A household products company hoping to reduce the plastic waste by reusing containers for everyday products such as shampoo, liquid soaps and laundry wash has raised $2 million in seed funding, led by Skip Capital, the family VC run by Kim Jackson, wife of Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar.
Zero Co has already attracted a series of high profile backers, having raised $600,000 in pre-seed funding a year ago, with former St George CEO Rob Chapman, tech entrepreneur Raymond Spencer, former KPMG director Jennifer Ma, and former QBE CFO Alana Burton among the idea’s backers.
The startup then held a Kickstarter campaign in the leadup to Christmas 2019, raising $742,427 from nearly 7000 supporters, after seeking around $250,000 to begin production.
Chapman returned to back the seed round alongside Koala co-founders Dany Milham and Mitch Taylor.
While Zero Co launched its website taking pre-orders in May for a September delivery, the first consignments will begin shipping next week.
The company revealed last week that it had planned to send out 11,000-plus pre-orders out the door by Friday, but discovered the pouch caps were too loose so they had to tighten 130,000 pouches by hand.
The business charges between $105 and $149 for a starter pack of up to eight commonly used household cleaning products, including bathroom cleaner, air fresher and dishwasher tablets. A kit for 4-litres of laundry liquid is priced at $41.
Zero Co has a circular delivery system — the reusable refill pouches come with a postage-paid return envelope. And the business promises delivery is carbon neutral.
The funds from the project are used to help remove plastics from the ocean and each dispenser has a tracking code that directs users to the part of the ocean they have helped clean up. The problem the company is solving is that only 12% of household plastic waste gets recycled and the average household of four uses about 200 single-use plastic bottles annually in their kitchen, laundry and bathroom.
Zero Co’s goal is to stop 1 million single-use-plastic bottles being made and thrown away annually and says it’s currently on track reduce waste by 556,000 bottles from its existing orders.