EcoVadis, the Yuka of CSR, becomes the 27th French unicorn, a sign of enthusiasm for the sector

Ecovadis, the first rating platform for corporate social responsibility (CSR), raises 500 million and thus becomes the 27th French unicorn. This mega fundraiser for the ESG (environmental, social and governance) evaluation company for companies is even more remarkable that this funding has become scarce since the beginning of the year.

Cock-a-doodle Doo! France has a new unicorn in the field of CSR. EcoVadis, the CSR Rating Agency, has announced a fundraising of 500 million euros, scheduled for the second quarter of 2022. Its exact valuation has not been communicated but exceeds one billion euros, while com and the other 26 French nuggets qualified as Unicorns. The funding round was completed two weeks ago with, in particular, the private equity fund Astorg and BeyondNetZero, General Atlantic’s climate investment company.

“This fundraising is the largest ever in the CSR market and reflects the growing importance of the latter for the performance of companies”, says EcoVadis. In a context where the financial markets are filled with a “Nasdaq losing 5% every day at the time of the negotiations, the discussions were a little more complicated.”, concedes Frédéric Trinel, co-CEO of EcoVadis on BFM Business. “There was some negotiation“recognize but”the foundations of society“Founded in 2007 they were preserved at the end of this round of funding.”The awareness around sustainable development and CSR issues is such that the environmental deterioration has been offset.”underlines the manager of the “Yuka de la CSR” which provides CSR evaluations of companies via scores between 0 and 100 and the awarding of medals (bronze, silver, gold).

Multiplication of assessment uses

In a context of growing concerns about CSR issues but also concerns about the profile of suppliers”our customers are mainly companies that want to understand what is happening in their supply chains“, points out Frédéric Trinel on BFM. The company with a mission has actually developed a tool to evaluate the CSR of the suppliers of large companies in SaaS mode (software under subscription). Today EcoVadis claims to cover more than 95,000 companies in 175 countries, according to its methodology, which is based on machine learning, artificial intelligence, complemented by human analysis, with 198 purchase categories and 21 ESG indicators, from CO2 emissions to child labor.

The objective is therefore to evaluate suppliers but also to improve their CSR performance via action plans. “Today, EcoVadis is used by a growing number of companies, including in their carbon management, private equity, CSR-related lending, supply chain finance, third-party risk and resilience and more .“, underlines the group that has 1,300 employees.

EcoVadis recruits more than 460 “talents”

With this new round of funding, EcoVadis will finance its international development, strengthen its artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, make strategic acquisitions and realize its vision of a company with a mission., says the group. In the longer term, the goal is to evaluate 4 or even 5 million companies. “We are driven by impact and today there is urgency”, says Frédéric Trinel. “We invest in companies that have the potential to tackle climate change on a large scale”confirms Rhea Hamilton, CEO of BeyondNetZero.

The group with an atypical economic model boasts of having no direct competition. “Some companies use the “Big 4” to evaluate their data, but it’s like asking them to manufacture their cars to build their fleet.“, points out Frédéric Trinel on BFM. These “Big 4” which are EY, Deloitte, PWC or even McKinsey are nevertheless more and more present in this market. Nothing to worry about the French pepper who affirms that his turnover has grown by 50. % to more than 100 million euros in 2021 and seeks to recruit more than 460 “talents” worldwide.

Mathilde Golla @Mathgolla

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