The real estate sector is a bit of a greenhouse effect, responsible for 40% of all global emissions. A quarter of That comes from building materials, and Tangible has had enough. The company is building a tool to find, manage and report on low-carbon, more sustainable building materials and has just closed a $3 million seed round to fulfill that mission.
Tangible announced today that it has raised $3 million in seed funding. The round was led by a novice investor in construction technology FundamentalAnd Fifty years (who led the company’s previously undisclosed pre-seed round). Redstone Built World Fund, Pi Labs, Asymmetric and Deco Ventures also participated in the round.
The Tangible platform is designed to support sustainability and development managers who use it as a resource to source low-carbon materials, primarily drawn from global environmental product declarations, all of which the company says are third-party verified. Materials can then be added to a project and the impact aggregated; the results are shareable, which gives developers a picture of all their projects, the materials used and the impact on the environment and health. Tangible also insists on transparency: users can share the information with their clients and investors to demonstrate the changes in practice.
“We will use the funding to grow the product team and further develop the platform. We developed the platform together with a select group of customers, so we are scaling up for our full launch later this year,” said Anneli Tostar in an interview with TechCrunch. She founded the company with Nicole Granath. “We raised $3 million in this round, bringing the total we raised to $4 million — all equity.”
The company declined to comment on the valuation for this round.
“We are excited to develop Tangible and fully launch the platform in the North American market. This market alone is worth approximately $72 billion – with hundreds of thousands of developers and construction managers who would benefit from using Tangible to report embodied carbon for construction projects,” explained Tostar. “TThe long-term vision is a full-stack platform for sustainable construction. In the future, people will be able to use Tangible to track projects, view case studies from other organizations, order more sustainable materials and provide the tools to decarbonise the construction industry as a whole.”
The industry already has LEED, but Tangible does not believe that is enough to achieve climate impact.
“When it comes to climate impact, LEED focuses primarily on energy use, with only a few points being awarded for considering material sustainability,” says Tostar. “That is somewhat at odds with how we should think about CO2 reduction. Studies show that the CO2 emissions of the prior construction are equivalent to up to 10 years of building use, and each time a retrofit or renovation takes place, additional CO2 is emitted. In addition, if we emit carbon, the sooner we release carbon, the more likely we are to trigger climate cascades, causing the climate to warm even faster. So tackling this carbon upfront is critical to mitigating the worst effects of climate change.
“We have heard from real estate investors and owners that they are under pressure from investors, upcoming regulations and green building standards to decarbonise their projects. While there are many solutions to help them address the operational carbon of their properties, they do not yet have a streamlined way to manage and reduce the built-in carbon of buildings,” said Granath. “While leading sustainability programs internally and as consultants, Anneli and I saw the overwhelming need for a scalable embedded carbon tracking, mitigation and reporting solution. Tangible is the embodied carbon management platform developers have been waiting for. We are excited to launch Tangible for owners and developers who want a portfolio-wide view of their embodied carbon footprint and where to decarbonise.”