CO2 tracking is the new hottest thing in technology, and we’ve previously covered more general startups that do this for companies on a large scale, like Plan A Earth from Berlin.
But there is clearly an opportunity to go deep into a vertical sector and tailor solutions to it.
That’s the plan from Vaayu, a carbon tracking platform specifically aimed at retailers. It has now raised $ 1.57 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by CapitalT. Several Angels also took part, including the Angel Program from Atomico, Planet Positive LP, Saarbrücker 21, Expedite Ventures and NP-Hard Ventures.
CO2 tracking is urgently needed, especially for fashion retailers. Unfortunately, the fashion industry is still responsible for 10% of annual global CO2 emissions, which is more than all international flights and shipping combined.
According to Vaayu, it can be integrated with various point-of-sale systems such as Shopify and Webflow. Then data on logistics, operations and packaging are accessed in order to monitor, measure and reduce their CO2 emissions. Usually traders calculate emissions once a year, which of course is far less accurate.
Vaayu was founded in 2020 by Namrata Sandhu (CEO), former Head of Sustainability at the fashion retailer Zalando, as well as Anita Daminov (CPO) and Luca Schmid (CTO). Vaayu currently has 25 global brand customers including Missoma, Armed Angels and Organic Basics.
Commenting on the fundraiser, Sandhu said, “We have only nine short years to go to meet the UN’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, and as the third largest polluter, retailers need to act – and quickly. Vaayu is here to help retailers measure, monitor and reduce their carbon footprint across the entire supply chain – something I know from personal experience can be complex and expensive. “
On a phone call, Sandhu said to me, “The focus on retail basically allows us to automate the calculation, which means you can get your carbon footprint instantly with three clicks. That then allows us to get really accurate data, and with that we can basically do business-specific reductions, but with software, rather than any kind of manual intervention or some kind of “intermediate state” in which you have to create an Excel sheet. Because we focus on retail, we can automate the entire process and automate the reductions as well. “
“We are delighted to be supported by a women-run CapitalT who understood us and our vision from the start. We look forward to evolving Vaayu in the coming months to reach as many retailers as possible and curb the looming climate crisis, ”she added.
Janneke Niessen, Founding Partner of CapitalT, commented: “We are very excited to support Vaayu in its mission to reduce carbon emissions for retailers worldwide. The Vaayu product is very scalable and its quick and easy implementation allows for quick adoption. We are confident that Vaayu with this experienced team will soon be one of the fastest growing climate tech companies in Europe and the world. “