Stockholm-based provider of an app that rewards recycling of all consumer packaging, Bower raised €4.1m in late seed funding led by blq Invest, with the participation of existing investors Almi Invest GreenTech, Verdane Foundation, Orkla Ventures, and some other majors. To date, the company has collected 5 million euros. The Swedish startup is planning to benefit from the fund to expand its business on a global level, starting with the UK.
Bower’s application helps users scan and sort their packages and products at home and then leave them at the nearest recycling station which they can search in the app. The company enables users to use the deposit in any way they prefer which can be a check, a coupon, a charity, or an investment for further purchases.
The company was co-founded by two siblings Suwar Mert (CEO) and Berfin Roza Mert (COO). So far, they have reached over 300 thousand recyclers to support the planet which refers to over 20 million recycled packaging and over one billion kilograms saved carbon dioxide in total.
The Bower app was launched in 2015 as the world’s first deposit app. The app makes it possible to get back a deposit fee when recycling any type of household product, such as soap bottles, milk packages and bread bags. By making it easier to introduce a deposit fee on products, Bower wants to help reduce littering and the environmental strain.
By giving the bag a monetary value – just like for cans and PET bottles in Sweden – consumers get incentivized to recycle instead of throwing the bag in the garbage or – even worse – in the nature. The technology does not require expensive investments in reverse vending machines; instead, utilizes the existing unmanned recycling stations in Sweden.
The app has been optimized to make it as easy as possible for consumers to recycle their bags. They simply buy their bag in the store just as usual, install the app, and take the bag to one of Sweden’s above five thousand recycling stations. Once there, they scan the barcode on the bag with the app and directly get their money back. They can choose to either transfer the money to their bank account, give it away to a friend or donate it to charity.
Blq’s mission is to build legacy. To create something lasting, long after they’re gone. They invest in early-stage tech companies in the Valley of Death. They prioritise B2B, since being heard through the ever-increasing consumer noise is no small task. They look for recurring revenue and stickiness, which tend to suggest a scalable business model. They also believe that paying customers are mandatory to prove a validated business model. While they do enjoy traveling, they focus on the Nordics.
About Almi Invest Greentech
They are pioneers in climate tech venture capital, putting money where it makes the biggest impact. Almi Invest GreenTech Fund backs Swedish early-stage startups that significantly reduce green house gas emissions. They have 65 million euros under management.
About Verdane Foundation
Verdane is a specialist growth equity investment firm that partners with tech-enabled and sustainable businesses based out of Europe to help them reach the next stage of international growth. Verdane’s over 100 employees, based in Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Oslo and Stockholm, are dedicated to being the preferred growth partner to tech-enabled and sustainable businesses.
About Orkla Ventures
Orkla is a leading supplier of branded consumer goods and concept solutions to the consumer, out of home and bakery markets in the Nordics, the Baltics and selected markets in Central Europe and India. Orkla is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and has its headquarters in Oslo, Norway.