According to the World Bank, Indonesia produces 4.8 million tons of plastic waste annually, which is “ill-managed” means that it ends up uncollected, ends up in landfills, or seeps out of improperly managed landfills. Octopus wants to reduce that number with a platform that makes it easy to collect waste from consumers and recycle it into raw materials that brands can reuse. The Jakarta-based startup announced today that it has raised a $5 million oversigned round led by Openspace and SOSV.
Octopus was founded last year by Mohammad Iksan, Hamish Daoud, Niko Adi Nugroho, Rizki Mardian and Dimas Ario, who have known each other for over ten years.
After a recent launch in Jakarta, it will use its new funding for an “aggressive expansion” including five sorting facilities and 1,700 checkpoints in four cities: Jakarta, Bandung, Bali and Makassar, with the aim of processing 380 tons of waste, ranging from plastic to electronic devices, every month.
Ichsan said that one of the reasons he founded Octopus was because he returned to his parents’ house in Makassar for the holidays and found that the landfill 30 kilometers away gave off an unbearable stench, especially since he had a newborn. daughter.
“I was wondering what kind of world she would be living in,” he told TechCrunch. “Obviously this problem does not occur in some cities, but also in other cities in Southeast Asia, so I started to explore more business, doing manual waste trading and trying to solve the problem step by step, starting with reducing recyclable waste. that end up in landfills due to the manual trade of waste.”
Around the same time, Ishan met co-founder Daoud, who had the same concerns and was doing ocean waste research.
Octopus also points to Indonesian government waste collection regulations called 3ror “reuse, reduce and recycle”, which are designed to reduce the amount of plastic marine litter in the ocean by 70%. The government has backed these goals with initiatives such as waste banks, enforcement of recycling targets for brands and manufacturers, and plastic bag charges for consumers.
Octopus reports that the Indonesian government will spend $5.1 billion by 2025 to create a circular economy for more brands. It claims to be “the first platform to offer a comprehensive logistics platform for waste management.”
The company says it has grown over 400% in the last six months, with users at both ends of the supply chain. This includes 150,000 monthly users and over 60,000 pelestari or independent garbage collectors. It is claimed that over 12,000 Pelestars have been able to open a bank account since joining Octopus. At the other end of the supply chain, Octopus serves over 20 brands, including global FMCG companies that use Octopus to meet their ESG requirements. One of his goals is to reach 100,000 pelestari by 2024.
According to Ishan, Octopus offers two main types of services. The first is the sale of used materials to the recycling industry, and the second is data collection reporting for FMCG brands. For example, it helps Softex Indonesia to collect used diapers from consumers with proper handling of standard operating procedures from pelestari who work as ancillary workers.
For pelestars who don’t have a mobile phone to access the Octopus app, the company is working with the Social Security Bureau to provide phones as part of local government programs to tackle unemployment in their areas, Ishan said.
In a prepared statement, Openspace founding partner Shane Chesson said, “Octopus is leading the way in using technology to revolutionize the size of Indonesia’s circular economy. Players at all stages of this supply chain have a vested interest in making this happen, and most importantly, environmental imperatives require us to get it right.”
Credit: techcrunch.com /