Hara has landed $14 million in series B financing to speed up its mission of helping the world's companies get a grip on their energy, resource, waste and carbon inputs and outputs.
That brings total financing for the Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup to $20 million – not bad for a company founded in 2008 by Oracle and SAP alums that has run in stealth mode until this June (see Energy Management Startup Hara Lands Coke as Client, $6M From Kleiner).
But now that the word is out, CEO Amit Chatterjee is eager to make the case that Hara's software – now being used by such customers as Coca-Cola, Brocade, Aerojet and the cities of Palo Alto and San Jose – is a good fit for bigger to mid-sized companies and government entities around the world that want to manage the resources coming into their operations and the waste coming out.
Wednesday's series B investment was led by new investor JAFCO Ventures and joined by new investor Nth Power. VC powerhouse Kleiner, Perkins Caufield & Byers, which invested $6 million in Hara last year, also joined the new round.
Hara, which had spent "less than half" of its $6 million series A investment as of June, is now aiming its sights at the international market immediately, rather than in about a year's time as it had planned prior to the new financing, Chatterjee said.
Customers outside North America now include an entity in the United Arab Emirates, chief marketing officer Chris Farinacci said, though he wouldn't identify the customer.
Hara is also promising a new version of its software that will, among other things, help companies comply with sustainability standards that Walmart wants its suppliers to meet, Chatterjee said (see Green Light post).
That's just one example of a potential customer base that may not be subject to the kind of carbon emission regulations being debated in Congress, but that still need to get cleaner and greener, Farinacci said.
Hara isn't alone in trying to help companies save energy and resources and reduce their carbon and waste footprints, whether to meet regulations, save money or please customers and the public (see Carbon Accounting: It's All About Appearances).
A host of carbon accounting and energy efficiency software startups have emerged, and IT giants like Microsoft, CA, IBM and SAP are working on their own offerings. Clear Standards, one noteworthy startup in the space, was acquired by SAP in May, and startup eQuilibrium Solutions was bought by demand response provider EnerNoc in June (see Carbon Consolidation Begins With SAP's Latest Buy and Green Light post).
But Chatterjee believes Hara provides an "end-to-end," holistic view of all those variables in ways that other software aimed specifically at, say, reducing energy use or calculating carbon emissions, does not.
And he said the quick benefits are worth the annual subscription fee, which can range from tens of thousands of dollars for smaller customers to millions of dollars for larger customers.
The city of Palo Alto, which used Hara's software to identify $2.2 million in savings over three years, is one example, he said. That level of savings paid back the software's costs in less than six months.
Of course, a customer has to spend the money to improve the inefficient processes that Hara's software identifies, or institute the efficiency programs it recommends. Hara doesn't do that work itself.
Chatterjee also said that Hara is not aiming at being acquired by an enterprise software giant, as Clear Standards was, but rather plans a "long and healthy independent" existence on its own.
Learn how to differentiate your company through greener product lines at Greening the Supply Chain on September 17 in Boston.