A pioneer in the development of software, which allows large organisations to manage and report on their climate change impact, Limerick company Accuvio is targeting an addressable global market of €500m.
A finalist in this year’s Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition, Accuvio now sells mainly in the UK and is developing markets in Canada, Australia, Asia and the US.
“We have 250 clients spread across a diverse range of sectors — customers include B&Q, the Irish EPA, Babcock International and West Fraser,” said company CEO and co-founder Adrian Fleming.
Employing 11, it is actively recruiting and fundraising with a view to scaling the business globally.
This year Mr Fleming aims to raise €500,000 in EIIS funding and employ an additional five staff. Next year, he intends to secure a further €4m.
Growth in demand for the company’s software is being driven by legislation which requires companies to provide data on their carbon footprint.
In 2016 changes were introduced in Europe and Canada which increased the number of companies impacted by the legislation from 6,000 to 33,000, which present huge global opportunities for companies in this space.
Mr Fleming said Accuvio, as one of around only 10 companies providing this type of solution globally, is well positioned to compete successfully.
“Our platform is by far the easiest to use on the market, and it automates the complex data collection and reporting for even the most complicated companies.”
In 2008 while working with Dell in Limerick, Mr Fleming identified a gap in the market when Dell’s share price dropped due to incorrect carbon footprint reporting.
“I had a light bulb moment when I did some research and realised that there was only one archaic software solution available globally for climate impact reporting,” he added.
Taking voluntary redundancy, he enrolled in Limerick Institute of Technology’s LEAP programme for start-ups, got support from Limerick Enterprise Board and began working on developing a software system.
He was joined by co-founder and CTO Roy Meaney.
“In 2011, he signed Irish Ferries, Independent News and Media and Portman Travel UK as his first customers.
“Within a few weeks of launch we signed our first multinational client, Australian-Canadian environmental consulting company Golder Associates,’’ said Mr Fleming, explaining that this company found Accuvio through a web search.
Signing a five-year contract with a company of this size was a huge milestone for a start up, he added. In 2012 Accuvio became an Enterprise Ireland client and, at a time when investment capital was difficult to procure, raised €600,000.
This included High Potential Start Up funding as well as investment from two venture capital companies. It allowed the company to grow the staff to five and to start developing sales in the UK which is now its largest market accounting for 75% of turnover.
In 2013 Accuvio signed a technology partnership with a UK company which had previously been a competitor but whose product failed due to changes in carbon reporting methodologies.
“As a result we took on 100 new clients which including several universities and large multinationals,’’ said Mr Fleming.
During 2015 the company switched its focus from product development to on sales and grew turnover by 100%. Last year Accuvio grew sales by a further 50%. While the major share of sales to date have been in the UK, Mr Fleming is conscious of a need to reduce reliance on the UK market because of Brexit.
“We have sales in Australia and the US, and are dipping our toe in the Asian market in anticipation of new legislation there. We entered the Canadian market in 2016 which now accounts for 10%,” he said.
Accuvio plans to grow its staff size to 60 by 2018 with the aim of establishing itself in the top three globally within four years.