Closed Loop Partners Invests in Algramo to Advance Affordable, Reusable Packaging Systems
Already in partnership with brands like Unilever, Algramo’s smart packaging reimagines the future of grocery shopping while eliminating single-use plastic packaging waste.
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October 14 – Closed Loop Partners, a New York based investment firm focused on building the circular economy, announced today its investment in Algramo through its venture capital fund, Closed Loop Ventures (CLV).
Founded in 2012, Algramo is a Chilean based startup solving economic and environmental issues through its vending machines that dispense staple products, like household cleaners and grains “by the gram” to customers.
Jose “Cote” Manuel Moller, Founder and CEO of Algramo, saw first-hand in Santiago, Chile, how those living in low income neighborhoods were penalized by an effective 40% “poverty tax” for purchasing smaller packaged consumer products, unable to afford larger-format products.
“By creating low-cost reusable packaging and reducing the cost of distribution through our vending machines and dispenser system, we dramatically cut costs for customers and allow them to purchase small quantities of products at an affordable price. This benefits brands too who want to sell product, not packaging. Our system easily integrates into local bodegas, large grocery store chains, and can be delivered to a customer’s home through our mobile delivery app.”
Cote, Founder and CEO of Algramo
Awareness around the negative impacts of single-use packaging on human health and the environment is growing too. Packaging is ending up where it shouldn’t; in landfills, our oceans, or even as a contaminant in the recycling system.
“Reusable models like Algramo’s are an important and necessary step in the reduction of single-use plastic packaging. Algramo is a leading innovator showcasing a circular solution to a global waste issue by ensuring that valuable materials are kept in play for multiple uses.”
Danielle Joseph, Executive Director at Closed Loop Partners
Algramo’s smart packaging, equipped with RFID chips, also encourages and accelerates positive consumer behavior change so that individuals can easily and conveniently embrace a reuse revolution. Each time a customer refills their existing container or bottle with product, they earn credit that can be applied to future purchases, equating to an 11.5% discount on their next liter of detergent for example; the more the packaging is used, the more value it accrues.
Algramo already operates in over 2,000 family owned stores that reach over 325,000 end-customers in Santiago de Chile. Their business model has attracted the attention of a number of large brands, including Unilever, which is currently partnering with Algramo to pilot a mobile dispensing system that uses electric tricycles to deliver products to people’s homes via an app. Algramo was selected as a winner of the MIT SOLVE Circular Economy challenge. Algramo is now looking to expand their operations into the U.S. and beyond.
Closed Loop Ventures is leading Algramo’s Series A round. CLV makes early-stage equity investments in sustainable consumer goods companies, advanced recycling technologies, and services related to the circular economy – reducing waste or closing the loop on various materials. To date, CLV has invested in 18 companies spanning a number of sectors: recycling, textiles and apparel, and food and agriculture.
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is an investment platform that invests in sustainable consumer goods, recycling and the development of the circular economy. Investors include many of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and family offices interested in investments that provide strong financial returns and tangible social impact. Learn more at www.closedlooppartners.com.
Algramo came into existence to solve a problem impacting millions of low-resource families: the poverty tax. This market failure occurs when low-resource families buy products in small formats and pay up to 50% more for products. Algramo solves the poverty tax with a reusable packaging distribution system that enables families to buy the exact quantity of products they need with bulk prices. Algramo is honored to bring together brands, retailers and packaging producers to work towards catalyzing reusable packaging on a globally significant scale to keep packaging in the economy and out of the environment.
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