Pay for the product, not the packaging. Start filling bottles, not landfills. These are just a few of the value propositions that Algramo, a Chilean company, has introduced in recent years. In business for a decade, Algramo is changing the game of the circular economy… and still booming.
Algramo offers a self-service, cashless way to buy cleaning products from top brands in a more sustainable way. Algramo stations – which are smart distribution systems, much like vending machines – are installed at outlets, including Walmart, across Chile. The process is simple: users download an app, load their account, bring their reusable bottle to an Algramo dispenser, and then select the amount of cleaning product they want to purchase.
After securing $ 8.5 million in funding from Mexican company Dalus Capital, with participation from Angel Ventures, FEMSA Ventures, Volta Ventures, Impact Assets, University Venture Fund, Century Oak Capital and Closed Loop Partners’ Ventures Group , Algramo announces that it will launch pilot stations around the world.
Plans are already underway with retailers and distributors in Mexico, Jakarta, London and New York to install new stations. Algramo’s supply chain management initiative requires careful handling to promote its sustainable bulk filling solution while not disrupting existing relationships between suppliers and retailers.
Algramo’s initiative and distribution model caught the attention – early on – of some consumer packaged goods (CPG) giants, such as Unilever, Nestlé and Colgate-Palmolive. As noted in a recent TechCrunch article, Algramo in its early days had to present a business case to large retailers and large consumers around the world to deliver bulk products in refillable containers to help consumers, the planet. and the results of these companies. . Recently, these large companies have started to listen and respond locally – and have teamed up with other companies to launch similar services in the process.
In the interview with Techcrunch, Algramo CEO José Manuel Moller said: “… we are integrating into their supply chains, working with retailers and the brand.[s] so that they do not disrupt existing relationships. And in fact, ordering the product in bulk saves them about 60% of the space.
In addition to saving space by offering reusable bottles, all packaging costs, which can range from 10 to 30% of the cost of the product, are eliminated.
The result is a scalable way to bring big brands and big retailers together while saving customers money and reducing single-use plastic waste. When customers refill their “smart reusable packaging” in an Algramo dispenser, they are rewarded with increased savings.
To date, Algramo’s total funding amount is $ 11 million. This invested capital supports three key themes of socially responsible investment: climate innovation by reducing plastic waste; business productivity by offering a genuine circular economy solution; and improving consumer accessibility by promoting inclusion and enabling consumers to access top brand products at lower prices.
Once the last pilot stations are launched and if they operate successfully, Algramo will be able to prove that its circular economy model is working well, even in well-established, albeit ripe for disruption, retail and CPG industries. The success of these global stations will increase Algramo’s valuation and should help attract significant additional funding in the near future. Then, perhaps over the next few years, Algramo stations will become more prevalent – making access to consumer products, while removing plastic waste in the process, much more accessible to more consumers. It could be a likely victory for everyone involved.
Image credit: Algramo / Instagram