Alexander Kiss is co-founder and CTO of vranda, which puts environmental, social and governance data for small- and medium-sized businesses into the hands of stakeholders. His is one of several young businesses located at the link in Nocatee.
Tell me about your company and what it does.
vranda is a software company focused on corporate ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) data. Our platform allows sustainability managers to collect relevant data, track it across departments, task manage and set meaningful goals to promote change. Examples of this type of data are carbon emissions, diversity across departments and also social/charitable contributions (to name just a few). Our dashboard allows for visualization of complex inputs allowing stakeholders to spot patterns easier.
Tell me about your customers, not necessarily by name but rather by type or what qualities they typically share?
Our focus is on SMB’s (small-/medium-sized businesses) as they are under pressure to report ESG data to their larger customers. Our clients range from $50 million to $250 million in revenue, which is the sweet spot of a supplier that is being directly impacted by the impending rules. Carbon emissions has been targeted by the SEC recently and public companies will soon be mandated to report this data. Specifically, Scope 3 targets the supply chain of these publicly listed corporates, which is why the SMBs are scrambling to find a solution to track emissions.
How long has your company been around, and how did you first get the idea for it?
vranda was formed in April 2021 on Earth Day, and we have reached our first-year anniversary. Initially, our goal was to help corporates source goods from sustainable and diverse suppliers, but we realized that we can have a greater effect by broadening our reach and focusing on all ESG data. The vranda team is extremely talented, and we are excited to bring about meaningful change by holding companies accountable to their data, rather than have them “check the box” and move on.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Working with companies that want to effect meaningful change is very rewarding. Coming from a financial background, I have seen what happens when profit is put above all else, and it feels like that calculus is now shifting. Black Rock, Vanguard and State Street (this trio manages $15 trillion of assets) have publicly stated they are focused on ESG investing. Employees are also declaring that they want to work for companies that share their values, which is putting intense pressure on companies in a very tight labor market.
Tell me about your affiliation with the link. How has it benefitted your business?
I have known Raghu (Misra, link co-founder) for three years and his focus on getting the link built, running and then giving back to the community has been incredibly impressive. The Nocatee area is filled with talented entrepreneurs and giving them a space to meet, share ideas and lift each other up has created a hub of activity and mind-share. I am excited to see how it crystalizes in the coming years as there is no reason why we can’t have amazing $100 million-plus start-ups hatch and grow right out of the link.
What do you like about living here in Northeast Florida?
It’s been a great spot to raise our kids for the last seven years as the community is very engaged and has a fantastic school system. Being near the beach is a nice perk while the amenities at Nocatee are truly impressive, and only getting better.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Mostly staying around the area, riding bikes with the kids and being involved with their activities. I am a part of some great tech meetup groups which are pushing Jax forward on the national scene. After travelling so much with my previous companies, it’s nice to remain in place and not to have to catch a flight every other week — although I think we could also all use a break from the incessant Zoom calls.