SmartHead provides companies with an intuitive, yet professional, solution for managing, communicating, monitoring, and evaluating their sustainability activities.
Having a positive impact on society, the environment, our surroundings, and our communities is gradually becoming a key aspect of business not only for multinationals but also for small and medium-sized companies. With growing calls for sustainability from both customers and business partners alike, companies are now struggling with the effective management and tracking of such activities. Companies lack not just simple and effective, but also credible ways to manage the evaluation of sustainable activities and communicate the results to investors and other stakeholders. SmartHead solves these problems with its one-stop digital platform that can track and compare sustainable activities for all sorts of companies (small, medium, and large). In SmartHead, companies find a tool for strengthening client trust and communication with the general public, business partners, and investors. Thanks to its GRI certification, SmartHead will offer a professional solution for ESG metrics management. This will be essential in the near future in light of the upcoming EU directive - mandatory sustainability reporting for approximately 50 thousand companies operating within the EU.
- There are currently more than 1,340 shared activities implemented by companies on the besmarthead.com platform, with 1.8+ million audience interactions per month on the utilised marketing channels.
- 230 customers in various sectors have already created their sustainability profiles on the SmartHead platform. The most active of these include major companies such as Tesco, Dell, IntesaBCI (VÚB Banka), Kaufland, and McDonald’s.
- SmartHead's solution fills a market gap – in relation to the SDG initiatives that many companies are implementing, there are no tools that could help those companies set goals and track their fulfilment, help manage and analyse data, and report and communicate the results to stakeholders.
- Value added and significant market potential – according to a survey conducted by KPMG, 72% of companies connected their business activities with the Sustainable Development Goals in 2020. Small and medium-sized enterprises have trouble grasping the concept of sustainability, and formulating and implementing a sustainability strategy. One out of five SMEs rank the lack of skills and know-how in sustainable processes and innovations in this area among the obstacles that hinder them in this regard.
- The new European Union CSRD Directive will require around 50,000 companies operating within the EU to report on the sustainability of their business from 2023.
- Attractive investment appreciation – Anticipated appreciation through the potential sale of the company (exit) or, as the case may be, sale of a share in the company or an investment share.
- Investment in the amount of €800,000 by means of a co-investment with a fund managed by CB Investment Management, which has already provided €310,000.
- In March 2022, SmartHead implemented the internationally recognized GRI standards on its platform to provide a professional solution for corporate sustainability reporting.
- As of the end of 2021: 40 paying customers and 30 new clients in the pipeline.
- High-risk investment with a horizon of up to 3–5 years.
- Investment evaluation: scaling up and selling the company (exit) or selling the stake to new investors.
- Anticipated return of 5–7 times the value of the investment.
SmartHead is an interactive way to process our activities and an easy way to be connected with the sustainable development goals. We consider it to be great opportunity to strengthen our communication with the public, experts and other companies.” Veronika Bush, Head of Communication at Tesco Stores, a.s.
“The SmartHead platform enables us to monitor and evaluate our local activities and environmental measures together with our customers and the public. We want to be an example for other companies.” Lucia Poláčková, PR Supervisor at McDonald’s
“We believe that thanks to the SmartHead sustainability profile, clients will trust us even more and potential clients will decide to switch to us. I value the simple and intuitive control of the platform and the perfect service from SmartHead.” Lucia Macková, CSR Manager, VÚB Banka
Problem and opportunity
In relation to the SDG initiatives that many companies are implementing, there are no tools to help those companies set goals and track their fulfilment, help manage and analyse data, and report and communicate the results to stakeholders. The market shift on the topic of corporate sustainability and ESG is also gaining importance within the private sector anticipating the upcoming European CSRD legislation which will affect approximately 50,000 companies operating in the EU.
- With the growth in the volume of data and the number of activities involving sustainability, large companies have a problem with managing them effectively and monitoring them across various teams, departments and countries. There is a lack of a simple and effective way to communicate them to stakeholders.
- Small and medium-sized enterprises have trouble grasping the concept of sustainability and formulating and implementing sustainability strategies.
