Australian environmental startup Zero Co raises $5 million in funding

Australian startup Zero Co attests the rise in sustainable investing and is already showing benefits of its dual meaning – good for the planet and shareholder pockets.

Ambitious Aussie startup Zero Co has just closed its third oversubscribed funding round, netting $1.9M in funding to take their total raise to $5M, an impressive result for a company that began shipping its zero-waste products to customers just 6 months ago.

Zero Co arousing eco-friendly investor interest

The most recent round saw big name Aussie entrepreneurs and investors join the already impressive list of shareholders who see a big future for the zero-waste company.

CEO Rob Chapman, Skip Capital (the private fund of co-CEO of Atlassian, Scott Farquhar and Kim Jackson)and Koala Co-Founders Mitch Taylor and Dany Milham are among some of the big believers who invested in the business in earlier funding rounds.

They carried confidence in founder Mike Smith’s unique business model which stops single-use plastic in its tracks and delivers personal-care and home-cleaning products direct to Aussie homes, whilst also funding large scale ocean clean-ups.

Zero Co is doing this by creating packaging made from ocean plastics and diverted landfill plastic and offering a refill and return service, meaning Australian’s never have to purchase another single-use plastic bottle again.

Rob Chapman said, “I met Mike in Sydney and listened to his story. It was so compelling that 3 months later I and a couple of colleagues invested $1 million to get him started.”

“Six months after launch and the business is tracking to $1 million monthly in revenue.”

The new fundraising round was backed by existing investors, and new investors from the FMCG, finance and technology sectors now join Zero Co’s private shareholder list, including Jurlique Former CEO Sam McKay and Right Click Capital Founder Ari Klinger.

Zero Co investors’ commentary

Skip Capital’s Kim Jackson says, “The Federal Waste Report shows that 85% of the plastic that Aussies put into their recycling bin goes to landfill instead of being recycled annually.”

“That’s 200 Olympic swimming pools worth of single-use plastic going to landfill every single year! As a nation we need to move from single-use to forever-use.”

“We are seeing more Australians make this choice every day, and Zero Co is at the absolute forefront of this shift. We continue to be delighted to back Mike and the team at Zero Co.”

Ari Klinger from Right Click Capital also shares belief in the brand’s mission, “We need to radically change the way we think about and use plastic.”

“If we continue down this path, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. To solve this, we need to tackle it from multiple levels including government and business.”

“I was impressed with Zero Co’s strategic approach to solving the problem, built around providing a convenient, cost-effective alternative to single-use plastic that is accessible to all Australians. That’s why I decided to back Mike and the team at Zero Co.”

Zero Co’s Smith says the financial support and belief in his business is imperative to tackling the plastic problem and the company can move fast enough to keep up with the crisis.

“Having many investors shows that their support has provided confidence for our mission to eliminate single-use plastic from every Aussie bathroom, kitchen and laundry.”

Proving its rapid growth already, the company has signed up almost 30,000 Aussie homes in under 6 months and has just announced Australia’s first carbon negative delivery service.

Smith says he plans to offer Zero Co’s legion of customers an opportunity to share in the future success of the company by launching a crowd-sourced funding round this year.

“We’re building a people-powered solution to the global plastic problem and we believe that providing an opportunity for the everyday Aussies who are solving the plastic problem to become owners of our business is the right thing to do.”

“Our end goal is for Zero Co to become a 100% customer owned company, completely aligning the interests of the planet, customers and shareholders.”