Canadian development bank backs tech start-up Manifest Climate

Condominium and office towers are seen on the mountain-backed skyline of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

  • BDC Capital, Climate Innovation Capital lead round
  • Cash to help fund expansion into Europe, Asia
  • Comes as more regulators mandate climate disclosures

LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) – The Business Development Bank of Canada has co-led a C$30 million ($23.98 million) funding round for tech start-up Manifest Climate, which helps companies assess and report environmental risk.

Alongside the BDC Capital Women in Technology Venture Fund and Climate Innovation Capital, previous investors in Toronto-based Manifest including OMERS Ventures and Golden Ventures also took part in the Series A raise, the company said.

BDC is a state-backed Canadian lender that supports small and medium-sized businesses.

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The raise is the second in a just over a year for Manifest Climate and will help the more than 60 person-strong firm expand into Europe and Asia, it said. Its current clients include Scotiabank, Manulife and Teck Resources.

Demand for more in-depth climate disclosures has increased in recent years as governments push companies to rein in their emissions and help meet a global goal to cap global warming.

A number of countries have begun to make such reporting mandatory, including Britain, which will require large companies to disclose against the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) framework from April 6.

In the United States, meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission last week proposed new rules that would require more than 8,000 U.S. companies to follow suit. In Canada, a disclosure law has also been proposed. read more

While a number of tech companies have sprung up to help companies measure their greenhouse gas emissions, Manifest Climate aims to help show companies what to do then as they look to change their strategy and report to other stakeholders.

“There are only so many companies that can hire consultants costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, but every single company needs the support,” Manifest Co-founder and Chief Executive Laura Zizzo told Reuters.

($1 = 1.2512 Canadian dollars)

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Reporting by Simon Jessop
Editing by Tommy Wilkes, Kirsten Donovan

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