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Makersite secures $18m for circular economy design

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Makersite has raised $18m in its series A funding round, to expand its product data management tools as a software as a service (SAAS) offer for industrial product design and management.

  • Makersite raises $18m for its industrial product design and management service.
  • The software as a service offer lets manufacturers use materials and procurement data to make products sustainable by design.
  • The deal signals the shift towards sustainable products being driven by regulation, investor and consumer demand, as well good old-fashioned competition.

The big debates in sustainability today appear to be about reporting standards, whether a company should target net zero, the impact it’s having on the environment. Makersite believes that in three to five year’s time, no one will care about corporate reporting because that will be in place – what they’re going to care about is how change has been implemented across the company.

Makersite is about using its AI and data platform to help enterprises make the most sustainable decisions in creating new products, so that the right decisions for tomorrow are made today.

Neil D’Souza, founder of Makersite says that when looking at the sustainability space right now, there’s a great buzz about reporting standards, ESG, Science Based Targets, GHG-Protocol, etc. But in 3-5 years’ time, no one will care about any now-implemented corporate reporting.

 He says: “We put decades of experience into solving a problem that has eluded the manufacturing industry until now. In an increasingly complex environment, how do you make better products faster?”

The company describes itself as the world’s extensive supply chain database, which gives subscribers access to over 140 external databases. Access to such data allows companies to map their product data against the information in the database, speeding up the process of production design decision making. It also allow Makersite to model every aspect of a proposed product – from what a product is made from to where each component is manufactured. It brings multiple decision-useful information factors into the hands of the enterprise itself.

Why does design matter for the circular economy?

It’s arguable that 100% of the world’s carbon emissions come from products – the way they are made, the things we need for using them, and their end of life. Still, less than 1% of all products have sustainability as a design parameter.

At the same time, many manufacturers are facing regulatory and customer pressures to report and reduce their carbon emissions. One of the big problems is that 90% of emissions in manufacturing companies come from the supply chain, but Scope 3 emissions are hard to track and even harder to reduce.

For enterprises to become greener and ready for a sustainable economy, understanding the product’s environmental footprint and its impact on cost, compliance, and supply chains during product development are a necessity. As Sebastian Peck, Partner at KOMPAS Ventures said: “Understanding a product’s impact across its lifecycle to make more sustainable design and procurement choices are critical enablers to decarbonizing our supply chains.”

Tobias Jahn, partner at Hitachi Ventures said: “Products that come to market today were often designed many years ago. The market needs a solution that will help design tomorrow’s sustainable products today. By bringing data insights into product development and supply chains, Makersite comprises everything needed to embrace sustainable product design.”

Investors in the round

 The investment was led by Hitachi Ventures, the global venture capital arm of Hitachi, Ltd., and Translink Capital, a Silicon Valley-based VC fund, with participation from KOMPAS, an EU-based venture capital fund, and seed investor Planet A.

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