The company of the day is Ecovadis, based in France. Ecovadis has the objective of becoming a trusted partner of procurement organizations aiming at implementing sustainable supply management practices. You will find below an interview with Fred Trinel of Ecovadis. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Fred Trinel of Ecovadis
Who are you?
My name is Fred Trinel, I am an international entrepreneur with 5 ventures created over the past 20 year between Asia and Europe in trading, HR consulting, HR software and lately SaaS in Sustainable Development; all the companies are still up and running as of today. Although these businesses may look very different, the common multiplier is the strong software dimension of each project.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘company of the day’ per Microsoft?
We are thrilled to be on Microsoft most promising company list, the software development is at the heart of our project and is critical to our success, being identified as one of the most promising company by Microsoft is a highly appreciated recognition which probably translates how much has been achieved since our ignition not long ago.
What did you do before creating your company?
I was co-founding another software company called MrTed which is now a leading HR’s Applicant Tracking System software vendor on both European and Asian market.
How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?
I co-founded EcoVadis two years ago together with Pierre François Thaler who has a strong background in procurement in blue chips companies. Back two years ago, large European corporation had already sorted out whether they should or not implement “green” procurement strategy, and the answer was clearly: “yes” they should. But they were finding it difficult to move to the implementation phase due to the lake of guidelines and tools available on the market which is where EcoVadis comes in.
What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?
We sell to purchasing department, information on the sustainable development performance of their suppliers. We perform the assessment of thousands of companies thanks to the combination of a powerful software application and the input of our analysts who are experts on environmental, social and business ethics issues. Our mission is to generate and deliver comprehensive information to help organization of all size, location or industry sector to do business in a more socially and environmentally responsible way.
What is your market?
Our market is the fortune 2000 and we are currently focusing on the European market.
Any clients? References? Partners? You want to quote?
We do not disclose client’s names yet but you’ll be able to find most of them on our website www.ecovadis.com in the very near future. We can already tell you that we have customers in the telecom industry, construction, equipment services , mining, banking, insurance and large IT consultancy firm, they are mainly blue chips companies who care for their direct and indirect impact on the planet.
Funding history? VCs? BA?
We raised a seed round of 1.5 million US mainly founded by business angels and strategic partners. This seed funding allow us to go from prototype to profitability.
We are currently enjoying a significant year on growth which is obviously standard pattern for a successful startup… Pilot projects have been completed successfully and our customers are now deploying in a much larger scale.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have a small team of 15 highly talented individuals. We outsource none strategic processes and call for external expertise to cover punctual needs and assist our core team of developers on specific projects.
Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?
Yes we are hiring mainly two profiles: CSR Analyst and qualified Dot.Net developers, additional information can be found in the job section of our company website www.ecovadis.com
Which platform are you building on? Why? ( No taboos)
We develop on PC and are available on line for all… We love the Microsoft Dot Net framework: we gain time and flexibility and like to evolve in a structured environment.
Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
No IP on the software side yet, we like to think that we are the first company able to produce quality content on such a large scale in an industrial manner that allows us to deliver a quality content yet keeping the cost to an acceptable level.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?
We believe the IT industry has an important role to play in the quest for a “greener” and more socially responsible world, think for instance of how much trees have been saved thanks to the email! OK this is a very basic example… We like to think at EcoVadis that we are at a turning point and that things are changing quickly in everyone mentality. This trigger a number of opportunities for new software solution, and EcoVadis is one of them.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
We will be looking for additional funding to speed up our development and widen our geographic coverage, timing and amount have yet to be defined based on the economic outlook in 2009.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
Our relationship with Microsoft has started since the very early days of EcoVadis taking part to the Microsoft innovation start-up program called IDEES. Joining BizSpark was a natural continuation of this partnership and a no brainer having already an insight on the fantastic leverage EcoVadis could gain out of such a program.
Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?
Make sure you choose the right techno from day one! The legacy can be an asset or a pain.