Persefoni Raises $3.5 Million And Aligns With The Rise Of Sustainable Finance Trends

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Persefoni Raises $3.5 Million And Aligns With The Rise Of Sustainable Finance Trends

The big question in the sustainability community is whether the focus of investors on ESG disclosures and financial strategies for sustainability risk management heralds a new age or another false dawn. Pre-COVID-19, everything looked set for finance leaders to get more engaged with figuring out how to produce finance-grade ESG data to enhance access to capital markets and align with strengthening sustainable investment themes. But the picture has turned murky as CFOs slash costs, freeze spending on new initiatives and hunker down for a painful recession. This hasn’t stopped Rice Investment Group and Carnrite Ventures investing $3.5 million in Persefoni, a new venture which leverages AI for carbon reporting and sustainability management.

Persefoni offers modules for sustainability disclosures, enterprise carbon footprint scoring, carbon accounting, inventory planning and forecasting which places it squarely in the sustainability management software market. A recent comparison by Verdantix of 20 sustainability management software vendors found broad coverage of functionality for 11 different usage scenarios. Persefoni is entering a market which burst into life in 2007 and will compete directly with vendors like Ecometrica, Figbytes, Greenstone+ and Scope5. Our global survey of 411 EHS managers found that only 18% anticipated spend on sustainability software to increase in 2019. In reality, all sustainability software vendors have found to their cost that the glamorous title of Chief Sustainability Officer isn’t backed up by a significant budget. That hard fact isn’t about to change in a long and deep recession.

The market opportunity for Persefoni – and for other software vendors focused on sustainability, carbon footprints and ESG disclosures – will be entirely driven by the engagement of finance functions with the need to meet new investor requirements and to improve sustainability risk management. Through its focus on ESG disclosures for real estate, Measurabl, which has raised close to $30 million and now has approximately 90 employees, demonstrates the future direction of travel. Not only does Measurabl provide high-quality data relating to the sustainability performance of real estate assets in terms of carbon and energy efficiency it also picks up issues relating to the physical risk of assets. The firm has also designed solutions for participants in the commercial real estate financial value chain: lenders, borrowers and insurers. Persefoni has aligned with the sustainable finance trend and plans to offer sustainability data solutions to institutional investors.

David Metcalfe


David is the CEO of Verdantix and co-founded the firm in 2008. Based on his 20 years of experience in technology strategy and research roles he provides guidance on digital strategies to C-level executives at technology providers, partners at private equity firms and function heads at large corporations. His current focus is on helping clients understand their market opportunity tied to ESG investment trends and their impact on corporate sustainability strategies. During his 12 years running Verdantix – including 4 leading the New York office – he has helped dozens of clients grow their businesses through fund raising, acquisitions and international growth. David was previously SVP Research at Forrester and Head of Analysis & Forecasting at BT. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University and also worked as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School.