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Waste4Change bags US$5M co-led by AC Ventures to shrink Indonesia’s landfills

Published on October 14, 2022

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Earlier today, Indonesia-based Waste4Change  announced that it secured a US$5 million series A funding round, co-led by AC Ventures and PT Barito Mitra Investama. The round was joined by Basra Corporation, Paloma Capital, PT Delapan Satu Investa, Living Lab Ventures, SMDV, and Urban Gateway Fund.

Waste4Change is a top waste management platform for companies, individuals, and government agencies in Indonesia. The firm’s mission since its inception in November 2014 has been to solve waste problems to prevent leakage to the environment and to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Waste4Change will use the fresh capital to further expand its reach and increase its waste management capacity to 100 tons per day in the next 18 months. It will reach more than 2,000 tons per day over the next five years. This involves integrating more digital technology into the monitoring and recording processes of its waste management flow and automating material recovery facilities. The money will also help Waste4Change strengthen partnerships with the country’s informal solid waste sector, currently powered by scavengers, waste banks, waste stalls, and waste aggregators.

With a population of more than 270 million, Indonesia has the largest waste management problem in Southeast Asia, with the recycling rate based on the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s data still remarkably low at 11-12%. But this may soon change as regulators bring new policies into the fold. 

The government recently launched the Indonesia Bersih Sampah  (Indonesia Clean from Waste) 2025 program, inaugurated through the Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia 97/2017. This rule requires all parties to support the realization of 30% waste reduction from original sources (think sorting waste items into separate bins so they can be processed into different recycled products, etc) and 70% waste treated. The government’s aggressive target needs to be reached before the end of 2025. 

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This program has also sparked new waste management regulations from local governments and waste management initiatives from the commercial sector. In terms of new market demand, these changes have created a surging need for responsible waste management vendors, who can also provide detailed waste management reports.

Waste4Change is present in 21 Indonesian cities, managing more than 8,000 tons of waste per year. It has collected waste from more than 100 B2B clients and over 3,450 household clients. Since 2017, it has grown at a CAGR of 55.1%.

Customers are asked to sort their waste in accordance with Waste4Change’s guidance. Then, the team will send someone to come to their location and collect the waste directly, then provide a detailed report once the process is completed.

Customers also have the option of taking garbage to one of Waste4Change’s drop-off points. The startup currently has 108 employees and 141 waste management operators. It plans to add an additional 52 people to its team and engage more than 300 informal partners in the waste sector (a mixed bag of in-house and external personnel) to continue driving growth.

Waste4Change Founder and CEO Mohamad Bijaksana Junerosano explained, “Indonesia’s waste management sector is still growing, and we are more than ready to assist in the process. With its low recycling rate, we know that there are still a lot of valuable materials ready to be brought back into the loop. People are educating themselves about waste and the environment, new startups and businesses related to waste management are emerging, and the government welcomes all stakeholders to take an active part in improving Indonesia. Compared to what we experienced in 2014, the market today is getting more mature. We will do whatever we can to provide solutions to every waste management need.”

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He added, “We are working with the best venture capital players in the technology sector. All of our investors take ESG seriously and are willing to share their insights with us in creating the best waste management solutions. We are more than ready to realize our mutual mission of delivering faster and larger positive impacts on the environment, society, and economy.”

Pandu Sjahrir, Founding Partner at AC Ventures, said, “Waste4Change is a pioneer providing an end-to-end waste management solution. Sustainability is the team’s main focus, with a demonstrated commitment to building a better future for Indonesia. The company is proving that it has reached product-market fit and has the potential to scale across the nation. Its timing is also ideal, as the Indonesian government wants at least 30% of all waste reduced, reused, and recycled by 2025, with the remaining 70% responsibly managed.”  

About Waste4Change

PT Wasteforchange Alam Indonesia (Waste4Change) is a responsible waste management company that was founded by PT Greeneration Indonesia (Ecoxyztem) and PT Bumi Lestari Bali (EcoBali) in November 2014, located in Bekasi, West Java. Waste4Change offers upstream and downstream waste management solutions consisting of four key pillars:

  1. Consult: Research and studies related to solid waste
  2. Campaign: Capacity building, education, and mentoring
  3. Collect: Daily waste collection service that supports Zero Waste to Landfill
  4. Create: Waste recycling, EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility), and Waste credit

Waste4Change’s services cover the areas of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, Surabaya, Sidoarjo, Semarang, Bandung, and Medan.

About AC Ventures

AC Ventures (ACV) is a leading Southeast Asian venture capital firm investing in early-stage startups focused on Indonesia and ASEAN. The firm’s mission is to partner with and empower entrepreneurs with more than capital. ACV combines operational experience, industry knowledge, deep local networks, and resources to create value for startups. It is a generational partner to founders driving positive societal change and economic impact in Indonesia and beyond.

ACV currently has over US$500 million in assets under management, invested across five funds. Since 2012, the firm’s partners have invested in more than 120 technology companies in the region, including some of the most iconic names in the ASEAN digital ecosystem. ACV’s Partners Adrian Li, Michael Soerijadji, Helen Wong, and Pandu Sjahrir lead a team of over 35 professionals with offices in Jakarta and Singapore.

Nalagenetics and Waste4Change among the world’s premier startups in the G20 Innovation League 2021

See also: The voluntary carbon market is a lynchpin for tech in Indonesia
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