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Deko Eko

Dekoeko.com is an online circular platform that helps companies to transform their waste into upcycled products with value.  

Via our B2B marketplace we match upcycling designers/producers from all over the world, who can turn almost every kind of waste into durable and well-designed products, with business clients who want to give a second life to their hard-to-recycle waste materials. 

Our mission is to create & facilitate a professionally led circular market by bringing back waste materials to the loop.

Facts of the crowdinvesting campaign
Target investment amount:€ 160.000 to 300.000
Offered participation:8,64 % to 14,96 %
Pre-money valuation:€ 1.678.640
Minimal investment and denomination:€ 1.000
End of the subscription period:28.03.2021
130,00 % financed
208.000 EUR invested
closed status

About Deko Eko

We reveal the full potential of hard-to-recycle waste materials by boosting creativity & collaboration among designers, consumers and global companies.

We operate in the area of ​​re/upcycling – one of the fastest growing trends, which in the next few years will be one of the TOP 3 challenges for corporations from around the world, both from the regulatory and company awareness points of view.

At our B2B marketplace the newest innovative upcycling ideas are effectively matched via our ‘smart-matching solutions’ with companies that are generating waste and are seeking for new, more profitable solutions. 

Deko Eko is currently present on Polish and Dutch markets. The company plans to expand to the Austrian & German market in 2021, the British market in 2023, and the French and Scandinavian markets in the coming years. The company has so far carried out upcycling productions (B2B contracts) for over 40 companies, of which over 25 are global corporations such as Coca Cola, T-Mobile, Orange, L’Oreal, Ergo Hestia, McDonald’s, IKEA, H&M, BNP Paribas in Poland or NN, Heineken, Canon Europe in the Netherlands. Currently we are in transition from offline sales model to sales generated by an intermediate upcycling platform.

Deko Eko operates in the area of Sustainable Development Goals of the UN (​​SDG) 9 – Industry innovation, 12 – Responsible consumption and production and 13 – Climate action. Currently the platform has 280 registered accounts of upcycling designers from 16 different countries, with almost 700 types of products that can be made of provided waste materials, processing almost 100 types of waste materials.

How it works? – Key features

We developed a highly innovative B2B platform (online marketplace) that connects upcycling designers & producers from all over the world who can turn waste into products with companies that want to give their waste materials a second life to make their brands more circular.

Our circular B2B marketplace is an online platform that enables business clients (Waste providers) and upcycling designers/producers (Waste upcyclers) to set up a paid account and take advantage of the following functionalities:

Upload waste: where waste upcyclers can secure material for their upcycling production, and waste providers can share their currently available materials and used equipment

Smart matching, intelligent browser: where waste upcyclers upload their ready to sell products that will be available for our unique search engine, and waste providers can search for products that can be made from dedicated waste streams, request a prototype of upcycling products or ask for a wholesale price.

Create an upcycling challenge: where waste upcyclers can take part in circular challenges/contests issued by waste providers and create upcycling models or products mock-ups.

Shop-in-shop: where pre-selected waste upcyclers can get a chance to design and sell their products directly to (individual) customers, and waste providers can create their own collections of branded, upcycling products and make it available for sale to its employees and contractors at a discount price.

How do we make money? 

We have two main revenue streams:

  1. Transactional model: 30-50 % profit margin is taken away from every order/purchase made through our marketplace.
  1. SaaS model: Monthly fee for managing active accounts on our platform for both designers and companies. The accounts provide a full (premium) or restricted (basic) list of active functionalities depending on price/account type.

Traction

We fully launched test designer’s accounts with e-commerce functionalities in November 2019. Over last year 287 designers registered to our marketplace. In November 2020 we launched test Business accounts and have already onboarded first 3 business clients – Ergo Hestia, Nationale Nederlanded and PWC. We are ready to monetize Designer’s and Business accounts from Q1 2021 and have an ambitious growth plan regarding the number of registered users over the next few years.

Table 1: no. of upcycling designer accounts on the Deko Eko platform
* We decided to hire a designer scouter from Nov 2019, who has helped us to find and onboard new circular designers and producers.

Table 2: estimated no of paid accounts  on Deko Eko platform (designers and business) vs number of designers

Revenue wise, Deko Eko has mostly relied on (non-marketplace) contracts and production orders so far. Over the last two years we have made more than 40 upcycling projects with more than 25 companies like: McDonald’s, IKEA, Orange, NN, Heineken, Canon Europe, BNP Paribas, Ergo Hestia or Coca Cola.

Meanwhile an online B2B marketplace has been developed as the response to client’s feedback and growing online perspective. 

Although this year our track record has been seriously hampered by the pandemic-driven economic restrictions, we have managed to achieve the following numbers (Table 3). A year 2020 shows the “pandemia effect” but previous years proves the growing potential of the business.

Table 3: Deko Eko’s revenue for 2018-2020

In regard to the fundraising Deko Eko managed to secure 330 k EUR from angel investors, SBC Accelerator, Leapfunder and Eureeca crowdfunding and one substantial capital injection (200 k EUR) from “green” VC Simpact (http://www.simpact.vc/) from Poland.

