BrandArena: Ethiopian upcycling startup, Kubik receives $3.34M seed funding

Thursday 22 June 2023

Ethiopian upcycling startup, Kubik receives $3.34M seed funding

As African cities are rapidly expanding, their environmental impact is also increasing. Kubik, an upcycling firm with operations in Kenya and Ethiopia, is one of the startups driving plastic trash reuse and sustainability efforts in the continent's embryonic recycling sector, which now salvages only 4% of waste generated.

Every day, the business converts difficult-to-recycle plastic trash (polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene) into inexpensive building materials such as bricks, columns, beams, and jambs, removing 45,000 kgs of plastic waste from landfills. In the aftermath of a $3.34 million seed fundraising round, the firm is now planning to double focus on building material production in Ethiopia before expanding to other African countries.

Kidus Asfaw and Penda Marre launched the company in 2021, and Kubik expects to ramp up production at its Ethiopian plant later this year, with the capacity to create over a quarter million square metres of wall surface area each year.

According to Kidus Asfaw, CEO of Kubik, "This can build anywhere up to 10,000 affordable homes per year, for example. Speaking of affordable housing, there is a 300M+ deficit of housing units globally that are considered affordable to the poor. This is a $2T+ market we have an opportunity to address, and we are just getting started."

Plug & Play, Bestseller Foundation, GIIG Africa Fund, Satgana, Unruly Capital, Savannah Fund, African Renaissance Partners, Kazana Fund, Princeton Alumni Angels, and Andav Capital were among the investors in the round.

"We are thrilled to invest and partner with Kubik on their transformative journey. Their purpose-driven vision, exceptional team, and unique business model – combining positive social impact, circular economy, and low-carbon construction – positions Kubik as a scalable and sustainable solution to Africa’s most pressing challenges" says Climate Tech VC Satgana, Co-founder, Romain Diaz.

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