Our investment in Makersite.
Make better, more sustainable products faster.
Companies extract resources and produce emissions along the entire production process. They often have no insights into the environmental impact in their increasingly complex supply chains. Today, 90% of substance non-compliance takes root in tier 2+ suppliers, yet 65% of companies have no visibility there. At the same time companies are under pressure from governments, consumers, NGOs, and other stakeholders to divulge more information about their supply chains, and the reputational cost of failing to meet these demands can be high. The data required is highly fragmented in “vertical systems” such as Product Lifecycle Management systems for technical data, ERP for raw materials and order details, supply chain management systems for supplier data, etc.
Most enterprises still struggle to understand and measure the greenhouse gas emissions along their supply chain, let alone take action to reduce them. These scope 3 emissions can account for as much as 80% of a company`s total emissions. As Planet A we advocate for scientific impact measurement and forecasting as the first crucial step as we believe: What you can measure you can manage. That is why we’re very excited to announce our investment in Makersite and support the vision of its founder, Neil d’Souza, in building the eco-design studio of the future.
What is Makersite?
Makersite is a mission-driven data and software company that develops next-generation product data management tools for the global manufacturing industry. Their vision is to establish Makersite as a software platform into an operational tool for product development teams to make their work greener, leaner, and faster. The company was founded in Munich, Germany in 2018 by the seasoned hi-tech executive, Neil d`Souza. Since then, they have been developing their AI and Knowledge Graph-powered platform and establishing ground-breaking partnerships with data vendors to build the world’s largest connected product information database to power their platform.
Makersite uses AI to connect and enrich cross-departmental data into live models for analysis, collaboration, and decision support. It is used by manufacturing companies with complex supply chains that want to accelerate product development, build resilience or reduce costs. Digital twins enable teams to rapidly evaluate the impacts of real-world changes on their business including supply disruptions, regulations, or product changes. Mitigation strategies can be evaluated 100x faster taking into account factors such as sustainability, compliance, costs, and risks, simultaneously!
When it comes to sustainability it enables teams to:
- Find drivers of environmental impact.
Using the integrated, AI-supported Life Cycle Analysis functionality to understand drivers of a product’s environmental footprint orders of magnitude faster than any current approach.
- Enable Design for Environment and circular design
Equipping non-experts rapidly assess the effects of material or technology changes in the supply chain on environmental performance and drives decisions.
- Collaborate with quantitative and standards conformant data across multiple criteria to accelerate decision making and internal as well as external reporting.
So Makersite provides a detailed assessment of environmental hotspots within the supply chain and allows to assess the environmental implication of material and design choices on the fly and provides insights into the environmental implications of choosing alternative suppliers. A recent study showed that companies conducting an LCA reported net reductions in the carbon footprint of 3.9 and 10.9%, respectively.
Why did we invest?
Solving the hardest part about emission management
The more sophisticated our comprehension of the emission tracking market became, the bigger our understanding grew of how outstanding Makersite’s product suite is. As Makersite allows its users to track a product’s emission footprint throughout the entire supply chain, including Scope 3 emissions, the insights hold the power to bring carbon accounting to the next level. And it does not stop there. As we will see tighter regulation settle an even playing field for sustainable products over the next decade, tracking emissions and raw materials beyond CO2 will gain significance.
Supply Chain Transparency
Makersite allows its users, engineers, product designers, and purchasing departments to gain deep-tier supply chain transparency in real-time. While the suite can source data from various APIs, one of its superpowers lies in making sophisticated guesses on each part’s whereabouts, cost, and emission structure.
Ecodesign — the first step to a circular economy
The new paradigms of sustainability and circular economy require designers and engineers to rethink the way products are conceived, anticipating life cycle and end of life issues in the early phase of design. According to the Circular Economy Action Plan 2020, “up to 80% of products’ environmental impacts are determined at the design phase”. Makersite enables companies to make sustainability considerations an integral part of the design process of new products or services. To us, this is the very cornerstone of a circular economy, an economy that does not rely on cleaning up but designs products sustainably in the first place.
Despite being only a few years old, Makersite has already managed to gain recurring traction throughout various industry verticals with blue-chip enterprises such as Microsoft, P&G, Philips, and Lush and won multiple awards. Additionally, Makersite has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
Neil d`Souza, the company’s CEO, has an unparalleled track record, enabling him to build Makersite as a powerful tool to operate at the intersection of big data, life cycle analysis, and SaaS. Neil is driven by the power of data and has been able to build a stellar team to make impact transparent in the first stages of a product’s life cycle.
All of the above goes hand in hand with Planet A’s strong conviction that transparency regarding impact is indispensable in building an economy within the planetary boundaries. The business model is driven by production companies’ need for increased speed of product development and resilient supply chains. The upcoming regulatory change requires various types of companies to report on their Scope 1,2 & 3 emissions on the other. Makersite is a natural fit for the Planet A portfolio, transforming Life Cycle Assessments into an operational standard for product development in the industry.
Company information Planet A
Founded in 2020, Planet A is an impact investment fund targeting for-profit start-ups that have a measurable positive impact on our planet while building scalable businesses. Planet A partners with European early-stage companies having the potential to scale globally. The start-ups have to contribute to significant positive change in at least one of four key areas: climate mitigation, waste reduction, resource savings, and/or biodiversity protection. For its portfolio companies, Planet A offers support with:
- impact measurement: scientific impact assessment, forecasting, and visualization,
- the Planet A Network: a diverse network of experienced German and European entrepreneurs,
- long-term funding: early-stage investments with interest in follow-on rounds.
Planet A’s vision is to make impact investment the new normal.