Convercent, a company that provides ethics and compliance software to businesses, today announced that it has raised a $25 million funding round led by Rho Ventures. Additional investors include Sapphire Ventures and Tola Capital.
The idea behind Convercent is to give businesses the tools to, in MBA-speak, “operationalize ethics.” In practice, this means that the companies mine a variety of company data sets, ranging from global sales to HR data, to look for potential ethical risks. As a company spokesperson told me, this is essentially like heat mapping unethical behavior. Typically, though, it’s hard to find these kinds of outliers because that bribe to a local official is maybe buried a few tabs deep in a spreadsheet.
In addition to this, the company offers a number of other related services, including a reporting system for employees who want to blow the whistle on their co-workers, tools for managing disclosures from across a company’s workforce and a service for gathering similar data from third-party suppliers.
The company says that its tools have fielded more than 156,000 cases to date (and more than 1,000 of these were related to sexual harassment). In the ideal world, there would be no need for this kind of tool — but that’s not the world we live in. “A single, negative social media post can send a company’s reputation and earnings into a tailspin. Businesses that don’t adapt to today’s higher ethical standards won’t survive,” said Patrick Quinlan, co-founder and CEO of Convercent, in today’s announcement.
The company tells me that in 2017, its revenue grew 60 percent year-over-year. Most of this growth is happening in North America, but the company is also seeing strong demand from businesses in Europe and the Middle East.
Convercent’s almost 600 customers include Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, Tesla, Uber (insert your own joke here about how Uber really needs a tool like this), Zenefits, Under Armour, Airbnb and LinkedIn. In Q3 alone, the company brought on 29 new customers, and the company tells me that its retention rate is effectively 100 percent.
As for the new funding, Convercent tells me that it’ll primarily use it for product innovation within its Ethics Cloud Platform. Specifically, the company plans to expand its analytics capabilities and data science practices “to bring richer analytics and benchmarking to its customers,” as a company spokesperson told me. In addition, it’ll launch new machine learning and AI initiatives and expand its footprint in the U.S. and EMEA.