When our CEO and co-founder Luke Jacobs was asked recently what surprised him most about starting Encamp, his response was this:

“I’ve learned that starting and growing a company and innovating in a specific field takes years — but that, in time, it’s possible to make incredible progress.”

After introducing the groundbreaking Encamp technology in 2018 to make environmental compliance data management more efficient and reporting more accurate, our company’s trajectory has indeed been “incredible.” And in 2021, delivering for our customer’s success has never been more evident. 

2021 By the Numbers

For EPCRA compliance and Tier II reporting, customers used our solutions to prepare and file 3,761 reports for reporting year 2020… and collectively saved 32,047 hours in people hours to do it.

More impressively, our company’s growth in 2021 was marked by a 500% increase in ARR and 200% increase in people growth, setting the stage to more than double both areas by the end of 2022. Additionally on the growth front, Encamp expanded its customer scope throughout 2021 by closing four Fortune 500 customers, two customers from the Fortune 1000, two Global 500 customers, and one new customer from the Global 1000.

“Encamp is fortunate to have an elite team of experts who are passionate about creating software that supports our customers’ environmental endeavors with next-generation technology,” Jacobs said in announcing Encamp’s 2021 accomplishments. “Environmental compliance is essential, yet the need for efficient, purposeful, and data-driven technology for regulatory reporting continually goes unnoticed. We are trailblazing a solution for this untouched space, and our continued growth is a testament to closing the gap in compliance reporting.”

In all, Encamp’s success throughout 2021 reinforced our position as a
premier technology-driven system for environmental compliance and reporting. We also made definitive strides in our mission to create a world where good for business can equal good for the environment.

Notable Encamp Achievements in 2021

Funding and leadership

In April, Encamp secured $12M in our Series B funding to further develop our technology platform and add key members to our strategic teams for leadership, engineering, customer experience, compliance, sales, marketing, and others. 

Key additions in 2021 included Ki Moon as Vice President of Revenue Operations, Samantha Strube as Head of People, Pauline Chen as Head of Product, and industry veteran Heather Shanahan, CPA as Chief Financial Officer. Heather in particular brings an 18-year track record from accounting and finance roles at tech firms including Wistia, Venture Advisors, and inStream, and will focus on strategic planning and financial reporting to scale Encamp’s operations.

“Encamp created a software to help modernize the way companies think about environmental compliance, and I’m excited to use my background in finance leadership to help the company grow and scale to further solve the needs of Encamp’s customers,” Shanahan said.

More trees planted thanks to Encamp customers

In 2019, we aligned with the non-profit organization One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every Tier II compliance report our customers file through the Encamp system. With the 3,761 Tier II reports submitted in 2021 (for reporting year 2020), the total number of new saplings planted via Encamp reached 11,159 — a number that will continue to grow substantially as our number of happy customers increases. Many Encamp employees also donated to the One Tree Planted cause in 2021, with our particular efforts aiding in the reforestation of areas of California affected by recent wildfires. (Look for the number of trees planted to increase even more dramatically once we wrap up Tier II reporting year 2021.)

Awards and recognitions

We’re extremely proud of the awards and recognitions we’ve received since Encamp started, and in 2021 we added a few more. They include:

Technology enhancements

All of us at Encamp are committed to continually developing our technology to encompass all regulations and requirements for environmental compliance reporting within an enterprise, with customer success constantly in mind. In 2021, our amazing team of Encampers took more steps in that direction with the following feature enhancements:

Encamp’s Strengths Entering 2022 

According to Jacobs, “From a financial perspective, our net revenue retention is absolutely amazing. The fact that Encamp has 6- and 7-figure deals as a startup that’s only had employees for three years is a strong underlying signal of the enterprise value we deliver. As environmental regulators continue to transition towards digital compliance systems, large enterprises will start to invest more heavily in the digital transformation of their environmental compliance programs at scale. Therefore, we believe the next year will be defined more prominently by the continued digitization of the environmental compliance lifecycle. 

“In 2022,” Jacobs added, “we’re excited to further leverage modern computer science techniques to not only drive the next generation of environmental compliance technology, but most importantly to provide transformational efficiency increases for our customers. Moreover with our enhanced Guided Environmental Compliance method, we’ll blend digitization, Encamp’s high-tech software, and the high-touch support of our customer experience and compliance experts to drive these increases for customers and promote compliance program unification for enterprises of all kinds.”  

