Dutch startup Pieter Pot has closed a funding round led by ETF Partners. SHIFT Interest, The Future Food Fund and IQ Capital all participated, bringing total investment to €9 million. Funding is expected to assist with expansion into the U.K., France, Germany and Scandinavia. Current operations are focussed on the Netherlands.
Pieter Pot is a supermarket that was founded to significantly cut down the amount of plastic waste created by its own industry. The company distinguishes itself within the sector by zeroing in on circular economy initiatives and packaging waste reduction.
A solution to a modern pandemic
Pieter Pot aims to cure a prevalent condition—not Covid-19, but lethargy when it comes to actively reducing grocery waste. The company is preoccupied by the continued increase in plastic use. With ineffective recycling throughout the world, most still wind up in landfills, producing harmful emissions and a slew of ongoing problems exacerbating climate change. The company is explicit in its declaration that the food and grocery delivery industries are contributing to the problem.
Founded in 2019, Pieter Pot offers next-day deliveries of groceries, within reusable plastic containers. Packaging is collected, washed, and reused, creating a simple circular methodology. The company claims to have made more than 700,000 deliveries in this way.
“Plastic packaging is a by-product. Consumers are interested in what’s in the box, not the box itself. By moving packaging to reusables, we’re able to radically alter consumption patterns without demanding people to dramatically change their behavior,” chief executive Jouri Schoemaker said in a statement. “We’ve now proven this could be done at scale and, with the new investment, we are doubling down on growth and our customers’ convenience. ETF Partners’ experience and track record speak for itself, and we are delighted to have them on board.”
Though still small enough to be considered niche, Pieter Pot has attracted investment thanks to an unyielding focus on sustainable end goals. “Pieter Pot is at the epicenter of multiple trends, including sustainability and technology, and reimagining a sector central to everyday life, specifically groceries,” said Tomer Strikovsy, investment manager at ETF Partners. “It is exactly the sort of business we are looking to invest in: a unique service offering in a burgeoning, continually growing sector, led by a team hyper-focused on having an impact through their sustainable, scalable company.”
Part of a movement
With funding allowing for Europe-wide expansion, Pieter Pot will drive the zero waste shopping message forward. It’s not alone in this mission, as other circular supermarkets are on the same path.
Switzerland-based Lyfa offers customers groceries in sustainable packaging. Raging from glass jars to jute bags and reusable containers, it offers home delivery that includes collecting previous containers for redistribution. Earlier this year it raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed round, to increase its product range.
The circular economy model is being developed throughout the world and in various industries. Not just reserved for groceries or fashion, furniture giant IKEA is making moves to align with the message as well. It announced that a store in Thailand had been turned into a circular shop. Consumers can choose preowned furniture, bring their own pieces in for resale, and earn points by effectively recycling packaging materials. It comes as part of IKEA’s commitment to be fully circular by 2030.
All images courtesy of Unsplash.