UK Startup Hace Raises Over £450K to Combat Child Labour with AI

UK Startup Hace Raises Over £450K to Combat Child Labour with AI

Manchester-based startup Hace has successfully secured over £450,000 in pre-seed funding to further its mission of eradicating child labour through innovative data and AI solutions. This funding, which surpassed the initial target by 20%, signifies a significant step forward in addressing the critical issue of child labour within global supply chains.

Led by CEO Eleanor Harry, Hace has developed a groundbreaking tool known as the Child Labour Index, designed to empower investors in identifying and mitigating child labour risks within their portfolio companies. The funding round was led by Manchester Angels, with contributions from GC Angels, Ada Ventures, Found Capital, and individual angel investors.

The Child Labour Index utilizes advanced AI algorithms to evaluate companies and portfolios based on three key criteria: company disclosure, public perception, and supply chain practices. Tailored for asset managers, consultants, banks, insurers, and other professional services, this index provides a real-time quantitative metric for reporting on child labour, enabling stakeholders to make informed and ethical investment decisions.

Hace’s journey towards addressing child labour began in 2020 when it received £55,000 in grant funding from the Greater Manchester AI Foundry and the University of Cambridge. Initially focusing on revenue generation from its initial services, the company shifted its focus to developing the Child Labour Index, recognizing the urgent need for proactive measures against this pervasive issue.

The funding secured by Hace will be instrumental in completing the development of the Child Labour Index and expanding its outreach through the Stewardship Toolkit, which facilitates engagement with portfolio companies for positive change. Additionally, the company plans to utilize the funds to conduct Proof-of-Concept feedback and Pilot phases with select asset and wealth managers, further enhancing its offerings.

In a testament to its commitment to driving tangible change, Hace has also announced strategic partnerships and appointments. The company has entered into a joint development and technological partnership with software provider Equal Experts. Furthermore, it has unveiled a new board of directors, led by Eric Solomons, along with appointments such as Chris Turpin as Business Partner, leveraging extensive financial services experience to strengthen engagement efforts.

Eleanor Harry, CEO of Hace, expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support received during the funding round, emphasizing the critical role of technology in sustainably eradicating child labour. With a dedicated team and strategic partnerships in place, Hace remains steadfast in its mission to create a world free from the exploitation of children in corporate supply chains.

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