Welcome to issue #25 of our recently launched Q&A series, Startup Spotlight.
This series is all about diving into the world-class technological innovation conducted by exciting startups. Getting to grips with the technology, the mission, and even the stories behind them.
In each edition, we sit down with a different startup founder, leader, or operator in an easily digestible conversational style Q&A format.
Today we interviewed Dimitri Syrris, CEO of Baotree, to find out more about his company's data collection tool that helps organisations validate and tell their sustainability stories.
- 😊 How Baotree builds trust and transparency through technology
- 💰 From a global pandemic to $700k in investment
- 📈 How Baotree plans to scale up
shocking scary numbers. In the last 50 years we have lost 68% of *all wildlife* globally. By 2050, Africa’s population is going to double.
This will create more economic, social, and climate pressures than ever before. There are already many organisations working to save the planet, but, by relying on spreadsheets, their dated methods are inefficient. So, what’s the solution?
Baotree is tackling this head-on.
Using innovative tech, Baotree have made monitoring and evaluation simple. Their tool’s intuitive features give any team the ability to quickly capture data and use it to guide improvements on their project. Their user-friendly dashboard offers organisations and their communities a transparent way to collaborate and drive and track impact – all in real-time.
A key objective for Baotree right now is to tackle “where the money comes from and goes” for private sector, family offices, consumer-facing brands. Their goal is to support these organisations in backing up, verifying, and proving their claims… to be validated as “doing good”.
In the longer term, Baotree plans to become the global operating system managing the relationship between nature and humanity.
But, what challenges have they experienced on their journey so far?
How does Baotree stand out from the crowd when it comes to saving the planet?
And finally, what’s next on the horizon?
We sat down with Dimitri to find out the answers to all of these questions.
Here we go.👇
What is the mission of your company?
Our MTP (Massive Transformative Purpose): Be the global operating system managing the relationship between nature and humanity.
How are you using technology to help solve that problem?
Baotree creates an audit trail of impact, backed by verified evidence. Baotree does this through its Software as a Service which supports data collection, verification and dashboard reporting tools – operating in real-time.
We are helping organisations to build trust, transparency and accountability on their social development, environmental impact and ESG spending.
Organisations distributing money for social development or environmental impact (ESG) – have limited visibility on the truth of data & the reports coming from the field and/or portfolio companies.
Risks of inaccurate or poor data measurement:
- No transparency/accountability
- Corruptible data quality/human error
- Inefficient or slow decision making
- Limited trust on investments/donations
Baotree's mobile application and dashboard reporting tools support data collection, verification and remote management of operations. Empowering teams to prove impact spend, build trust in measurement & optimise team capacity, efficiency & decision making.
What's your unique selling point?
Market Access: We are the first SaaS business tackling the grassroots (community) level data collection & verification challenge.
Inclusion: Baotree's software is inclusive for underserved communities to participate in their own development, and projects.
Accountability: Task management for field operators to be assigned specific duties, for their specific project.
Transparency: Two-step verification of all data collected from the field – clean, accurate and standardised data.
Project Diversity: Our customers run a range of project types, agnostic of sector. E.g. water security, regenerative agriculture, conservation, humanitarian, supply chain transparency, research & science.
Offline Sync: We operate in rural-remote locations in Africa & Asia – making offline functionality critical to useability.
Dashboards: Old school or legacy data collection tools happen with type forms displaying in excel spreadsheets. Our native data collection, streams real-time data into visual dashboards for filtering, analysis and reporting simplification.
What have been the greatest challenges to date?
Baotree was registered in the UK in March 2020 – the beginning of a global pandemic/Covid. The category of this challenge alone is numerous, but the article previously shared will paint a picture for this question.
Early adoption: We've approached the system from the bottom-up. Meaning that we've been focusing on the implementing organisations, non-profits, and conservation organisations. Who have been doing what they do, how they do it – for decades.
To change their behaviour in understanding that software can be a force for good, and an efficiency that can drive operational success – has been a massive challenge.
We are now focused on the private sector, private equity and ESG spending – where our software can maximise return on impact, and minimise risk on investments/donations. Through our data collection, verification and dashboard tools.
Hiring – finding good tech and operations talent.
What major milestones have you achieved?
We have investors and advisors who believe in our team, our purpose and the exponential scale that we can achieve. Collaborating with YPO (Young Presidents Organisation) members has been an incredible milestone for our continued success.
We've closed two capital raises, at the value of $700k USD. And, hired a COO, Tori Taylor, who joins the team from Accenture to mature our operations and internal/external processes.
Bringing our tech development from an agency model, to in-house, has been invaluable – thank you to Dorny Muba, our lead engineer from DRC.
The diversification of our product and market from conservation, to a large total addressable market in for-profit and non-profit sectors. And, having live operations/customers in both Africa and Asia markets.
Our 12 current customers have transformed our product roadmap – which is as long as a blue whale.
We commence the traction period of our growth stage start-up – finding product market fit within the financial distributors for impact.
Scale-up of our partner/reseller program with organisations who align with our ethos, values and technology.
We are integrating with Web3 ecosystems to enable community members to complete tasks (capture data), and transact that data for direct pay-outs for doing good.
In 2023 we aim to raise our Series A round.
Expansion of our team, skill sets and customer services – for world-class execution.
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