Exeter's Binit gets £500,000 equity investment from South West Investment Fund
An Exeter-based tech company Binit, which aims to transform the way UK businesses use waste and recycling services, has received a £500,000 equity investment from The British Business Bank's £200 million South West Investment Fund.
The fund was launched in July this year by the government-backed bank and provides loans from £25k to £2m and equity investment up to £5m to help small and medium sized businesses across the region to start up, scale up, or stay ahead.
The deal was led by the fund's appointed fund manager The FSE Group and includes co-funding of £250,000 from private equity investor Yeo Valley Associates.
Binit uses an app-based model, dubbed the 'Uber of bin collection' and tech-enabled bins each with a unique QR code.
It was co-founded in 2016 by CEO Philippa Roberts and former non-exec director Claire Harrold.
The company has grown from its Exeter science park base to serve customers across the UK, including Specsavers and Pizza Express
This is its third investment round as the company scales to go nationwide.
It aims to double turnover and staff to 15 in a year while investing in new 'bintech' hardware, data systems and enhanced customer interfaces. The smart technology allows SMEs to share bins and can offer on-demand collection seven days a week.
Binit uses a network of existing waste management companies and licensed delivery drivers without the need for heavy bin lorries.
Roberts, a chartered waste manager, was inspired to found the company by her time working with a leatherback turtle project in Costa Rica during a student gap year, where she saw, first-hand, the impact of plastic ocean waste.
"The way businesses manage their waste is changing and that’s being driven by a corporate commitment to net zero, which is being pushed right down the supply chain," she said.
"We are a next-generation, tech-led waste and recycling super-broker and that means we can help businesses deal with their waste in the most eco-friendly way, wherever they are in the UK."
Roberts also noted that female founder teams "still struggle to raise equity investment, so we are delighted to have secured this package".
"It’s great to have the regional focus of the South West Investment Fund, together with Yeo Valley Associates as impact investors, so this deal has been perfect for us as we scale up across the country," she said.
Ken Cooper, managing director of Venture Solutions, at the British Business Bank, added: "Philippa and Claire are determined to disrupt the market and vastly improve the way that businesses access and interact with waste and recycling services."
Ralph Singleton, The FSE Group’s head of equity, South West, said: "It has been wonderful working with a company who so passionately puts the needs of the planet at the forefront of everything they do."
Amy Crown, Head of Investments at Yeo Valley Associates, said: "We are delighted to invest in Binit, a disrupter to the waste market and a leader in developing a circular economy.
"We’re excited to support Binit as they expand their smart, responsive commercial waste and recycling service across the country and unlock waste reductions through accurate data."