How Seenons is changing the waste-management industry

Photo credits: Seenons

Key Results to Date

  • Validated and developed a software platform to give new value to cardboard, PET, glass, coffee residue, PMD, GFT and orange peel.
  • Built a range of corporate partners including Renewi, Rabobank, Amsterdam Smart City, KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association) and Yoghurt Barn
  • Raised €7.75M seed capital to finance its ambitions
  • Seenons’ team grew from 2 to 25 in the space of 2 years
  • Aimforthemoon guided Seenons from idea to MVP phase and facilitated the collaboration with Renewi as launching partner

Who and what?

Seenons co-founders Joost Kamermans (left) and Jorn Eiting van Liempt (right)

The plan?

  1. Scan. The first step in the development process is to learn about customers and their problems as early as possible and to determine the exact problem that they would be solving.
  2. Test. Next, the two co-founders had to test their concept by creating a mockup website and entering the marketplace.
  3. Build. With both their problem defined and their assumptions validated, the next step is to move from ideation and build their minimum viable product (MVP).
  4. Grow. With their MVP in hand, the two co-founders began to target their first market — football clubs — as a viable source of new waste streams.

How did Seenons validate their assumptions?

  • Validate their vision. If they couldn’t change the system from within, how could they leverage technology to approach it from the outside? During the scan phase, the team began to evaluate, test and validate these assumptions.
  • Mock website. To get the process moving, Seenons began to use their agility to their advantage. Rather than the standard validation process, Seenons put up a mockup landing page to collect email addresses and began advertising via Google Ads, promoting the product that they intended to create.
  • Mom test. This process avoided what Joost calls the mom test, “In the beginning potential customers will say that whatever you’re doing is a good idea, but when it comes to get their wallets out, the story changes.”

Testing their concept

De Koffiesalon, an Amsterdam chain of coffee bars, was one of Seenons’ pilot customers
  • Get on the road. In a rented van, the two co-founders were driving around The Netherlands collecting waste streams from clients.
  • Learning by doing. “In the beginning, we did every step of the process ourselves. Whilst this was super inefficient, we really experienced what the possibilities and the challenges were. In reality, this was going to be way more complicated than how we originally portrayed it on the website,” said Joost.
  • Connecting the dots. At the same time, Seenons learned many businesses had difficulty sourcing pure waste streams to make circular products. Identifying multiple Dutch businesses seeking upcycled ingredients including liqueur producers Dik & Schil, homeware producers Unwaste and artisan soap and shampoo makers Kusala Gifts, Seenons delivered their first waste streams: Coffee grind and orange peel.

How did Seenons build their product?

Seenons bins next to Renewi bins (Credits: Seenons)
  • Armed with a validated circular business model, the team began to build out the solution: A platform that provides a market for waste that would usually be burnt — including food scraps, plastic waste and paper-based materials — whilst collecting waste from companies struggling to dispose of it.
  • After serving their first customers with this make shift concierge model, Seenons has partnered with market leaders, including Renewi, as a launching supplier and began working on their minimum viable product.
  • Through an iterative process of testing and building, Seenons’ software facilitated the management of all a business’s waste flows in one place. The platform would not only collect residual flows sustainably, but dramatically improve logistics in this traditionally inefficient industry.

Going to market

Seenons’ pilot project with a Dutch football club (Credits: Seenons)

The impact? A business model designed for systems change

From ‘waste’ to product (Credits: Seenons)

Scaling up and the future of Seenons

  • In the short time span from when the founders met until today, Seenons has grown to a team of 25 strong with 100 partners.
  • The startup is scaling fast: they’re active in four cities across the Netherlands, working with businesses and sport clubs
  • Seenons is looking at integrating more waste streams like styrofoam and e-waste into their offering
  • Furthermore, as their technology can be applied across the waste management sector, Seenons has the ambition to travel further into Benelux and beyond.
  • To finance this expansion, Seenons is also raising their next round of funds
Impression of the Seenons app (credits: Seenons)

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