One issue has remained crucial in the ongoing climate crisis: how do businesses affect the world we live in? The most popular technique for doing so only considers the financial risks to the business from environmental or social issues.
The Upright Project, a Finnish deep tech startup, has raised €5M to scale its impact data engine, which measures the net impact of companies and funds on the environment, people’s health, knowledge creation, and society.
German-based green-tech VC Planet A Ventures led the round alongside First Fellow Partners, a fund founded by investor Risto Siilasmaa, ex-Chair of Nokia and Founder of F-Secure and WithSecure.
With the investment, Upright hopes to increase access to its open-access database and include all businesses with more than 10 employees worldwide.
The firm’s AI-powered impact data engine contextualises company disclosures and sustainability goals with estimates of EU taxonomy alignment, UN SDGs, and Upright’s proprietary net impact quantifications.
Further, Upright compares businesses across industries based on both their financial performance and overall net impact. The model’s methodology significantly increases the depth of the majority of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) measurements, which are currently skewed by companies’ self-reporting and purchasing power and include measures like ESG, SFDR, and others.
Founded in 2017 by Annu Nieminen, Upright enables science-driven decision-making for investors, employees, and other stakeholders in the business. In order to measure the net impact of businesses on people, the environment, society, and knowledge, Upright creates a model based on open science and artificial intelligence. The model also helps businesses and investors address their regulatory obligations related to sustainability.
Upright’s business strategy is based on providing decision-makers with a comprehensive end-to-end approach by selling subscriptions for more in-depth results by tracking progress, establishing goals, and sharing results. Customers and partners already include prominent PE/VC investors like Permira and EQT, well-known asset managers like Invesco and Nordea, and the financial services company Nasdaq.
Customers and partners already include leading PE/VC investors like Permira and EQT, well-known asset managers like Invesco and Nordea, and the financial services company Nasdaq.
“With 42% of companies exaggerating their sustainability claims, we need a new impact course. Enabling powerful stakeholders, from boards and investors to talent and consumers, to understand the net impact of companies and make informed decisions will lead to a step-change in companies’ actions and their effect on our planet. Upright’s technology isn’t just `nice to have` but will become business critical.” says Nick de la Forge, Co-founder and Partner at Planet A.
“Upright’s goal is in their name: make impact assessments more honest and reputable. They are solving one of the most complex challenges businesses face by removing the blind spots in our current assessment of impact, while also democratizing it. When they asked me to invest I did not need to think twice,” says angel investor Risto Siilasmaa, ex-Chair of Nokia and Chair of F-Secure.