Assent Compliance: The New Supply Chain Sustainability Unicorn On The Block

Ontario-headquartered supply chain data management firm Assent Compliance has kicked off 2022 by announcing a $350m fundraising, one of the largest in Canadian history. Spearheaded by Vista Equity Partners, this significant fundraising catapults Assent Compliance into unicorn status, with a total valuation in excess of $1bn. Assent plans to utilize this capital to expand its global footprint into Europe, and is targeting a 40% growth in staff numbers. Over the last five years, Assent has raised more than half a billion dollars in capital, signaling significant corporate demand for supply chain management, partly driven by the growth of ESG. How can firms leverage supply chain technology as part of a broader ESG information architecture?

Assent’s offerings can be divided between services (such as regulatory assessments, compliance planning and reporting, and supply chain data collection) and technology (product compliance and vendor management, alongside broader CSR and ESG suites); with an offering geared towards complex manufacturing sectors. Assent is well placed to benefit from the current ESG boom. As firms look to set and achieve net zero decarbonization targets (see Verdantix: FTSE 100 Net Zero Emissions Targets Reveal Critical Success Factors) improving supply chain sustainability metrics – such as scope 3 emissions – is the top current sustainability initiative set to receive funding in 2022. This is particularly the case in Europe, which has strong product compliance regulations and is leading the way in mandated sustainability reporting through directives including the SFDR and CSRD.

The ESG software market is turbulent, and yet to undergo significant consolidation. New entrants from EHS, Sustainability, GRC, ERP, and other software backgrounds are busy launching ESG-specific solutions, and giants Salesforce and Microsoft also threw their hats in the ring in 2021. What part do supply chain solutions play in this competitive landscape? For certain sectors, including manufacturing and industrials with complex and regulated supply chains, managing ESG reporting through supply chain solutions is an easy sell; Assent’s aim to further invest in ESG management functionalities could be a winning strategy. The picture is more murky when considering sectors with less stringent regulations concerning supply chains, but which are still under considerable stress to demonstrate supply chain sustainability performance. As we kick off 2022, expect ESG solutions vendors to tackle the supply chain question head on – and significant capital flowing to vendors seeking to disrupt this element of the ESG market.

ESG Assent Compliance The New Supply Chain Sustainability Unicorn On The Block

Connor Taylor

Analyst, Verdantix

Connor is a Technology Analyst in the ESG & Sustainability practice. His current research agenda focuses on emerging software solutions across financial markets, and broader market trends in the ESG space. Connor joined Verdantix in 2021 and has experience in EHS technology sales and development. He holds a B.A from Cambridge University in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.