We know them little. And for good reason: they decline interview requests when it comes to talking about them. “They are not in a race for ego”, comments Omri Benayoun, partner at Partech, the first fund to have trusted Frédéric Trinel and Pierre-François Thaler, the two bosses of EcoVadis, on the occasion of a lift of 30 million euros in 2016.
Six years later, their company, which has developed a platform for evaluating the CSR performance of supply chains, has just completed a funding round of 500 million dollars, becoming the new unicorn of French Tech.
The two men work as a duo and are co-owners of the company, a relatively rare status in France. “They are complementary and visionary, driven by the positive impact they can have on the economic world,” praises Benoît Ficheur, partner at Astorg, a fund that co-directed the last round of EcoVadis.
A strong experience abroad
Visionaries, that’s for sure. They launched the company in 2007, at a when ESG criteria were far from being an important subject, and remained self-financed for nine years. They have known each other for “a very long time” and have lived in Asia together.
A graduate in international trade (ICAD Paris), Frédéric Trinel is an entrepreneur who has spent twenty-seven years abroad. He is at the origin of four companies still in activity in the fields of software and services, including Mr Ted, a recruitment management tool. At the house of EcoVadis, it evolves mainly on the product and finance functions.
His fellow engineer (Supélec, Insead), Pierre-François Thaler, has more than twenty years of experience in the supply chain and set up B2Build.com, a professional marketplace for the European construction industry. building. The entrepreneur concentrates on the commercial part and the search for new customers.
More mature profiles
In 2014, the co-founders left France for the United States and established the company there. Frédéric Trinel will stay there for five years before returning to France. Both will enter the “Challenges” ranking of the 500 greatest professional fortunes in France in 2021, with an estimated heritage of 250 million. euros.
Older than most unicorn founders – in their fifties – their maturity and experience are their strength. “This side of patience, reserve and focus on the essential allows them to make fewer mistakes of youth and to have a more mature reflection”, remarks Omri Benayoun. And, in all discretion.