Looking back at when we launched Tapio in September 2019, our view and comprehension of the carbon industry was still limited and a lot has happened since. Back then we felt it was our generation’s responsibility to act even if perhaps it didn’t work out, at least we could say we tried.
Nearly 18 months later, after several pivots and having analysed the carbon emission value chain from every possible angle and trying to find the right solution or business model, Tapio has finally settled on two important components.
The first, which is its value proposition, is to make it easy and cost-effective for companies to manage their carbon emissions. Over these last 18 months, a huge pain point we noticed was that most companies want or even have to act on their carbon emissions and that it is now among their top priorities (public, market and regulatory pressure tends to that). Yet many are left powerless of where to start, greater still is the total misunderstanding of how to manage their emissions in time. Bringing those companies a solution that provides them the tools to understand and act upon their emissions at a relatively low cost is critical.
The second, Tapio’s core business, is what we do and how we do it. Tapio is a Carbon Management Software. Our platform offers companies a complete overview of their carbon status. One of the key strengths of our platform is our proprietary B2B marketplace that matches our customers with carbon reduction solution providers.
From a macro point of view, Tapio is part of an industry called “climate tech” – in a nutshell that means startups and companies that want to fight climate change with technology. That technology can be software, hardware, financial products or even consumer goods (think Impossible Foods).
And like most industries, it attracts investors although 12 months ago very few venture capitalists (investors backing early stage companies typically in the tech space) were interested in what we were doing or in climate related topics. Then around September 2020 the number of mappings, investment thesis and dedicated impact funds around “climate tech” literally exploded. I highly recommend checking out Creandum’s Ines Streimelweger’s article in which, part of her conclusion, is that there is a high need and demand for B2B (this is where the biggest impact is possible) software to understand and act on carbon emissions and also ESG reporting tools for investors. Luckily for us, these are features available through Tapio’s platform. Here is also a great mapping of climate tech startups from Stride’s Pietro Invernizzi’s. Below is a picture of that mapping and the specific sector in which Tapio operates.
Clearly Covid has raised awareness towards sustainable issues, specifically climate change. But public, regulatory and market pressure towards companies to act on their carbon emissions has also increased dramatically these past 12 months, forcing investors to pay attention.
This has led us to realise that we are not alone in our fight against climate change. Other great startups have been active in offering services and products both for B2Cs and B2Bs.
Typically, for an industry to take off you need a huge opportunity with people going after it, capital flowing into that opportunity and a workforce willing to turn away from traditional businesses and to join this new industry. This seems to be the case with the climate tech space, and it will probably only get stronger with time. In 2019 alone, more than $16bn were invested in climate tech startups. The space we evolve in is a $10bn opportunity growing at double digits year on year.
Like many of my fellow founders in the climate tech space and their teams, I feel privileged to be able to work everyday on the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced. And although it is daunting at times, everyday I see new startups addressing the issue or companies committing to act on their emissions. Hopefully, very soon, everyone will be driven by climate urgency.