Business

SINAI Technologies raises $3.8 million to expand use of decarbonization software platform

SINAI’s first-of-its-kind decarbonization software platform is gaining fast traction via carbon-intensive industries, including its newest customer: the Brazilian arm of Siemens AG

SINAI Tree Logo. Image: Courtesy
  • Global corporations, the world’s largest emitters, have trouble with the complexity and time to measure, analyze, price and reduce emissions fast enough;
  • That is the gap that SINAI aims to resolve.

SINAI Technologies, a startup that provides a decarbonization software, led by a Brazilian CEO, announced a $3.8 million Seed funding round. Led by Afore Capital, the round gathered funds like Abstract Ventures, Coelius Capital, and the founders of Eventbrite and PlanGrid.

As the world accelerates efforts to avert a likely climate disaster, SINAI was created to provide a software platform to guide and speed corporations’ efforts to decarbonize and adopt the most feasible mitigation solutions to meet the Paris Agreement 2020 goals. The startup was founded in 2017.

The seed round will fund team expansion, including enterprise sales, marketing, engineering, and customer care, in order to rapidly expand the company’s visibility and footprint around the globe. 

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Several companies worldwide are offering ways to measure carbon footprint nowadays, but SINAI goes beyond that initial step, as Maria Fujihara, SINAI CEO and co-founder, told LABS, “SINAI has invented the planet’s first comprehensive decarbonization software platform to help global corporations, the world’s largest emitters, to measure, analyze price and actually reduce emissions, including how to find the most cost-effective solutions.” 

We offer a look into the future; a way to understand what are the biggest bottlenecks and opportunities for emission reductions. While calculating footprint is an action that happened in the past and cannot be changed (only measured), SINAI brings the possibility of looking into the future and measuring scenarios that could be changed, adapted, or followed

Maria Fujihara, SINAI CEO and co-founder.

Currently, SINAI’s enterprise-grade software platform provides calculation of carbon inventories, baseline projections for businesses, recommendations on how to reduce emissions and how much the mitigation options will cost, the definition of the carbon price (like how much it will cost the company to reduce by one ton of carbon), internal company alignment with external policies from nations worldwide.

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Fujihara said that SINAI has signed three large customer contracts since it emerged from the Y Combinator program in early 2020. These include ArcelorMittal Brasil, the Brazilian subsidiary of the world’s leading steel and mining company, and Brazil’s BRK Ambiental, the largest private water distribution, collection and treatment company serving Latin America’s biggest economy.

Sinai cofounders Maria Fujihara and Alain Rodriguez. Photo: Courtesy

Additionally, the firm just signed on Siemens Brasil, a subsidiary of Germany’s Siemens AG, the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe. Siemens is a company leading the way to carbon-neutral operations by 2030.

The platform’s concept at Y Combinator

SINAI has gained fast traction since its Brazilian-born CEO and co-founder introduced the decarbonization platform’s concept at Y Combinator in collaboration with SINAI’s CTO and co-founder Alain Rodriguez, who was the twelfth employee at Uber.

Fujihara is the second Brazilian female CEO to go through Y Combinator. She has been in the sustainability industry for 14 years, including her work as an advisor for Project Drawdown and her role as technical coordinator for Brazil’s Green Building Council for eight years.

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“I started SINAI in 2017 because I believe the only way for companies to transition to a low-carbon economy is through technology. We live in a material world, so we need hardware solutions to transition, but I’ve identified a gap in the market for software solutions, and understood that there were a lot of opportunities for software as well,” she told LABS.

Rodriguez joined as a co-founder a little later, early 2019, “not only because he’s highly competent regarding software development, but mostly because of his passion about sustainability and the space we are tackling,” she added. The startup is based in San Francisco, where the founders met.

She explained that due to the complexity of calculating the risks and opportunities of the transition to a low-carbon economy (e.g. policy changes, reputational impacts, shifts in market preferences, norms and technology), many companies are simply not doing this. “It’s a difficult task because most large organizations do not have a central location for various department leads to be on the same page and have widespread access to the data SINAI provides and translate that into insights that help move the needle quickly. Instead, they often use spreadsheets and collaborate on email with static reporting tools.”

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After the round, SINAI’s main goal for 2021 will be the expansion of the adoption and use of the planet’s first full-fledged decarbonization software platform and continuously improve it based on real-world usage and customer feedback.

According to the CEO, without a decarbonization platform to help the world’s largest companies achieve a zero carbon footprint (and it all starts with the GHG accounting methodologies), there’s little hope to reverse climate change impact that is rapidly accelerating as evidenced by melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, mass wildfires and extreme weather events that are wreaking havoc on the planet.