Think of it as a calorie counter for large corporations.
Hara, a relatively new software company formed by SAP and Oracle alumni, has developed a corporate application that can track natural resource inputs-fossil fuels, water, electricity, industrial chemicals, mercury, fuel consumed in travel-and waste products and then provide recommendations to optimize operations, according to CEO Amit Chatterjee.
Does it work? Apparently so. Coca-Cola has tested out the software in over 12 locations and is now "in the process of full deployment," he said. It's a somewhat unusual victory: it can often take years to land a name account in enterprise software.
The city of Palo Alto has also been using the software. It expects to save $2.2 million in energy and $400,000 in waste and wastewater treatment costs annually. The software effectively paid for itself in three months. Kleiner, Perkins put $6 million into the company.
The software in many ways seemed targeted at tying together various loose ends in the green software market. A raft of companies have released dashboards in the past few years that track direct and indirect emissions or carbon credits while others have examined output from alternative energy sources.
The idea behind Hara is to give a comprehensive view of the "organizational metabolism," Chatterjee said. If a company is mostly concerned about reducing energy costs, or water consumption, the remedial recommendations will be skewed toward the desired result or a blend of goals.
"I could make a product that consumed zero water, but you'd never want to pay for it," one customer told him.
"It is not about greenhouse gases always," Chatterjee added.
Various other companies-Advanced Telemetry, Google, Tendril, Adura Technologies, etc.-make energy and resource tracking applications. The ultimate winners will likely be those that devise the magically delicious formula for providing the right data sets in a manner that's pleasing to the target audience. Hara, if anything, has experience in serving the corporate market.
The primary target customers will be municipalities, large energy consumers, and companies with extensive supply chain networks.
The company, if fortunate, could also enjoy and short, happy life. Oracle, Cisco, IBM and SAP have all trumpeted plans to help businesses control energy and resource consumption and the buying has already begun. Last month, SAP bought carbon accounting company Clear Standards. Expect a feeding frenzy.
The software can also be mapped in one location and deployed at a similar one.
Hara does not do the remedial work itself. It has a network of energy services companies that perform that activity.