We are featuring the remarkable story of Nala Earth, a software that empowers organizations to monitor, handle, and openly disclose their ecological interactions throughout the supply chain. In this edition of Founder Spotlight, we will discuss the initiatives, challenges, and advancements of Nala Earth with our readers.
To kick things off, could you please provide an introduction to Nala Earth and share its mission in the Nature and Biodiversity Management space?
At Nala Earth, our mission is to make nature as the #1 stakeholder in global business, ensuring It has a prominent seat at the negotiation table. Our software allows organizations to measure, manage, and transparently report their interactions with nature along the entire supply chain.
Initially, we are constructing a comprehensive nature and biodiversity data layer by consolidating science-based sources, including satellite and remote sensing data, using advanced AI analytics. This integrated nature data is then correlated with company-specific information to identify and manage nature-related impacts and dependencies, uncover associated business risks and opportunities, and provide comprehensive reporting aligned with relevant standards such as CSRD and SBTN.
What inspired the founding of Nala Earth, and what specific challenges or opportunities in the nature and biodiversity space were you looking to address?
Shortly after successfully scaling and selling Planetly, a carbon management software, I recognized that, beyond the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis stands out as an even more critical issue for the survival of humanity and our planet. Fortunately, regulators have also acknowledged this urgency.
The increasing demand for biodiversity reporting, driven by regulations like the CSRD and voluntary initiatives such as the TNFD and SBTI, underscores the immediate need for science-based and comprehensive solutions to assess and manage an organization’s impact on nature. Industries like Food & Beverages, Materials, Personal Care, and Pharma, which directly rely on the integrity of nature, are particularly encouraged to identify and mitigate risks, ensuring the resilience of their business models. Furthermore, companies embracing an environmentally friendly stance (#nature positive) receive favorable recognition from regulators, investors, customers, and potential employees.
How does Nala Earth empower companies to measure, manage, and report their impact on nature and biodiversity, and contribute to improving their ecological footprint?
To accurately identify sensitive business locations and understand their interaction with nature, Nala adopts a location-based, data-driven approach that strongly aligns with the LEAP approach recommended by TNFD. The LEAP process comprises four key phases: initially, we define the state of nature at production and supplier sites, by identifying, aggregating, and analyzing data from 50+ scientifically validated global and local sources. Second, we integrate nature data with company-specific information to quantify impacts and dependencies on nature and biodiversity at each location. Third, we assess nature-related risks and opportunities, and derive their financial implications.Finally, we facilitate reporting in accordance with relevant standards, such as CSRD.
At Nala, we strongly believe in the principle “What you cannot measure, you cannot manage”. Therefore, we conduct the nature assessment first and then support the establishment and monitoring of science-based targets (e.g., according to SBTN). This approach informs organizations about key levers for nature conservation, guiding decision-making, strategic planning, and resource allocation.
How does Nala Earth differentiate itself in the Nature and Biodiversity Management landscape, and what key strategies or features set it apart from other platforms in this Domain?
The NatureTech landscape is still relatively new, with a limited number of players and existing solutions focussing on specific aspects of nature only (i.e., fresh water management).Nala stands out by providing a comprehensive, end-to-end software solution. Key differentiators include:
- Holistic Perspective: Nala empowers companies with a comprehensive understanding of nature and biodiversity management. From identifying the state of nature to evaluating impacts, dependencies, associated risks and opportunities and adhering to relevant reporting standards, Nala covers the entire LEAP approach suggested by TNFD.
- Data Excellence: Nala has a strong commitment to data quality and validity. We leverage 50+ data sources, including satellite, drone, and remote-sensing data, employing cutting-edge AI models and machine learning for comprehensive analysis and informed decision-making.
- Strategic Collaborations: Nala is part of an ecosystem, bridging the gap between economy and science. Collaborations with startups in the Earth Intelligence field and esteemed research institutions, such as the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich, keep Nala at the forefront of innovation and new technologies.
Can you share insights into recent developments or initiatives at Nala Earth that contribute to the company’s growth? Are there specific areas or regions you plan to focus on in the near future?
In collaboration with Hipp, a German baby food manufacturer, we successfully completed the first phase of the LEAP approach “Locate the interface with nature”.This phase involved mapping company locations and assessing factors such as ecosystem type, biodiversity importance, ecosystem integrity, and water risk. This evaluation allowed Hipp to prioritize sensitive locations and implement targeted measures, and fulfill their reporting requirements. The “State of Nature” module will be available as a ready-to-use software solution by Q1 2024.
Looking ahead, we’re collaborating on pilot projects with other companies for the remaining LEAP modules, focusing on impacts, dependencies, and risk assessment. Our primary emphasis is on nature-dependent industries such as Food & Beverage and Materials within the DACH region, with plans to expand to other industries and regions in the near future.
As a Co-Founder of Nala Earth, how do you plan to utilize the funding from your pre-seed round? What criteria do you prioritize when assembling a team dedicated to executing your growth targets?
We have successfully completed our Pre-Seed funding round, securing €1.7 million from a notable group of Venture Capitals and Business Angels. This funding, secured shortly after our launch, not only covers the matching requirements but also significantly bolsters our company’s growth and product development.
What are your aspirations and goals for Nala Earth in the next few years, and how do you anticipate contributing to advancements in nature and biodiversity management?
Nala’s vision for the next few years centers on becoming the forefront leader in nature and biodiversity management. We are dedicated to expanding our market influence, commencing with a robust presence in the DACH region and extending into other European markets. Our primary objective is the ongoing refinement of our platform, providing businesses with efficient solutions to measure, manage, and report on their environmental impact. We are dedicated to raising awareness around the topic and underscoring the importance of nature for global business by providing an all-in-one, scientifically-vetted, and user-friendly tool.
As the Company grows, could you mention the importance of the cap table management system in dealing with relationships among founders, investors, shareholders and others?
As the company expands, the cap table management system becomes increasingly vital in navigating relationships among founders, investors, shareholders, and other stakeholders. It serves as a central tool for tracking and managing ownership stakes, equity distribution, and valuation changes. This transparency is crucial for fostering trust and alignment among stakeholders, ensuring fair and equitable treatment, and facilitating informed decision-making during key company milestones, such as funding rounds or exit events.
Do you have advice for founders in the Nature and Biodiversity Management space, particularly in raising funds and engaging with investors? Can you share insights and guidance for navigating the fundraising process and engaging with potential investors?
First of all, there has never been a better time to start your Nature Business! Nature Tech is on the rise and the urgency will increase over the next few years. Companies are noting the importance of the topic and the sustainability managers are ready to take the lead. Stay ambitious when it comes to choosing the right investor for you. You need to work together for many years and it’s important that you have a great fit!