Tesel, a platform created to simplify the process of ESG assessments for buyers and suppliers throughout the supply chain, has raised £320,000 in a pre-Seed round led by early-stage focused venture capital firm Jenson Funding Partners and angel investors.
The investment will fund further product development, commercialisation and expansion of its highly experienced team ahead of its next phase of growth.
Tesel puts ESG tracking technology, assessments, consultations and information into one place to help businesses transparently report their sustainability credentials and find the resources they need at whatever stage of their ESG journey, saving considerable time and cost.
Small and mid-sized businesses are increasingly required to complete sustainability and ESG questionnaires when being assessed as new and existing suppliers and the EU’s upcoming Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will require companies of all sizes to disclose information on their ESG performance annually – this will also impact UK businesses with securities listed on an EU-regulated market.
However, the lack of standardisation across ESG reporting methods and multiple frameworks makes this challenging. This has left businesses in sectors such as manufacturing and hospitality ill-prepared.
Pressure throughout the supply chain as well as from investors has also increased the focus on buyers only working with suppliers that comply with ESG reporting criteria. For suppliers, a multitude of reporting methods further complicates matters.
Tesel was created in 2021 to address the growing issue for SMEs after its co-founder and CEO Reemah Shanab experienced the problem first-hand. Shanab was selling car fragrances when some of her biggest customers started asking her to complete ESG questionnaires. She was keen to prove she was doing things sustainably, and hold onto existing and win new contracts, but the assessments were large and complex, and little guidance is available. This is a common problem for SMEs, so Shanab set about solving the problem.
Shanab had also seen the rise in importance of ESG criteria during her time working with Bentley, Reebok and Virgin Galactic and was required to file reports about Environmental and Social practice, highlighting indisputable supply chain challenges.
With co-founder and serial entrepreneur Anton Manley, Shanab has assembled a highly experienced senior team who have a wealth of experience across public and private sector innovation, FMCG and energy supply chain management. Alongside Shanab, Manley was previously COO of consulting business Webhelp, where he took the business from 1000 to 10,000 employees over a 10 year period. As Co-founder and Director at Tesel, Manley will recruit sales, partner management, SEO and web development talent over the next six months.
Reemah Shanab, CEO and co-founder of Tesel, says: “ESG is quickly becoming a defining factor for commercial success. Reporting will become mandatory, and being able to shout about sustainability is more critical than ever. However, companies often don’t know where to begin or how to navigate such a fragmented market. Tesel aims to demystify ESG for SMEs by putting everything a business needs in one place, from assessments to tracking technology.This makes it simple for businesses to hold onto customers and find new ones. We’re delighted to have completed our pre-Seed round with the support of Jenson Funding Partners, which will enable us to grow our rapidly expanding network of customers and team over the next year.”
Sarah Barber, CEO of Jenson Funding Partners, says: “In spite of increasing pressure from investors and regulators alike to put ESG on top of the priority list, the market itself is crowded and chaotic, with a lack of consensus on what is really needed to be ESG compliant. The upcoming Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) from the EU has put pressure on businesses of all sizes to be more diligent in ESG reporting. However, this is tiresome and expensive, particularly for SMEs. Tesel stood out to us as it offers a clear, concise solution, by directly connecting ESG-focused buyers and suppliers on the supply chain. We believe its easy-to-use, easy-to-access platform will become the de facto resource for businesses to ensure the correct ESG standards are being put in place.”