Wellington based sustainability startup, Hitch, was initially created by founders Claudia Grave and Todd Foster as a ride sharing platform. It has since morphed into a SaaS (software as a service) business; its software helps businesses measure, report and reduce commuting related carbon emissions.

For businesses undertaking an annual carbon audit, the number one pain point of this process is often gathering employee commuting and working from home data.

"Hitch takes away this pain for companies, saving them time, money and hassle! We are progressing well towards our vision of fundamentally changing the way people move," says Hitch co-founder, Claudia Grave.

Hitch software enables companies to easily report carbon emissions, make informed decisions using this data to help employees commute more sustainably, and engage and empower employees on this journey.

Hitch is already working with a range of well-known New Zealand businesses such as Sharesies, Lincoln University and the Co-operative Bank.

After winning $7,000 in a Soda Seed Grant in 2021, Hitch recently graduated from Soda's customised LIFT programme, mentored by Vaughan Fergusson, founder of Vend.

"We're so grateful for the support we've received from the LIFT programme. Our amazing mentor Vaughan Fergusson helped us to refine our goals and the plan to get there. Vaughan has been a force of positivity in our team on our harder days, lifting us up when we needed that extra wee boost. His vast experience really has been invaluable in helping us to propel forwards towards our vision," says Claudia.

"The Soda team has been fantastic helping us connect in with business and providing extra advice and expert guidance when needed," she adds.

What's next for Hitch? The NZ XRB (External Reporting Board) has passed new legislation that will mandate many New Zealand companies to report on their carbon emissions which should help Hitch build their New Zealand clientele.

"Our goal is that in two years' time, we are helping all of these companies gain efficiencies when gathering their commuting data and that we've been able to work with them to help them achieve a markable reduction in these emissions," concludes Claudia.