Start-up Hara said today it has secured $25 million from venture and corporate investors to further develop its software for managing corporations' energy and environmental footprint.
Software industry veteran Ray Lane, who is an investor at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, will become chairman of Hara's board. Other investors included General Electric, ConocoPhilips, utility NRG Energy, and Japanese industrial company Itochu. Including this series C round, Hara has raised $45 million.
The investment gives Hara the wherewithal to further enhance its online application and sales force in the fledgling field of energy and environmental management software. Hara said it has about 50 customers which use its software to track and reduce energy use and other resources, such as water and waste.
"Effective energy and environmental management is now a business imperative that requires full accountability from companies and their stakeholders across industries," said Lane, who was president of Oracle before becoming a venture investor, in a statement.
Because businesses can spend a lot of money on energy, making a 10 percent or 20 percent reduction can mean significant savings, according to executives at energy management companies. Some businesses have set efficiency and waste-reduction targets, which can be monitored and managed in software, as part of corporate sustainability initiatives.
There are a handful of companies, includingand , developing these types of applications. SAP has a "sustainability dashboard" product as part of its enterprise software suite and HP partnered to offer Hara's product to customers.