Founders Series: Josie Stoker, Co-Founder of Capture

This week, we spoke to Josie Stoker, Co-Founder of Capture. She and her co-founder Aziz Abdul have built an app to track carbon emissions. Learn more here.

Antler

Company
May 31, 2021
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Tell us about your vision in building the Capture app. Who is your target audience and how are you reaching them?

95% of US consumers believe sustainability is a good goal, but don't know what to look for when choosing a planet-friendly option. People are more concerned about climate change than contracting COVID-19, and right now there's a huge void of data helping us make the informed choices we want to make. Our team at Capture wants to fix that.

We have the greatest impact when empowering people on-masse, and our target  audience is organisations. We help them to mobilise a stainable workforce. This results in bottom line wins for our clients via boosts in engagement & retention, cost savings via more sustainable behaviours, and valuable data on  CO2 savings.

We use a product-led-growth approach here at Capture; around 80% of our client  work is with organisations who've reached out after trialing our free 'Fitbit for your carbon footprint' app.

In what ways are attitudes towards living a more climate-conscious lifestyle  shifting, and what top tips do you have for individuals looking to reduce  their carbon impact?

Sustainability has become mainstream, and we're going to see every company on the planet prioritising it (or being 'dragged kicking and screaming' to prioritise it by investors, employees, customers and/or regulators) between now and 2030. Frankly, we don't have much choice. Remember back in the early 2000's when everyone started talking about the 'digital revolution'? We're  at the beginning of that right now with sustainability. The global pandemic has failed to put any dent in progress and the global green technology & sustainability market is projected to grow to USD $36.6 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 26.6% for that period.

If you're new to sustainability as an individual - welcome! Don't worry about  being perfect here - it's not all or nothing. We need billions being  sustainable imperfectly rather than a small group of perfectionists. The best  place to start is via a simple calculator to measure emissions across your lifestyle - which will help you identify your greatest areas for improvement. This might be your diet, travel choices or home energy usage.Check out the WWF footprint calculator here, and of course Capture's app is ready and waiting to help you track and reduce your emissions from travel and food choices.

— JOSIE

Whilst you're at it, you can take a quick look at whether your bank is financing fossil fuel projects, and do a little digging at work to find out  what your employer is doing. Never underestimate your influence at work.

Image of IPhone with App open showing the amount of CO2 Pete has used this month

What attracted you to want to build in this space? Have you always been  passionate about sustainability and climate action?

In my previous role, I facilitated learning from Indigenous Communities in  remote parts of Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Australia and South Africa. We would connect CEOs and senior leaders in the corporate world with  communities thriving in some of the harshest environments on the planet, and I lived in Mongolia for a couple years.

It was brilliant - but I started piecing together stories of extreme and  changing weather patterns from communities in different parts of the world and  realised the impact that climate change was already having on those living  close to nature. It was pretty devastating.

— JOSIE

I started where I think most people do when taking their first steps into learning about sustainability - 'what can I do?' Having come across a website called shameplane.com, I realised the impact my travel choices were  having on global emissions and became frustrated at the deliberate void of  data available to individuals around emissions of goods and services. I joined Antler with that challenge in mind, and the product evolved from there after meeting my co-founder and testing to find out what people really wanted, not  just needed, when it came to sustainability.

Can you share your co-founder story? How did you meet and what attracted you  to want to build together?

I met Aziz at the Antler Singapore program and we found out that we had a really good mix of technical skills but also fit well personality-wise when it came to collectively surviving a pressure-cooker! Aziz is from a software engineering background, having spent nearly a decade managing teams building apps and web-apps for clients around the world, so the perfect mix with my BD and sales background, and we were both passionate about building solutions in sustainability.

Our diverse backgrounds really benefited us in the ideation process and  building process - we're able to empathise with a broad range of potential user personas and we've kept a global perspective from the beginning.

Tell us about some of your lowest lows and highest highs being an entrepreneur

Every week feels like a rollercoaster, so there's certainly a lot to be said  for figuring-out a way of working that you can keep up for years. Burnout is real! A low point for me was dealing with the pressure the first time we  raised an angel round. I had a panic attack on the way to collect our first cheque, passed out on the MRT and woke up with a bloody nose on the floor of the train. Still got the cheque - albeit with a bruised face the next day!

Highs include being featured by BBC News and showcased as App of the Day on the UK and Ireland AppStores. Also, pretty much every time we receive an  inbound enquiry from an organisation asking for help mobilising a sustainable workforce with Capture!

What advice do you have for founders thinking about taking the plunge into entrepreneurship?

Trust your instinct and fail fast. In the early days, treat everything as an 'experiment' and stay obsessed with your problem - not your solution. Don't  be afraid to prioritise the needs of your customers and users over the  opinions of your investors. Don't leave money on the table in a global  pandemic (we certainly made that mistake!), and my favourite piece of advice  from Elon Musk to the question "What words of encouragement would you give to  an entrepreneur?"- "If you need words of encouragement, don't become an  entrepreneur".

Surround yourself with cheerleaders and fellow founders to help you through. We're biased of course, but a program like Antler can be a great way to get  started.

What have been some of the milestones your company has achieved since its  inception? How has this growth been possible?

We've worked with some incredible brands to help them mobilise a sustainable workforce; including Experian, Bain & Co., Quintet Private Bank and a leading pharmaceutical company. All these firms found us via our app or website. Our organic growth both in terms of corporates and our >50k B2C users has been possible thanks to the hard work of our team, and being sure to put ourselves  in the right place at the right time.

Product-led-growth has been such a great strategy for us considering our paid  product is B2B2C; we need to be able to prove that employees will use and enjoy using our platform, so having consumers using a basic version voluntarily is key! We've also been so grateful for the support of some  incredible investors and advisors along the way, and our angel investors along with Antler have provided invaluable help and advice.

Co-Founder of Capture Josie Stocker does presentation on stage with Capture logo on screen behind her t

What is the vision for 2021 and beyond?

We are working hard along our path to becoming the leading platform to help organisations mobilise a sustainable workforce. We're going to move into digital learning, green rewards and benefits amongst other services, and are excited to give employees the ability to rate employers when it comes to  prioritising sustainability this year; helping others to choose who they work  for with the data they deserve.

Josie and her co-founder Aziz were part of Antler Southeast Asia's third  cohort. They launched Capture and pitched at our Demo Day in 2019.

Antler

Company

The investor backing the world's most driven founders, from day zero to greatness. Enabling thousands of founders every year to launch and scale companies that move the world forward.

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