Queensland Investment Corporation, Synergy Energy and iconic Australian retailer, RM Williams.
The proprietary software offers the world’s most detailed view of the global economy, mapping over 60bn global supply chains so companies can monitor scope 3 carbon emissions, modern slavery and biodiversity up to ten layers deep in their supply chain.
FairSupply CEO and Co-founder Kimberly Randle said she founded the company because companies were scrambling for solutions in what was becoming an increasingly complex space.
“The global total addressable market for companies required to identify, address and mitigate ESG risks in their supply chains and investment portfolios is rapidly increasing. However, despite increased societal and regulatory pressure to report on ESG impact, quantifying and gathering this data has never been more complicated, especially when assessing ESG further down the supply chain. And while many companies have good intentions and want to prioritise ESG, the vast majority don’t have access to the knowledge or tools to properly assess, understand and make informed decisions to improve their ESG rating – but we’re changing that”.
AirTree Partner Jackie Vullinghs said ESG is a top priority for investors and corporates, but accurate and objective data is difficult to find. “FairSupply enables companies to see beyond the first tier of their supply chain to identify risk, and allows investors to understand risk in their portfolio without relying on a company’s self-reported data, or ESG risk scores and benchmarks that often rely on outdated information. Over time, FairSupply will help companies re-architect their supply chains and help make the world safer.“
Serena Grant, Director of FairSupply and Head of Business Engagement for international human rights group Walk Free, which is funded by Minderoo Foundation, said: “Minderoo identified FairSupply as an innovator in supply chain ESG data when we invested last year through our Strategic Impact Fund, which pursues innovative solutions to complex social and environmental issues.
“FairSupply’s use of data shines a light on ESG issues, such as modern slavery and exploitation of vulnerable workers deep in business supply chains, allowing companies to take effective action to protect workers, something that shareholders are increasingly demanding.
“This investment alongside Airtree, Tidal and QIC, has the potential to accelerate the impact of FairSupply’s technology so that companies can uphold their ESG responsibilities.”
Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said with established offices in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast, FairSupply was primed for continued growth in Queensland.
“Our investment through the QIC-managed Business Investment Fund recognises FairSupply’s ability to assist clients in accessing comprehensive supply chain data and risk assessments in the all-important ESG space. This represents a significant opportunity to meet regulatory requirements and work towards ESG goals, but it’s also an opportunity for Queensland jobs, with FairSupply expected to grow local jobs to 30 over the next five years. We’re proud to back a unique product solving a significant customer pain-point, led by outstanding female founders with big plans ahead,” concluded Dick.
The investment is also an important milestone for female led investment in the technology sector.
“There are so many reasons why I’m proud to be partnering with FairSupply, and the fact it was an all female-led round investing in a female founder is another to add to the list,” said Vullinghs.
“Gender bias in the technology sector still exists. Being a female founder supported by powerful female investors is an achievement I’m proud of and will undoubtedly have a generational impact not only in the technology and VC sectors but also on the next generation of founders,” added Randle.
In 2022, FairSupply was recognised as Best ESG Provider by Australian Enterprise Awards and Category Innovator in AFR’s Sustainability Leaders. Most recently, FairSupply was recognised as One to Watch in the ESG Risk Assessment Category in the Regulation Asia Awards for Excellence.