Selected Deko Eko’s business cases  

  1. Mc Donald’s (Poland) – close loop/ reverse logistic project (traditional Deko Eko approach i.e. non-marketplace model)

Deko Eko’s upcycling designers have helped McDonald’s to introduce a circular economy business model to its regular activities and processes. Our project aimed to turn 8 tonnes of old plastic McDonald’s toys from the Happy Meals sets into well designed benches and restaurant traces. 

  1. Nationale Nederlanden (Netherlands) – from worn out office carpets to circular challenge (traditional Deko Eko  / marketplace approach) 

We partnered with NN to launch an upcycling challenge, where the old office carpets are transferred into a new fabric by recycling company, and then Deko Eko’s designers are asked to submit their ideas (via their marketplace account) on how the new fabric can be transformed into desirable upcycling consumer products such as bags and laptop cases for 5000 of NN employees. 

  1. Ergo Hestia (Poland) – transforming corporate waste and setting up their own circular Shop-in-shop (full marketplace model)

Deko Eko has helped Ergo Hestia to achieve their circular targets – increase the volume of corporate waste that was successfully upcycled/recycled – and introduce the first circular Shop-in-shop in Poland. The contract provides Ergo Hestia with a one year, “unlimited” access to Deko Eko marketplace account with a wide range of circular driven functionalities such as: upload your waste, create a circular Challenge, Smart Matching intelligent browsers or Request a prototype. So far, our Partner launched the first upcycling challenge (to transform worn out alloy wheels into new office tables) and commenced building its own Shop-in-shop on our platform.  

What makes Deko Eko special?

Circular model is one of the most effective ways of reducing waste pollution. Upcycling in particular adds much higher value than recycling to waste materials. It is one of the fastest growing trends in the waste industry all over the world.

However most of the upcycling platforms are focusing only on selling directly to individual customers, omitting business clients and companies. Individual customers, however, are not ready yet for buying upcycling products on a regular basis without special incentives. That is why we decided to focus on business first – matching small upcycling businesses (Waste upcyclers) with big companies (Waste providers) in order to speed up the growth of this market. Business clients can for example utilize our platform to create branded Shop-in-shops (with tailored made collections of branded consumer products) where they can sell upcycled products from their own waste regularly straight to their employees and business partners. In such a way employees are becoming our target group of individual consumers with much higher motivation to buy branded loyalty products with a discount. And we can introduce more regular and long-term upcycling processes inside companies.

Moreover, we found out that upcycling designers and producers are not ready to conduct their business in a usual entrepreneur’s manner – they need someone who can take care of their marketing activities and business development which makes our marketplace a perfect tool for them.

An industry in transition

Each year, 11 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans. In 2040, it will be 29 million tons per year. It is like throwing 50 kg of plastic away on every meter of the coastline around the world. In 2020 alone, we produced over 275 million tons of plastic. 

When we take into account the global problem of waste – only 30 to 40 % of the types of waste material can now be recycled. Moreover current recycling methods reduce the real value of the waste materials, which instead could be used more optimally in new products. And last but not least – waste treatment costs accounts for almost 5 % of companies’ annual revenues.

Sadly, according to the Circularity Gap Report our world is currently only 9 % circular. Therefore, the EU has published a set of ambitious goals “Circular Economy Package” and has set a vision for 2050 “Living well within the limits of the planet”. Apart from ambitious goals and circular guidelines the EU is going to introduce tougher measures in 2021 such as plastic tax in order to “incentivise” waste treatment.

So due to aforementioned  financial, regulatory, economical and social reasons, almost every global company nowadays is facing the challenges of how to become circular, and how to optimize the waste policy in order to make the best use of available “raw” materials.

Deko Eko’s B2B circular platform gives them a quick and effective remedy for their waste problem and enables them to transform their waste into new, tangible value. It is a great way to protect the environment and save money at the same time. 

Not without reason, Deko eko has won numerous nominations and awards and our Founder & CEO – Agata Frankiewicz was being invited to pitch our circular idea of ”brand upcycling” all around Europe.

What we achieved so far

The Deko Eko team took part in the largest European acceleration programs:  Startupbootcamp Commerce in 2018 in Amsterdam and
Y Combinator Online Startup School in 2020.

Forbes listed Deko Eko as one of the “60 women-led startups who are shaking up tech across the globe”, the company received prestigious awards: Sustainable Economy Award 2019, Microentrepreneur of the Year 2019. The Founder was a finalist in the Women Challenge Competition in Paris 2018, TheNextWomen in London 2018, Chivas Venture 2018, Business Women of the Year 2019, The Most 50 Creative People in Business 2020.