Transforming the way enterprises stay in compliance 

Encamp is on a mission to create a world where good for business can equal good for the environment. We help enterprises transform compliance programs and human processes into a technology-driven system that lays the foundation for accurate and ongoing environmental compliance through a blended method of intelligent high-tech solutions and high-touch expert support.

Add Encamp CEO and co-founder Luke Jacobs to the Forbes 30 Under 30 class of 2022, where he’s been recognized in the category for Enterprise Technology

Members of the 30 Under 30 lists in their respective categories are selected based on factors ranging from funding and company revenue to social consciousness and impact, climate awareness, inventiveness in technology and services, and personal and business potential. Nominee shortlists are reviewed by each category’s four-judge panel of Forbes reporters, editors and invited experts, who then select the final 30 listees in their assigned category.

In marking the 10th year of the 30 Under 30 list, 70% of the 2022 members are founders or co-founders of companies — joining alumni like Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify, Whitney Wolfe Herd, who started Bumble, and Drew Houston, who co-founded Dropbox. Others on the 2022 list have introduced notable innovations that will seed emerging companies in the future. Collectively, the class of 2022 has also raised over $1 billion in funding for their entrepreneurial efforts.

Imagining a “new world” 

“Much of 2022 was being freshly created by this group back in 2012,” said Alexandra Wilson, the editor of Forbes Under 30. “Ten years from today, it’s a good bet we’ll all be living in a new world being imagined today by the entrepreneurs, innovators and entertainers that make up our 10th Anniversary class.”

As Jacobs said of his 30 Under 30 recognition, “It takes a village at Encamp. I appreciate everyone’s hard work to make the company successful and continue obsessing about our customers. We’re only at the beginning of this journey and I’m so proud of the work that we’re accomplishing together.”

Jacobs was also recently appointed to the Forbes Technology Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level executives who are selected for their knowledge of and diverse experience in the tech industry.

Here in large part is why Forbes included Jacobs as a member of its prestigious 30 Under 30 list for 2022. 

The initial vision for Encamp

Jacobs, who earned his B.S. in Environmental Science, co-founded Encamp in 2017 after working as an EHS consultant for Fortune 10 companies and experiencing the inefficient processes of environmental compliance reporting. For decades, such reporting had been performed manually — and often inaccurately — using spreadsheets, paper records, and disjointed data management systems. Compliance data itself had also historically been questionable and poorly managed. 

The aim of Encamp was therefore to create technology to digitize reporting data, centralize and validate it, and automate the report submission process.  

“My thinking was,” Jacobs said, “If we could make large enterprises even 1% more efficient in the way they manage compliance reporting, the impact of that is vast at scale.” Just as he envisioned, Encamp has become an operations company born from the compliance management technology it created. 

Using the Encamp platform, companies efficiently move packets of data from their regulated facilities to their environmental operations teams and compliance professionals for reporting. Encamp further creates a traceable “paper trail” to know where data comes from and increase data visibility to gauge and ensure its quality. 

In effect, Encamp’s technology is the unifying data speck that enables companies to mitigate the risks of reporting errors and non-compliance violations, a claim supported by the EHS analysts at Verdantix in their recently published Encamp Case Study Report

Encamp’s ongoing mission is to create a world where
good for business can equal good for the environment. 

On environmental sustainability and ESG

Some of the other reasons Forbes selected Jacobs for their 30 Under 30 2022 list are his views on how enterprise technology, the environment, sustainability, and compliance reporting intersect in the business world. We asked him about his thoughts on sustainability and ESG in particular.

What important message do you think should businesses share when it comes to environmental sustainability?

Jacobs: Businesses should definitely focus on transparent reporting and knowing where their data comes from and where it lives. The ability to measure the progress of their sustainability initiatives offers greater clarity for investors and better decision making for the business itself, especially ones that are consciously addressing their impact on the climate. 

How can companies make their data accessible for environmental sustainability? 

Jacobs: Sustainability and making data readily accessible is a must, which in turn makes digitizing sustainability data vital. When environmental compliance data pipelines are digitized and standardized, it improves data collaboration and accessibility. Ultimately this lets businesses provide transparent, honest data to investors and consumers as well as the general public.

Do you think there’s a lag in making this data accessible, and if so, why?

Jacobs: Sustainability starts by knowing where your data comes from and where it lives. A business’s holy grail is the data they collect, manage, and interpret, and the data accessibility issues we see most at Encamp are businesses not knowing where their data is. When this happens, it typically results in inconsistent reporting metrics across the organization, and data that’s inaccurate and of poor quality.