- The market lacks an intuitive solution that allows uniform tracking and comparing the sustainability activities of all companies (Small, medium, and large) and permits organizing this data by company size, impact, sector, country, geographic location, and level of engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Stakeholders do not have access to information on companies’ particular activities in the area of sustainability and there is a lack of possibilities and methods of interaction in the form of feedback on this issue.
The market lacks a commercial platform that would aggregate and publicly present companies’ sustainability profiles and helps them manage, analyse and report the progress of their sustainability activities. SmartHead has come up with a solution that fills this gap in the market.
SmartHead is a digital platform providing a professional, yet intuitive solution, for managing, communicating, tracking, and evaluating corporate sustainability activities.
The key product is the corporate online profile on the SmartHead platform, which allows customers, among many functionalities, to:
- create lists and plan corporate sustainability activities
- structure and classify the activities created into different areas
- evaluate, transparently, the activities created
- map the activities created to the Sustainable Development Goals presented by the UN
- quantify the positive impact of corporate activities
- generate statistics and reports
- share activities on social networks
The basic pillars of the besmarthead.com platform are:
- Data management – An effective tool for managing activities and data in the area of corporate sustainability in one place.
- Communication – An internal and external communication tool for forming a stronger relationship to the brand. Gaining new customers and strengthening the loyalty of existing customers, employees and business partners thanks to an active approach to sustainability.
- Inspiration – Database of ideas and inspirations in the area of sustainability for various sectors.
- Cooperation – Building new partnerships with entities that have the same values for initiatives in the area of sustainability and the possibility to develop new business opportunities.
The public is provided with:
- information on CSR activities,
- cohesive information structure,
- opportunity to interact with the activities and help with their evaluation.
The full potential of the sustainability profile brings a number of benefits to companies. The benefits most valued by clients are, for example, structured reports on corporate sustainability, management of activities, access to more than 1,300 activities that serve as a source of inspiration and best practices, and the possibility to interact with stakeholders.
SmartHead uses the latest technologies to improve the accuracy and quality of companies’ sustainability profiles, e.g. a machine-learning system that is already able to assign companies’ activities to individual sustainability goals more accurately than individual profile managers. SmartHead also applies various algorithms that enable comparison of company profiles in various contexts. Thanks to the AWS cloud solution, SmartHead is technically prepared for easy scaling for foreign markets.
Business model and customers
Subscription model – monthly/yearly fee for using a sustainability profile (B2B SaaS model):
- Freemium model – possibility to upload a maximum of seven sustainability activities with a limited number of photographs and documents.
- Starter – €45/month with an annual subscription. 20 sustainability activities with the possibility of identifying ongoing activities and basic interaction with stakeholders (sending of ideas).
- Professional – €270/month with an annual subscription. 60 sustainability activities with basic customer support within 24 hours, including the possibility of generating an automatic sustainability newsletter. Unlimited uploading of photographs and documents. Professional onboarding – consulting and sharing of know-how, recommendation of activities, training on how to use the platform and work effectively with the profile.
- Enterprise – €630/month with an annual subscription. A complete bundle of services for companies with access to analyses of sustainability activities. Access to statistics and analyses. 10% of the annual subscription fee for promoting the profile via SmartHead channels and social networks.
- ESG (from 2022) - 1899 eur/month (estimated). Once certified, SmartHead will offer a professional service package for ESG metrics reporting.
- More than 230 profiles have been created on the SmartHead platform.
- 40 paying customers by the end of 2021, with Tesco, HB Reavis, and VUB Bank being the most active.
- Current pipeline of 30 "leads" as potential new clients.
- Expected increase in customers after obtaining the internationally recognised GRI certification.
The SmartHead team is composed of energic people who are bringing to the market a unique combination of expertise in the areas of sustainability, IT, management and marketing. The co-founders have valuable experience from the domestic and foreign environments (Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia) and the startup environment, as well as from major international corporations such as IBM, Siemens and KBC Group.