In 2020, Deko Eko was a finalist of the biggest startup competitions in Central Europe, such as: 

  • Wolves Summit
  • Central European Startup Awards: finalist of Best Social Impact Startup category  

Our team

Agata Frankiewicz – Founder & CEO

Agata Frankiewicz introduced a “Reconomy” Coalition to speed up transition from linear to circular economy in Poland. Apart from that Agata was a finalist of European Women Challenge Competition in Paris 2018, TheNextWomen competition in London 2019 and Business Women of the Year 2019 in Poland. She obtained a Micro-entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2018 and Sustainable Economy Award in 2019. Was also mentioned by Forbes as one of the best 60-women led businesses who are shaking tech world globally https://www.forbes.com/sites/allysonkapin/2018/09/19/60-women-led-startups-who-are-shaking-up-tech-across-the-globe/#17c38b0275da

She is also a lecturer on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Studies at Kozminski University in Warsaw – one of the best private business schools in Poland where she is teaching CSR managers from global corporations about circular economy and upcycling.

Competition

Our biggest competitor and a great benchmark at the same time is Terracycle from the US http://terracycle.com. They are present on more than 30 global markets, recently bought by SUEZ – the biggest recycling company. Annual Sales (31/12/2017) $13,727,671; Gross Profit (31/12/2017) $5,547,691.

Our other competitors may be upcycling e-commerce sites such as: LoopedGood, Looptworks, Buy upcycled, Upcyclethat etc.However, they are mostly focused on individual consumers, and not utilizing B2B-Designers angle to similar extent. Etsy – the biggest fashion & design marketplace – with more than 200.000 upcycling products in their portfolio, should also be mentioned. However, again, the focus is applied on individual consumers there, not collaboration between B2B clients and upcycling Designers. 

Also, There are some B2B matchmaking platforms for example Excess Materials Exchange, Harvest Map but they don’t cooperate with designers and are not consumer product oriented.

A possible future, direct competition might come from recycling companies, especially when upcycling studios will start to provide solutions on a bigger scale. Renewi Recycling company for example is starting a waste-to-product approach collaborating with chosen upcycling partners to utilize hard-to-recycle waste materials of their corporate clients.

There is also a very interesting movement around plastic upcycling – Precious Plastic which is gathering designers who are turning plastic waste into consumer products. They have an online marketplace https://bazar.preciousplastic.com/ for selling both – machines and products from 200 designers from all over the world.

With our unique business model, we have managed to achieve competitive advantage in the circular market through the following elements:

  • the first B2B platform connecting business clients with upcycling designers
  • a wide base of trusted clients – global brands
  • smart matching machine learning technology and auto recommendation system
  • know-how of the founder and the team – 7 years on the upcycling market

What does Deko Eko need capital for?

Even though our revised platform and functionalities of new business accounts have been tested and are already up a running we need additional cash injection to:

  • start deeper marketplace activation in order to speed up monetization of new designer accounts and new business clients accounts (kicked off in Q4 2020),
  • develop and calibrate a carbon footprint algorithm (2021) which gives our business clients greater incentive to take advantage of Deko Eko service,
  • enhance further the Smart Matching algorithm, through the use of Machine learning and Big Data (2021-2022) to provide more sophisticated fulfilment of business requirements in terms of waste disposal and upcycling products,
  • acquire almost 100 business accounts and 86 paid designer accounts in 2021,
  •  effectively scale Deko Eko platform to other foreign markets – 2021 Germany and DACH countries,  UK in 2023 , and France in 2025.

Financial outlook

Exit

3 potential scenarios of exit strategy:

  • Possible exit to recycling company: Big recycling players such as Suez or Renewi can recover raw materials from waste which can be quickly turn into more desirable products by circular based methods, and recently have been looking more and more into eco-friendly methods to utilize and dispose of hazardous materials and residual waste which are unable to be recycled either for economic or ecological reasons.
  • Possible exit to e-commerce site: Leading e-commerce platforms such as Etsy have already noticed the potential in offering the  new range of clothes, consumer products and upcycling collections that were made out of the waste materials. It would complement their ordinary collections due the growing circular awareness across different consumer cohorts and help to build quicker the portfolio of products related to the latest global trends in sustainable design & fashion. 
  • Possible exit to corporate partner: As more and more “green” legislation is being designed and introduced,   and  “zero waste” strategies and ESG criteria grow in demand, big corporate companies will be forced to amend their business models in the coming years to factor in more circular solutions. Some of them have already started searching for validated solutions in the circular and/or recycling space. Especially the multi-brand corporations will be interested in finding working solutions for their huge consumer waste base such as the Deko Eko marketplace, which could be introduced as their internal Circular Innovation Hub that would instantly provide the corporate partner with ready to implement tool kit   for creating valuable solutions in a circular space.

Details of the crowd-investing campaign

Facts of the crowdinvesting campaign
Target investment amount:€ 160.000 to 300.000
Offered participation:8,64 % to 14,96 %
Pre-money valuation:€ 1.678.640
Minimal investment and denomination:€ 1.000
End of the subscription period:28.03.2021
130,00 % financed
208.000 EUR invested
closed status

Do you have any questions? 

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found under FAQ (https://www.danubeangels.com/en/faq-investors/). 

We will be also glad to answer your questions by e-mail at: info@danubeangels.com.

Notice:
The economic success of the investment depends on the company’s business performance in the target markets in which it operates.
This type of investment is associated with considerable risks and can lead to the complete loss of the capital invested.

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