How can businesses use ESG sentiments to measure sustainability or evolve their brand?

Jacobs: Organizations can benefit from ESG sentiments in their brand by empowering the company and employees to get involved with sustainability initiatives, both internally and externally. At Encamp, for instance, we’ve aligned with non-profits such as One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every Tier II compliance report we file on behalf of our customers. We’ve already surpassed 18,000 trees, and we know the number will continue to grow substantially as we increase our customer base. Many of our employees even donate to the One Tree Planted cause, and we constantly encourage them to volunteer for other similar mission-driven environmental efforts. 

Measuring these efforts and making them visible adds to the momentum necessary for effective sustainability programs. It also evolves a company’s brand to genuinely reflect the desire to make an impact on an individual and corporate level. 

Would you say environmental compliance is the backbone of beating climate change?

Jacobs: Environmental compliance is essential to combating climate change, particularly in making large-scale action involving corporations possible to protect the environment. We must continue to translate global climate initiatives into regulations that establish compliance requirements for businesses and countries to abide by, track towards, and regularly report on.

At the same time, companies and their EHS and Operations teams must take a more proactive approach to compliance itself, which we talk about in Encamp’s eBook on Proactive Environmental Compliance.

On starting Encamp, its strengths, and staying inspired

What surprised you most about starting a company? 

Jacobs: One of my mentors told me early into building Encamp that you’re always going to overestimate what you can accomplish in one year, and underestimate what you can accomplish in five years. I’ve been surprised by how true that has been. A year after co-founding Encamp, we had achieved less than I had expected. Now we’re four years in, and we’ve accomplished more for our customers and as a company. I’ve really learned that growing a company and really innovating in a field takes years — but after multiple years it’s possible to make incredible progress.

What do you feel is Encamp’s biggest strength right now? 

Jacobs: From a financial perspective, our net revenue retention is absolutely amazing. The fact that Encamp has 6- and 7-figure deals as a startup (that’s only had employees for three years) is a strong underlying signal of the enterprise value we deliver. From a solutions perspective, Encamp has process power in how we’re thinking about environmental compliance from a first principles perspective and leveraging next generation technology to create order of magnitude efficiency increases at scale for our customers.

Guided Environmental Compliance eBookWe’re a technology company competing in a managed service provider space, and by automating compliance reporting and building digital transformation tools and practices into the process, we have a lot of competitive differentiating abilities compared to a consulting firm. Those two aspects of Encamp are extremely strong and provide a ton of value to our customers, as does our Guided Environmental Compliance method that blends our high-tech software with the high-touch support of our compliance and technology experts. We explain the method in our Guided Environmental Compliance eBook.

What qualities and skills do you look for in emerging leaders?

Jacobs: In a startup, being a self starter is the most important trait of a leader. It’s not corporate. There’s not an established playbook. Lots of things are ambiguous because you’re continuing to ideate them out and make them real. Another principal quality of an emerging leader is a real desire to lead, not because you want to be “the leader” or have a title, but because you sincerely want to help guide and grow organizational functions. Being a good communicator and listener and possessing general intelligence never hurts, either.

Many entrepreneurs turn to mentors at some point in their journey. How do you view mentorship?

Jacobs: Most people, especially if they’re further along in their career, love to help entrepreneurs who are putting themselves out there. Even before starting Encamp, I’ve always focused on getting mentors to discuss my ideas with them and hear their thoughts. The knowledge they have is invaluable, and mentors are vital to your own self-discovery and self-drive. 

Final question. How do you stay inspired?

Jacobs: I try to find the things I really enjoy about the process of building Encamp and changing how companies manage their compliance operations and the process of compliance reporting. We truly have introduced a better way of managing data and reporting that for decades was an archaic manual process. So I always try to see this bigger picture and realize I’m much more satisfied being on this journey than not. Building a company is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s changed how I prioritize my life and my day.

Transforming the way enterprises stay in compliance 

Encamp is on a mission to create a world where good for business can equal good for the environment. We help enterprises transform compliance programs and human processes into a technology-driven system that lays the foundation for accurate and ongoing environmental compliance through a blended method of intelligent high-tech solutions and high-touch expert support.

If you rely on technology for environmental, health, and safety (EHS) operations, environmental compliance and Tier II reporting for EPCRA and other regulatory requirements, we’d like to think you’ve heard of Encamp by now. If not, to fill you in, we’re all about environmental compliance innovation. We introduced a first of its kind end-to-end technology and software for compliance and reporting in 2018, and it’s created a buzz ever since. 

