The Brief: Sustainable consumer electronics, outcome optimization, converting to employee ownership, commercial solar in West Africa, coral adaptation ImpactAlpha
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News
Typically tech startups file as Delaware Corps. What is the case with Consumer product startups? Is there a strong case for them to go for an LLC rathe than C Corp taxed as S Corp? Would it make raising money significantly more difficult for a Consumer Product Startup if it were an LLC? I’m not looking for legal advice, just something I was thinking about. I would love to see what your thoughts are. Also if you have any relevant resources regarding this specifically I’d love to read them. Thanks!
Varo Money, Inc., the first consumer Fintech in the US to become a chartered national bank, recently explained how they’re building a better banking platform.
Read more here.
The Princeton undergraduate saw the film in 2011, and it started her on the journey that would lead her to launch Joro, the Sequoia-backed startup that monitors consumer spending to offer tips on how to offset and reduce a user’s carbon footprint.
After scoring a job at the development firm Dalberg, then working in India and Ethiopia, Pal returned to the U.S. to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School. She initially thought she’d focus on transportation, but her mind kept returning to consumer consumption habits and the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by targeting consumer behavior.
“I started thinking about it in the fall of my first year at business school, and I kind of put it on the back burner because I didn’t know how to do it from a practical stand. I wasn’t a technology person. I didn’t build software myself,” Pal told Jason Jacobs, the host of the My Climate Journey podcast. “I didn’t know how we would capture the data to show someone their carbon footprint and help them reduce it until I met my co-founder [J. Cressica Brazier], and I met her at an MIT event in the spring of that year two years ago, and the wheels started turning, maybe there’s a tool here that we could build together.”
The Joro app uses consumer spending data culled from integrations with Plaid to identify changes in users’ personal habits that can make an impact on their overall carbon footprint — based on their personal spending.
The app also has a community component, connecting users with sustainability challenges, classes and other educational tools, along with a social network to communicate with peers to track relative progress.
Consider it a version of keeping up with the Joneses, but for planetary health and eco-consciousness.
To date, the app’s community of users have reduced nearly 6 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020. Which sounds impressive, but given reductions in travel due to COVID-19 mitigation restrictions, the largest contribution that a consumer can make is reducing their meat consumption. While that only leads to roughly 4% reductions in global carbon emissions, it reduces about 1,200 pounds of carbon emissions. Over the 6 million kilograms that would mean a little bit over 10,000 people may be using the app.
Pal would not comment on the number of users her company’s app has managed to attract.
What the company does have now is $ 2.5 million in seed funding from investors including Sequoia Capital, which doubled down on its $ 1 million pre-seed commitment made when Joro was part of the firm’s early-stage founder program.
Other investors and advisors include the venture firms Expa and Amasia, and angel investors and advisors like James Park, the co-founder of Fitbit; Rich Pierson, the co-founder of Headspace; Sebastian Knutsson, the chief creative head and co-founder of King; the actress Maisie Williams; Philian, the private investment company of Karl-Johan Persson, chairman of H&M; Tom Baruch; and Anjula Acharia, a partner at Trinity Ventures.
“At Expa we are focused on backing remarkable founders that are passionate about the product they are building,” said Expa founder Garrett Camp in a statement. “We saw that in Sanchali – she had a big vision and conveyed it very strongly to us. We have conviction that Joro can build a great product and a great business. The world will be a better place because of what Joro will bring to market.”
Pal estimates that behavioral changes and better consumer choices can reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 30%.
It’s a bet that other companies are making too. For instance, the Los Angeles challenger bank Aspiration, founded by Andrei Cherny, has a tool that can measure the “social impact” of a consumer’s monthly spending — that includes the climate impact of daily consumption.
Pal hopes that through the education and community components of the app, consumers can put pressure on the systems and industries that are the primary producers of greenhouse gas emissions to change their ways.
“Systems are made of people. Like us,” Pal wrote in a blog post. “Companies and governments change when enough people demand it through their actions and behaviors. No, we’re not a silver bullet — we need policymakers and businesses to take sweeping action. But we’re not powerless either. Together we can accelerate the pace of change by demonstrating our demand for a cleaner society.”
Swedish consumer e-commerce giant BHG Group has acquired 97.6% of Scandinavian design e-tailer Nordic Nest. Through the acquisition, BHG claims to strengthen its position as the largest online player within home furnishings in the Nordics. It also wants to create a platform for an extended product range and growth in additional expansion.
The acquisition deal was made in cash for SEK1.6B (approx €156M) and values Nordic Nest at SEK1.8B (approx €175.6M).
With this development, Nordic Nest CEO Bank Bergstrom and the management team will continue running the business from Kalmar, Sweden, and will retain ownership in the company. The company will form a new vertical within BHG and be consolidated into the home furnishing segment.
The sellers of Nordic Nest include local private investors from Sweden, including Stella EOC Capital, Nordstjernan, Nicklas Storakers, Paul Fischbein, and H&M’s Karl-Johan Persson via Philian Invest.
What does Nordic Nest do?
Founded in 2002 by Jorgen Bodmar, Nordic Nest offers home decoration design online, with a focus on tableware and other products. It
Since 2016, Nordic Nest’s growth rate (CAGR) was approx 50%, and EBITDA amounted to approx SEK120M (approx €11.7M). As for the 2020/21 fiscal year, the company claims to bring in SEK1B (approx €97.6M) in sales, produced through 10 web-shops, from a product portfolio of more than 220 premium brands and approx 30,000 unique products.
Martin Edblad, one of the founders of BHG and responsible for M&A said, ”We have followed Nordic Nest for a long time and are very impressed by how the company, under Bank Bergstrom and his team’s leadership, has developed, at the same time establishing a strong position in mainland Europe and select Asian countries. We have a common view of entrepreneurship and online leadership and very much look forward to working together, in the Nordics and in new geographies.”
Everything about BHG
BHG is a consumer e-commerce company in the Nordics and also present in most of Eastern and Central Europe. The company mainly operates in the home improvement space, meaning Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and Home furnishings.
With an ecosystem of online stores, supported by physical destinations and services, such as last-mile deliveries and installation, the company offers a range of well-known external and strong own brands, with over 800,000 unique products and encompassing a complete offering within DIY, leisure, furniture, and furnishings.
Besides, the Group also includes over 85 online sites – including sites such as bygghemma.se, trademax.se, and chilli.se – and over 70 showrooms. The company’s share is traded on Nasdaq Stockholm, under the ticker “BHG.”
In research published in January of 2020, millennials had 17 paid entertainment and media subscriptions each on average with the pandemic only driving more adoption. Despite the popularity of the subscription economy, there’s been a lack of actionable, available benchmarks to gauge consumer interest and behavior. ANTENNA has built the platform that provides market-level information (competitive intelligence) on subscription metrics including growth and churn across the subscription media ecosystem. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Rameez Tase to learn more about how ANTENNA provides transparency to the subscription economy, the company’s future plans, and recent funding round led by Raine Ventures.