Start-up measures ESG data for private companies

Novata says it will help private companies understand their ESG data

A new firm backed by S&P Global and the Ford Foundation has launched an ESG data-collecting service for private companies.

That firm, Novata, whose major investors also include Hamilton Land and Omidyar Network, has raised $21m in Series A funding, according to figures from Crunchbase. The company announced on Monday that it is now providing a service to collect and analyze clients’ ESG information – something the cofounder says will be in more demand amid the SEC’s proposed climate-disclosure rule.

“[W]hat does not seem yet understood is that although the SEC’s jurisdiction focuses on public companies, its climate disclosure rules will also affect all private companies of size[s],” Novata CEO Alex Friedman said in a statement. “If a large public company has a net-zero target … it will have to figure out the emissions from its supply chain partners, which are almost universally private companies. As a result, any private company that sells its products or services to a public company with a net zero target will have to provide the same kind of climate disclosure as its much larger public partner.”

Currently, that prospect is something for which smaller, private companies are ill prepared, the company says.

The firm launched in October and has been beta testing the new service over the past several months, according to its announcement.

“Novata’s platform provides GPs and their portfolio companies (i) a clear starting point for selecting ESG metrics, (ii) painless data collection into a secure database, and (iii) insights and analytic tools to inform investment decisions,” the firm said in a statement.