Hara, the darling of the sustainability software world, has raised $45 million and garnered accolades in the press. But funding rounds and column inches aren't enough to sustain a business, and the average deal size and volume for sustainability software hasn't grown as quickly as expected over the past few years.
At the company's energy and sustainability event I attended last week, Hara made a number of announcements, including a new CEO, new software products and new service offerings.
The changes reflect Hara's shift toward the faster-growing energy management market, away from regulatory-driven carbon and sustainability segments.I see this as a smart decision, reflecting good strategic planning on the part of an already strong player in the competitive sustainability software marketplace.
Many other firms like C3, Enablon, IHS, and SAP are also recognizing a shift in customer demand, of course, but with a strong balance sheet, team and product, Hara remains an important vendor for large companies to evaluate for energy management and sustainability software and services.
The new CEO, Dan Leff, has 30 years of operating experience leading energy services companies, including leadership positions at Invensys and Enron Energy Services. After holding the COO position, Dan was selected to be chairman and CEO of Enron Energy Services by the creditor-appointed management team to lead the parent corporation following its 2001 bankruptcy filing.
His background in energy complements the enterprise software experience of the founding team and investors. The sales team is also being infused with individuals with experience with selling energy solutions, a contrast to other vendors which deploy traditional software sales reps.
Next page: A look at Hara's new strategy