Friday Apr 19, 2024

Berk Birand, CEO & Co-Founder of Fero Labs: $28 Million Raised to Build the Profitable Sustainability Category

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech's most innovative B2B founders. In today's episode, we're speaking with Berk Birand, CEO & Co-Founder of Fero Labs, an AI-powered profitable sustainability platform that has raised $28 Million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Transition from Academia to Startup: Berk discusses the challenges and learning curves of moving from an academic background in electrical engineering and computer science to founding a tech startup, emphasizing the significant shift in roles from researcher to entrepreneur.
  • Foundational Motivation: The core motivation behind Fero Labs was to apply Berk's technical expertise to tackle real-world problems, particularly in making industrial processes more sustainable and efficient, highlighting the importance of impact in their entrepreneurial journey.
  • Evolving Sustainability Focus: Although sustainability wasn't as prominent in 2015, Fero Labs always aimed to align sustainability with profitability. This approach has gained traction as businesses increasingly recognize the importance of integrating these objectives.
  • AI from Day One: Fero Labs has been an AI-focused company since its inception, aimed at applying AI to the industrial sector to improve sustainability and efficiency. Berk emphasizes the importance of explainable AI for building trust and understanding in their solutions.
  • Acquiring First Customers: The story of securing their first paying customers highlights the challenges of convincing traditional industries to adopt new AI-driven solutions. It showcases the importance of finding champions within customer organizations who believe in the startup's vision.
  • Future Vision: Looking ahead, Berk envisions Fero Labs as the intelligence layer atop the industrial sector's hardware infrastructure, optimizing not just individual factories but the entire industrial ecosystem for better sustainability and efficiency.

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