Indonesia-based Waste4Change  announced that it secured a US$5 million series A funding round, co-led by AC Ventures and PT Barito Mitra Investama. The round was joined by Basra Corporation, Paloma Capital, PT Delapan Satu Investa, Living Lab Ventures, SMDV, and Urban Gateway Fund.

Waste4Change is a leading waste management platform for companies, individuals, and government agencies in Indonesia. The firm’s mission since its inception in November 2014 has been to solve waste problems to prevent leakage to the environment and to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Waste4Change will use the fresh capital to further expand its reach and increase waste management capacity up to 100 ton per day in the ext 18 months and reach more than 2,000 tons per day over the next five years.

This involves integrating more digital technology into the monitoring and recording processes of the waste management flow and automating material recovery facilities. It will also help Waste4Change to strengthen partnership with the country’s informal solid waste sector, currently powered by scavengers, waste banks, waste stalls, and waste aggregators.

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With a population of more than 270 million, Indonesia has the largest waste management problem in Southeast Asia, with the recycling rate based on the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s data still remarkably low at 11-12%. But this may soon change as regulators bring new policies into the fold.

The government recently launched Indonesia Bersih Sampah (Indonesia Clean from Waste) 2025 program, inaugurated through the Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia 97/2017. This rule requires all parties to support the realisation of 30% waste reduction from the source (including sorting waste items into separate bins so that certain waste can be processed into different recycled products) and 70% waste treated. The government’s aggressive target needs to be reached before the end of 2025.

This program has also sparked new waste management regulations from local governments and waste management initiatives from the commercial sector. In terms of new market demand, these changes have created a surging need for responsible waste management, with detailed waste management reports.

Waste4Change is present in 21 Indonesian cities, managing more than 8,000 tons of waste per year. It has collected waste from 100+ B2B clients and 3,450+ household clients. Since 2017, it has grown at a CAGR of 55.1%.

Customers are asked to sort their waste in accordance with Waste4Change’s guidance. Then, Waste4Change will send a team to come to their location to collect the waste directly, then provide a detailed report once the process is completed.

Customers also have the option of taking garbage to one of Waste4Change’s drop-off points or sending their waste to Waste4Change. Waste4Change currently has 108 employees and 141 waste management operators. It plans to add an additional 52 people to its team and engage more than 300 informal and SMEs in the waste sector (a mixed bag of in-house and external personnel) to continue driving growth.

Waste4Change Founder and CEO Mohamad Bijaksana Junerosano said: “Indonesia’s waste management sector is still growing, and we are more than ready to assist in the process. With its low 11-12% recycling rate based on the Ministry of Environment and Forestry data, we know that there are still a lot of valuable materials ready to be brought back into the loop.

“People are educating themselves about waste and the environment, new start-ups and businesses related to waste management are emerging, and the government welcomes all stakeholders to take an active part in improving Indonesia. Compared to what we experienced in 2014, the market today is getting more mature. We will do whatever we can to provide solutions to every waste management need.”

He added, “We are working with the best venture capital players in the technology sector. All of our investors take ESG seriously and are willing to share their insights with us in creating the best waste management solutions. We are more than ready to realize our mutual mission of delivering faster and larger positive impacts on the environment, society, and economy.”

Pandu Sjahrir, Founding Partner at AC Ventures, said, “Waste4Change is a pioneer providing an end-to-end waste management solution. Sustainability is the team’s main focus, with a demonstrated commitment to building a better future for Indonesia.

“The company is proving that it has reached product-market fit and has the potential to scale across the nation. The company’s timing is also ideal, as the Indonesian government wants at least 30% reduction at source, with the remaining 70% treated by 2025.”

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