“There’s physical risk today from climate change, but that’s not really what this is about. It’s about transition risk. This is about how to survive or thrive in a low-carbon or carbon-constrained environment.”
Before Pathzero, Mr Prins had a crack at an energy comparison start-up called Handled, which did not work out. It taught him not to compete with the government or take a circuitous route when building a company. Just do what you want from the get go, he said.
With Pathzero, the team has gone directly to their main goal by building a platform that tracks and measures carbon output in line with international protocols and accounting standards.
Nevertheless, the upstart Australian company is faced with numerous overseas competitors including Persefoni, Patch, and Sinai, which all offer similar carbon tracking options as well as more advanced forecasting features.
Kirsten Pollard, Pathzero’s chief of staff and chief operating officer whose professional background ranges from stockbroking at Merrill Lynch to successfully building and flipping a craft side hustle, said her focus is to build an energised team.
“People on the back of the pandemic are looking to do something that has purpose and speaks to their values, and people are obviously more aware of what’s going on from a climate point of view,” she said.
“Our challenge will be to keep delivering to that purpose so that people who have come and joined us and sought out that satisfaction are feeling that in their day-to-day work.”
In general, Ms Pollard noted a shift away from people viewing their jobs as a way to cut a cheque to a way of infusing their life with purpose. She said this was positive but also presented a big challenge for leadership teams hoping to genuinely cultivate a values-led environment.
“It’s not like working for a bank – if you have a bad day at work when your values are mixed in, it’s a different thing. But that’s a challenge that Carl and I are really up for,” she said.
Carthona Capital partner Dean Dorrell said the venture capital firm had been looking to make an investment in the carbon tech sector for some time.
“We have had a thesis that carbon measurement, reporting and offsetting would transition from an altruistic, ‘good citizen’ responsibility to becoming all that and good business,” he said.
“It is clear that time has come, and we believe all businesses will need to show their carbon credentials to retain or attract customers – from the ASX20 down to the smallest business. Pathzero has already shown incredible vision and execution and has massive growth ahead of it.”
Former CommSec managing director Paul Rayson has also joined the latest investment round, as did Antler Australia and impact investor Phil Vernon for a second time.
Pathzero operates on a subscription revenue model, which scales based on the number of businesses that a customer has or wants to track, which includes a certain number of hours to dial in a sustainability or other relevant consultant.
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