Makersite lands $18M to help companies manage product supply chains • TechCrunch
In 2018, Neil D’Souza, a software engineer by trade and former vice president of product development at Thinkstep, realized that his ten-year efforts to solve enterprise product challenges in the areas of sustainability, compliance, and risk had had little impact. The way he saw it, it took too long, which lessened its impact on product design choices.
“For example, an LCA analysis can easily take an automobile company an entire year,” D’Souza told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Speed matters, otherwise the analysis becomes just a meaningless determination.”
This frustration was the genesis of his startup, MakeSite, which aims to conduct near-instant impact assessments in the areas of sustainability, compliance and risk to inform decisions at the company level. D’Souza says Makersite is an attempt to bridge the gap between experts who know what “good” looks like from an environmental, cost, compliance or risk perspective and the decision makers who control the product supply chain.
With more than 30 clients including Microsoft, Cummins, Vestas and a balance sheet showing profitable operations over the past few years, Makersite has begun to grab the attention of investors, this week raising $18 million in a Series A round with participation from Planet A Ventures. D’Souza says the slide – the first at Makersite along with “some convertible banknotes”; The company has been booted up so far – it will be put to work with integrators and resellers and expand the size of the Makersite team.
There are many companies that specialize in solving cost, compliance, risk and sustainability challenges. The problem is that all of them sit in silos and the data they use is for people who work in those fields,” D’Souza said. “That’s what makes our solution different. We are unique in the space because we are the first to solve the challenge of providing multi-criteria decision analysis to non-experts. “
Using artificial intelligence, Makersite maps company product data against a material and supply chain database, generating automated reports. The idea is to help companies achieve their sustainability goals while reducing costs and keeping compliance ahead.
The above database — which D’Souza says is among the largest of its kind — allows Makersite to identify contextual relationships to automatically model its products and supply chains. The models cover not only what the product is made of, but how each component or component is made – all the way from mining resources to the factory floor.
“[Makersite] It enables the customer to drop the bill of materials, for example, for a wind turbine, tell the AI that it is a wind turbine, answer some questions (eg, about power output), and the system will automatically build a `cradle-to` model, D’Souza explained, “Grif” for this turbine translated to the place of its manufacture and the place of its installation. “This allows you to optimize the designs of specific elements from the turbines – such as the tower and the sweeper – to locally available resources and infrastructure, such as recycling facilities, and to understand the trade-offs across the life cycle and criteria, such as cost, risks, and regulations.”
With Makersite growing from around 40 employees to more than 100 employees over the next 12 months, D’Souza says the focus will be on building the company’s sales and marketing teams to grow the business especially in the United States and Europe. On the integration side, Makersite capital invested in connectors for software like Autodesk to provide cost and environmental insights within computer-aided design platforms.
“There is a paradigm shift towards sustainable products that are driven by regulation, competition, customer demand and investments,” D’Souza said. “So Makersite allows procurement and product design professionals to make everyday decisions without the need for compliance, sustainability, cost or risk experts.”