Initiatives such as SmartHead Talks, which feature interviews with renowned experts in the field of sustainability such as professors from Harvard and the London Business School; the SmartHead Sustainability Summit organised with the support of Robert Vass, President of Globsec (a non-political, non-governmental think-tank); and collaboration with Gartner, the world's leading analytics company.
Veronika Osvaldová – Founder / CEO
Veronika is the founder. She is responsible for the company’s strategic development and management, as well as execution and leadership of the whole team. She is also a co-founder of a real estate investment company. She participated in the accelerator for social entrepreneurs at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. She has won or been nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Crystal Wing (category: innovation), Forbes: Top 10 Women in Startups, and the Chivas Venture awards.
Ján Dudáš – Founder / COO
As the co-founder and COO of SmartHead, Ján is responsible for the company’s operations and day-to-day functioning. Ján has experience with financial management in various organisations. He co-founded a property-investment company together with Veronika. He holds a degree in corporate management from the University of Economics in Bratislava.
Dominika Osvaldová – Founder / CMO
Dominika focuses on corporate marketing and sustainability at SmartHead, and has more than five years of experience in this field. She is also in charge of consulting in the area of sustainability and customer care. She has a Master’s degree in development and international relations from Aalborg University. Dominika previously worked in the field of sustainability for three years in Denmark. She received the "Business for SDGs™ Change Leader” certificate from the renowned company VATI of Sweden. She has provided consulting in the area of sustainability for more than 40 companies.
Pavol Krajči - Founder / CTO
Pavol is the CTO and his main responsibilities include managing platform development, technical design, and solution architecture. Pavol has worked as an IT developer and IT manager at CRIF, Nike IBM Global, and Siemens in Slovakia and Austria. He holds a Master’s degree from the Technical University of Vienna.
Martin Ďuriš - Founder / ex-CTO
Martin is the former CTO of SmartHead and was in charge of the platform development. He provides external consulting based on SmartHead's current needs. He has a strong technical background from KBC banks as a developer and IT architect and member of the innovation team in Belgium, Ireland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Slovakia.
The team is supplemented with a strong advisory board composed of internationally renowned experts in various fields of business such as Patrick Jason O'Brien (journalist at The Times), H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (former President of Malta), Per Henriksen (Board Member at Hub North), Eva Vati (CEO and Founder, VATI of Sweden, SDGs in business) and Michal Pastier (Co-founder Zaraguza).
Market and competition
In September 2015, the United Nations approved a new development agenda – Agenda 2030 – which defines 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and global priorities with the ambition to guide the structural, political, economic and social transformation of individual countries in response to the threats that humanity faces today. The agenda calls for everyone – developed and developing countries, organisations, companies and people – to play a role in achieving the SDGs by 2030.
A survey conducted by KPMG in 2020 indicates that six years after their introduction, the SDGs are resonating strongly in the business world. Their influence on companies’ sustainability strategies and activities increased significantly between 2017 and 2020, and many companies are integrating the goals into their sustainability strategies.
The topic of sustainable business is gradually becoming more and more visible to companies in the EU region and further growth will be accelerated by the implementation of the new European Directive (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), which will require companies to compulsorily measure and report on the sustainability of their business - from January 2023/2024.
- Market acceptance risk – Market adoption risk is closely connected with the stage of development of the commercial importance of such a solution for small and medium-sized enterprises, the lack of verification of the product by customers, and insufficient credibility of the SmartHead brand.
- Business-model risk – SmartHead’s long-term business model is based primarily on subscripton sales of its products, which is associated with the risk of short-term uptake of services and unexpected declines in revenues.
- Competitive risk – Competitive risk arises primarily from indirectly comparable solutions, such as companies’ own communication channels, platforms for data management in the area of sustainability, and certification platforms.
- Scalability risk– Scalability risk consists in the complexity of clients’ requirements and the unwillingness of companies to publicly share their sustainability data.
The provided investment will be used for:
- Further growth and scaling of the platform and expansion of the team
- Expansion to new markets (the United Kingdom, Ireland, the EU, the United States – marketing and building sales infrastructure
- Protection of intellectual property
- Coverage of ordinary operating costs
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