Now, we’re continuing to turn the buzz way up.

New Series B funding 

In April 2021, we were thrilled to announce Encamp had raised $12 million in Series B funding led by OpenView. The funding was supported with participation from Encamp investors High Alpha Capital, Allos Ventures, and IU Ventures, who participated in an earlier funding round in April 2020 (co-led by High Alpha and Allos). The new investment is being used to fuel our technology-driven system’s ongoing innovation and add resources in engineering, customer support and compliance, sales, recruiting, and other areas.

Naturally, the new funding was great news for Encamp and our future. But it’s been even better news for our industry and every environmental professional and compliance specialist who craves a solution that makes their job easier. Here’s why.

OpenView is respected for helping fast-growing software companies reach their potential with what it terms product-led growth in the “end user era.” Put simply, OpenView believes purchasing decisions for technology and software should focus on end users and not “How will this product help our business’s bottom line?” Instead, the primary decision-making criteria is “How will this product help someone in their day-to-day work life?” 

Which brings us to a day in the life of an environmental professional — our technology’s core end users — and why we created Encamp in the first place. (Read more about our journey.) 

Customer-driven solutions for environmental professionals

If you have to deal with environmental compliance every day and issues like Tier II reporting every year, we know what you’re up against. Most of us at Encamp come from environmental compliance and EHS backgrounds, and we always asked the same question you do.

“Why are we using spreadsheets to manage all this information and file compliance reports?”

In 2017 when we first envisioned Encamp, we knew software and digital innovation had been making businesses more efficient for a long time. Digital transformation was already well underway, and it was providing measurable value in data-centered industries like healthcare, manufacturing and especially retail (think Amazon).

So our thinking was, let’s bring the same innovation and digital dynamic to environmental compliance. The best way to improve an environmental professional’s workday would be to digitize compliance data to make it easier to manage, validate and access, and to automate how the information is compiled and reported to state and federal regulatory agencies.

Our Mission: Encamp is on a mission to increase compliance efficiencies across top organizations… to create a world where good for business can equal good for the environment.

Just as we planned, Encamp now transforms compliance programs and human processes into a technology-driven system that lays the foundation for accurate and ongoing environmental compliance. And with our growing teams of compliance and software experts, we help companies centralize their compliance information for applicable facilities, set up continuous data collection, and automate getting that information to the right reporting systems in the right formats. 

Encamp’s Guided Environmental Compliance method

As it does for many other industries, digital transformation brings a simplified method to data management and reporting for environmental compliance. And on a path that blends digitization with our high-tech software and high-touch support from Encamp’s own team of compliance experts, we guide enterprises and their environmental teams to a simpler process and consistently successful outcomes for compliance. 

Appropriately, we call our method Guided Environmental Compliance. Along with our technology-driven system, the approach compels enterprises and their EHS and compliance operations to adopt digital transformation technologies and practices, which enables them to then take five distinct steps toward simplifying compliance program areas. 

  1. Establish a strong foundation for compliance data.
  2. Create a continuous data collection process.
  3. Automate updates and notifications to keep facilities in compliance on an ongoing basis.
  4. Confidently file compliance reports to various regulatory agencies.
  5. Build a sound foundation and transform your environmental compliance program into an auditable and continuous process.

As enterprises integrate digital technology into their compliance program areas, they centralize information, make data more visible, build a continuous and auditable process, and ultimately gain control over their entire compliance program. 

How we started on our mission

The foundation of our mission was — and will always be — to make managing compliance data and reporting faster, easier, and more accurate for regulated facilities in all 50 states. To tackle the fundamental problem environmental professionals and compliance teams had faced for decades, we focused on three key aspects of compliance management.

  1. Understand all regulations and their applicability — i.e., know what, where, when, why and how to report environmental compliance information.
  2. Solve the data management and reporting problem with a technology system that makes Encamp your go-to portal for compliance data and efficiency.
  3. Become the premier data source for environmental compliance in the form of a single source of truth.

End-to-end environmental compliance

As a source for critical environmental compliance information, we developed our technology to combine a powerful data management system with compliance reporting automation. Digitized data and digitalized processes then help simplify the entire compliance and reporting process, as do these Encamp features:

Encamp is also deployed via the cloud, which lets enterprises implement Encamp in a matter of days (or a couple weeks) and ramp up compliance operations quickly. By comparison for data management point systems and legacy Environmental Management Information Systems (EMIS) hardware, implementation can take months, if not years, especially for EMIS products that require some serious configuration. Rapid deployment is part of our environmental compliance innovation approach.

