Monday, May 27, 2024

PH ‘circularity’ startup closes 2nd round of funding

Humble Sustainability, a circular economy startup from the Philippines, said its new fresh funding will enable the company to continue providing circularity logistics services in the country.

Humble’s COO Niña Opida (left) and CEO Josef Werker

The startup also said it closed its seed round led by Seedstars International Ventures and with participation from iSeed Ventures, an early-stage VC in San Francisco, and angel investors like Alan Wong, co-founder of Ula, as well as Sagar Achanta, who has held product leadership roles at Amazon, Booking.com and Disney+.

Humble helps some of the largest e-commerce, logistics, and retail companies in the Philippines make their returns and excess inventory the hero while extracting high value from the items for their clients.

With a vision to create a community where any item can be brought back into circularity by anyone, Humble’s advocacy of “circular living” reduces waste from both ends, by preventing items from being disposed of and decreasing demand for the production of new items.

“Our dream is to make living circular as normal as possible, starting with the way we buy things and what we do with them. We’re not environmental scientists but we’re really passionate about making an impact in this area, and this is the decade where action has to happen,” Josef Werker, Humble CEO, said.

The problem of unused and wasted inventory is a major issue to people, planet, and profit. It is estimated that e-commerce companies alone lose up to $1 trillion from returns, which are often stocked up in warehouses to eventually be disposed of or incinerated. This equates to a significant amount of waste sent to landfills, such as the 2 billion tons disposed of in 2021.

With the estimated value of waste-to-wealth initiatives at $4.9 trillion by 2030, Humble’s position to establish a circular economy in the Philippines is critical.

Humble uses two main channels to bring items back into circularity — the high-quality items are sold on their e-commerce platform, Thrift by Humble, while everything else is sent to their network of B2B buyers and recyclers. This allows Humble to ensure all items are sent to new, sustainable homes.

Thrift, an extension of Humble’s initial brand, was launched in October 2021 with the objective of providing consumers with a sustainable alternative to e-commerce. The products offered on the platform are high-quality and the deals are hard to beat anywhere else online.

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