French startup Bibak (formerly known as La Consigne GreenGo) has amassed $6.4 million (€6 million) in an equity funding round and debt. The company wants to put an end to single-use plastic food packaging and replace those with reusable food containers.
Founders Future, MAIF Impact, Seed One, Notus Technologies SWEN Capital Partners’ Blue Ocean fund as well as several business angels are participating in the startup’s funding round. The startup closed this round in November 2022.
The fact that Bibak is a French company is a competitive advantage as regulation recently changed. Since January 1st, 2023, restaurants have had to use reusable food containers for people who eat there.
“It changes the scale of the business and the reuse industry,” co-founder and CEO Yasmine Dahmane told me.
And yet, Bibak has been around for a quite a while. The startup began in 2018 with French corporate catering service companies like Sodexo, Compass and Elior. The company now also targets the event industry as well as fast-food chains like Burger King.
But Bibak doesn’t want to do it all. While many restaurants are buying professional dishwashers, the startup believes that most food containers won’t be cleaned in restaurants. Instead, a third-party company will come and exchange your piles of dirty dishes, plastic boxes and cutlery with clean ones.
Instead of trying to do it all, Bibak is focusing on the area where it can bring more value — that’s the tech and platform part of this flourishing industry.
“We let professional washing and logistics companies do their job. It’s a much more solid model because we can bring in industrial washing companies,” Dahmane said.
So what does Bibak bring to the table then? First, Bibak gives some visibility through data. Customers can use the platform to see their inventory in real time, count how many food containers are missing, create a deposit system and see the environmental impact of reusable containers.
Second, Bibak helps you when it comes to collecting used food containers. The startup can send you smart return kiosks and create a deposit system that works for your specific restaurant. It can be a gamified system with rewards or a straightforward deposit system.
Third, Bibak also is a fintech company in a way. The company can manage the cashback and reward system for you.
The good news is that Bibak becomes more and more efficient as it scales. “We want to provide a cost per wash that is as low as possible,” Dahmane said.
The company targets big clients at first as it thinks smaller restaurants will follow course once these big chains are on board. Overall, more than 1.5 million of single-use packaging items have been avoided. Bibak competes with another French startup called Pyxo.
People working for Société Générale, Engie, Hermès, Danone or Vinci are already using Bibak food containers. And on the weekend, when people go to Roland Garros or We Love Green, they are interacting with Bibak as well when they order a drink. Soon, you may also receive a Bibak container when you order food online.