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HACE: Startup using AI to monitor child labour raises £450k

HACE child labour
Image credit: HACE

HACE, a Manchester startup flagging when companies are exposed to child labour in their supply chains, has raised £450,000 in pre-seed funding.

Founded in 2020, HACE has built an AI-powered index that gathers data from listed firms in real time to monitor the likelihood of child labour being present somewhere in its supply chain.

Estimates from the International Labour Organisation and UNICEF from 2020 suggested there are 160 million children currently facing child labour.

The index, designed to give investors and asset managers a clearer idea of the ethics of different industries and firms, scores firms based on public perception, corporate governance policies and their sub-industry’s general use of child labour.

The index is currently in its pilot phase, being used by a select group of asset and wealth managers.

The company said the funding will support the completion of its child labour index as well as advancing its Stewardship Toolkit, a product designed by academics to support investors’ engagement with portfolio companies on child labour risk.

The investment round was led by Manchester Angels and included participation from GC Angels, Ada Ventures, Found Capital and individual angel investors.

“We would like to extend our deep gratitude to the wider Manchester ecosystem which has also been monumental in supporting HACE as we have built and grown the business,” said HACE founder and CEO Eleanor Harry.

“HACE is on a mission to create tangible change, something we wouldn’t be able to do without the help of all those involved.”

Read more: Early Impact: How HACE is using AI to monitor child labour

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