Novi, a provider of an enterprise SaaS platform, has raised $1.5 million in funding. The investors included Defy.
(SAN FRANCISCO, MARCH 20, 2019) Novi, who is enabling the future of transparent consumer products, today announced the launch of their enterprise SaaS platform. It is the first platform that gives consumer product companies instant access to vetted ingredients. Novi’s ingredient assessments go beyond regulatory and certification checks and look at data for human health, environmental sustainability, social impact and animal welfare.
“Consumers are increasingly demanding safe & sustainable products – they want full transparency into not only what’s in their products but how they’re made. With today’s increased demand, consumer product companies are now searching for how to make safer, more sustainable products. But it’s extremely hard to get right without high costs and delayed time to market” said Kimberly Shenk, Novi co-founder and CEO. “Novi does the hard work so these companies get to market faster and don’t run the risk of launching products that may be harmful to consumer health or launching without the data necessary to substantiate their safety & sustainability claims. We provide access to thousands of vetted ingredients and safer alternatives that meet their unique ingredient transparency standards,” she added.
Transforming everything we touch, breathe and eat
Novi, a San Francisco based startup, started out by helping clean beauty companies source ingredients that met their strict standards. After co-founding an online clean beauty site, Shenk experienced first hand the inefficiency and confusion of ensuring the products, and their ingredients, met the company’s standards for safety & sustainability. Quickly realizing the problem spans nearly all consumer products, and that the core problem is primarily about data management, Shenk leveraged her background in technology and data science to build the solution. Soon after, they found themselves helping larger, more established beauty brands assess ingredients they were currently using and find safer alternatives.
But the problem is hardly unique to the beauty industry – the technology they’ve built extends to products like dishwashing detergent, floor cleaner, paint, carpeting, medical devices, food – basically anything we use or consume. And it’s not just the companies making the products who benefit. Novi is currently working with one of the leading beauty retailers as they look to become the market leader in sustainability, helping them and the brands on their shelves source safer, more sustainable ingredients.
The future of transparent consumer products
It is surprisingly difficult to get access to the data that is needed in order to assess an ingredient’s supply chain and whether the ingredient is harmful to human health or the environment. Many raw material manufacturers don’t disclose the information because it’s very technical, the scale is too large and complex, and most of it is proprietary.
Novi has built an AI-driven platform to securely ingest and manage this proprietary chemical data at scale. Using their technology, Novi works with raw material suppliers to ingest chemical data and then conduct 3rd party assessments on each of their raw materials, making it easier for consumer companies to find vetted ingredients/chemicals that meet their standards for health, environment, and supply chain transparency – as well as efficacy and performance.
In-depth ingredient assessments, tailored to each company
Novi’s easy-to-use platform enables non-technical employees within a consumer product company to steer critical sourcing decisions, helping their company achieve their customers’ demands and their company’s strategy around cleaner, safer and more sustainable products.
More importantly, Novi is agnostic to methodology. Each assessment is tailored to the unique requirements and standards of the company – enabling each company to enact their own definition of ingredient transparency.
Company raises $1.5 million
Defy, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm, provided seed funding for Novi, along with prominent angel investors such as Kevin Hartz, Eventbrite co-founder and Chairman of the Board, and Julia Hartz, Eventbrite co-founder and CEO.
“Novi is at the forefront in empowering leading consumer products companies to source and ensure the proper inputs that deliver healthier, more sustainable, and more transparent products to their customers. We see a groundswell of consumer consciousness in this area, and believe there is tremendous opportunity for innovative brands and retailers to better meet these demands. Novi solves this important need, and we are excited to work with Kimberly as Novi continues to innovate and bring on more world-class customers,” said Brian Rothenberg, Partner at Defy and Board Member of Novi.
Founder Bios Kimberly Shenk, co-founder & CEO, has built and run data science and product teams at technology companies, beauty and retail companies, and as a Captain in the US Air Force. She led the data science team at Eventbrite, headed product at Domino Data Labs, was the co-founder of NakedPoppy, sits on the advisory board of the Data Institute at USF, and led the data science organization as an Air Force Captain at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and MIT, Kimberly is also a marathon runner and a new mom who shares her experiences with thousands of women to inspire them to prioritize wellness into their busy lives. LinkedIn: Kimberly Shenk Instagram: @kimberlyshenk
Jaleh Bisharat co-founded Novi and remains on the Board of Directors. Currently the co-founder and CEO of NakedPoppy, she has nurtured some of Silicon Valley’s most vibrant brands from the ground up. She’s the former CMO/VP Marketing at Amazon, OpenTable, Upwork and Eventbrite. A graduate of Harvard and Harvard Business School, Jaleh speaks and writes frequently about issues of concern to women. Her work has appeared in a variety of outlets including Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, the Huffington Post, the UK Guardian and VentureBeat.