An efficient option for end users

If you’re an environmental compliance professional at any level, Encamp gives you a modern software option that makes spreadsheets, point systems, and EMIS products seem archaic. Unlike the integrated Encamp technology, these solutions are often disjointed and inefficient. They create data silos and do a poor job of connecting and tracking data streams, let alone compliance operations. And quite frankly, they’re no fun to use. 

Innovation never stops

When we launched the initial version of Encamp’s software publicly in 2018, it made us trailblazers in environmental compliance innovation almost immediately. By 2019, our software had drawn more than 100 customers and made Encamp the largest filer of EPCRA Tier II hazardous material inventory reports in the United States. 

For the EPCRA reporting year 2020, nearly 200 Encamp customers used our solutions to prepare and file 3,761 Tier II reports, and collectively saved 32,047 people hours to do it. More impressively, our company’s progress in 2021 was marked by a 500% increase in ARR and 200% increase in people growth, setting the stage to more than double both areas by the end of 2022.

But there’s also a saying that innovation never stops. In Encamp’s case, upgrades to our software are both inevitable and constant.

For instance, we recently increased onboarding for larger enterprises and their EHS operations. For all facilities in an organization, we put a broader range of state and federal regulatory requirements information at a user’s fingertips through our software’s integration with EPA databases. New integrated mapping also puts all facilities in a single view. We additionally enhanced our software’s facility-based profiles and fillable forms for reporting to make the compliance process easier.

Yet even with ongoing improvements to the Encamp technology-driven system, we’ll never lose sight of why we created it. 

Now, we need to keep looking ahead and take another step.

While Encamp started out to become the premier data source and system of record for environmental compliance and reporting, the industry’s dynamic is shifting. The new outlook for environmental compliance innovation are systems of intelligence for regulatory rules and data, and technology must set the new course to delivering them. 

Encamp has already set that course. And now our product roadmap, the support of our investors, and ongoing guidance from OpenView will let us transform environmental compliance yet again — this time with our increased emphasis on digital transformation and our Guided Environmental Compliance method to consistently produce positive business and compliance outcomes.  

We also know the incredible minds at OpenView will help bring Encamp closer to achieving another ongoing mission: To ensure environmental compliance in every regulated facility in the U.S. We’re excited that OpenView is on this journey with us.      

There’s a reason the people who make Encamp what it is are viewed as trailblazers of environmental compliance. For every environmental professional and compliance specialist in the EHS industry, we’re ready to make compliance and reporting even faster, easier, more accurate — and more intelligent — than we already have.

Stay tuned.

About OpenView 

Founded in 2006, OpenView is a venture capital firm investing globally in business software companies. With a mission to improve people’s working lives, OpenView’s focused investment approach across sector and stage enables the firm to identify and partner with category leading business software companies. The firm’s focus extends to operational excellence through its dedicated expansion team working with portfolio companies on go-to-market, sales and marketing, product led growth, talent, and corporate development. The firm is based in Boston and has $1.5 billion in total capital under management. For more information, please visit openviewpartners.com.

About High Alpha

High Alpha is a leading venture studio focused on building next-generation B2B SaaS companies through a new model for entrepreneurship that unites company building and venture capital. The High Alpha team partners with entrepreneurs, investors and large corporations to conceive, launch and scale new software companies. For more information: highalpha.com or on Twitter at @highalpha.

About Allos Ventures

Allos Ventures invests in early-stage technology companies based in the Midwest. Investments focus on B2B software companies at a Seed and Series A stage, augmenting the capital provided by seed and startup investors. In addition to the capital Allos provides, portfolio companies benefit from the extensive operating and business-building experience of the firm’s managing partners, who make themselves available as needed to support each portfolio company’s growth. For more information: allosventures.com

About IU Ventures

IU Ventures is a Code Section 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering Indiana University faculty, alumni, and friends to support and invest in IU-affiliated innovation. Through the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund and the IU Angel Network, IU Ventures works to provide opportunities for individuals affiliated with IU to network with fellow entrepreneurs; build innovative new businesses; and support growing enterprises through donations, investments, time and talents.

Transforming the way enterprises stay in compliance 

Encamp is on a mission to create a world where good for business can equal good for the environment. We help enterprises transform compliance programs and human processes into a technology-driven system that lays the foundation for accurate and ongoing environmental compliance through a blended method of intelligent high-tech solutions and high-touch expert support.

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