Sunhat, a German software startup that automates the processing of sustainability questionnaires and ESG ratings for suppliers, has secured €2 million in Seed funding. The financing round is led by early-stage investors Capnamic Ventures and xdeck ventures from Cologne, as well as industry experts WEPA Ventures. In addition, various business angels from the tech, compliance, and sustainability sectors have invested in the software solution for enterprise customers.
The seed funding will be allocated towards advancing the technology and expanding the product offering for enterprise customers. Besides ensuring compatibility with all traditional systems, Sunhat also strives to establish industry-specific integrations.
Taking into account fundamental sustainability standards and the requirements of rating systems, Sunhat creates the basis for a central management of compliant evidence for suppliers. Since its successful launch last year, the startup has managed to convince several well-known enterprises of its software solution, including the hygiene paper manufacturer WEPA.
“Instead of driving change in the organization and anchoring sustainability in relevant processes, sustainability teams today spend much of their time on the administrative workload associated with external questionnaires and requirements. Our mission is to give them back some of this time and enable them to make their work more productive and impactful,” says Lukas Vogt, Co-Founder and CEO at Sunhat.
Due to new regulations such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), sustainability in the supply chain is becoming increasingly intricate. The changing market situation offers growth opportunities for providers specializing in assessing and rating sustainability in the supply chain.
Consequently, sustainability professionals within the supplier industry are confronted with an array of questionnaires and certifications concerning sustainability criteria from various providers. Customers and partners demand well-founded evidence and detailed statements on sustainable developments, such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or the management of internal sustainability targets. Failing to provide this evidence can lead to substantial financial losses, including the loss of customer relationships and possible future fines worth millions.
Jörg Binnenbrücker, Founding Partner of Capnamic Ventures, says: “We see software in many enterprises as a solution to become more efficient, as expertise and budgets are insufficient to keep up with new requirements.”
Dr. Stefan Gräter, Director Group Sustainability at WEPA, says, “Collaborating with Sunhat enables us to optimally manage our internal processes and ensure the reportability and verifiability of our sustainability data. This forms the basis for facilitating the fulfillment of future reporting requirements and making the progress of our sustainability strategy transparently presentable.”
Sunhat automates the entire process from mapping questionnaires to collecting and verifying evidence for responses. The specially developed “Similarity Score” compares existing answers with incoming sustainability requests, allowing the software to quickly meet new requirements from customers and other stakeholders. Via API, the resulting database can be connected to various third-party portals for verifying sustainability criteria.
B2B companies, including suppliers, raw material traders, and consumer goods manufacturers, who encounter numerous sustainability requirements, can greatly benefit from Sunhat’s software solution.