Sustainable start-up Obeo raises €350k to fuel UK expansion

21 Jun 2016225 Shares

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Pictured: Liz Fingleton co-founder, Obeo; Sarita Johnston, manager of Female Entrepreneurship at Enterprise Ireland; and Kate Purcell, co-founder, Obeo

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Dublin start-up Obeo, which champions sustainable living through its household waste products, has raised €350,000 in seed funding to support its move into the UK market.

The funding round consists of €200,000 from a UK-based seed fund and two Irish investors, as well as €150,000 from Enterprise Ireland’s high potential start-up unit.

Obeo will use the funding to support its entry into the UK market and develop further products in its range of food-waste-management products.

‘We see a huge opportunity for eco-friendly household products that reduce our impact on the environment’
– LIZ FINGLETON, OBEO

Obeo plans to grow the team to 10 in the next two years to support the company’s growth.

Ending the ‘yuck’ factor for food waste recycling

Obeo_food_waste_box

Kate Purcell and Liz Fingleton displaying the Obeo food waste box

The brainchild of National College of Art and Design (NCAD) graduate Kate Cronin, a product designer, and Liz Fingleton, an accountant, Obeo was the first company to spin out of Origin8, the design innovation and commercialisation gateway at NCAD, in 2014.

Obeo’s first product to market is a compostable food waste box that allows householders to quickly and cleanly recycle their food waste via their brown bin. Obeo promises to remove the ‘yuck’ factors of food waste recycling.

‘Enterprise Ireland is keen to support more start-ups led by female entrepreneurs, and Obeo exemplify this’
– JULIE SINNAMON, ENTERPRISE IRELAND

Conveniently placed on the counter-top and filled with food waste, each Obeo box lasts on average 2-3 days. When full, Obeo, along with its contents, goes directly into the brown bin. This means no smells, no mess and no bin juice.

The waste boxes are currently available in Dunnes Stores and SuperValu in Ireland and, no doubt, Obeo intends to strike similar deals with UK-based retailers.

“We see a huge opportunity for eco-friendly household products that reduce our impact on the environment,” Fingleton explained.

“There has been a shift in consumer attitude in recent years due to rising concerns for the environment.

“We aim to address these concerns by making it easy, convenient and affordable for people to do their part,” she added.

Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon said that Obeo is the first start-up company to emerge from the NCAD.

“Enterprise Ireland is keen to support more start-ups led by female entrepreneurs, and Obeo exemplifies this,” Sinnamon said.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com