It has been an extremely important year for Deko Eko. After a few years of intensive work and being a pioneer in the Polish market with upcycling, we have reached a point in which we have a chance to grow steadily and enter other European markets.
Mainly due to a better-suited offer and the reinforced team we managed to grow significantly in terms of sales and project coverage for strategic B2B clients. In 2019, without additional investments yet, our revenues grew by 60% compared to the previous year and our profit structure changed in favor of big corporate projects.
The number of our returning clients with whom we make upcycling activities, share knowledge about "brand upcycling" and circular solutions is growing gradually.
We are particularly proud of our upcycling projects with BNP Paribas, Ergo Hestia, Santander Bank. We also started cooperation with new clients like Coca Cola, Carlsberg, HP, PWC and ING, which allowed them to enhance their educational activities in the field of ecology and zero waste.
New product lines
In 2019 we have started first business talks about creating upcycling trade marketing gifts from our Client’s waste streams eg: plastic packaging. This the direction we are planning to explore in the next year. Right now we are in the process of conceptual works with few companies across Europe, which specialize in plastic upcycling on a bigger scale. We hope it will allow us to offer upcycling products line soon for our clients.
Investments and new business model development
For sure a breakthrough moment in 2019 was finalizing our seed investment round - in the middle of the year, we acquired an investment for 250 000 EUR from Simpact VC to implement the B2B2C platform on European markets.
We are still live with our equity crowdfunding campaign on the Eureeca.com platform. Till the end of February 2020, we aim to gain another 100 k EUR in a seed round. From a business model perspective, those investments are aimed to develop and implement the marketplace, which will optimize and improve the previous direct cooperation model. The new model involves finance settlements with provision from every transaction and paid access (subscription fee).
Additionally funds we have gained allowed us to significantly expand our team, move to a new office, and continue our expansion for European markets with ease. We have already hired the first employees in the Netherlands.
Attention is growing
It was really impressive how much attention and recognition our company gained over the year. To mention just a few: we were the finalists in Chivas Venture Competition, obtained an award of Microentrepreneur of the Year on Warsaw Stock Exchange, we have been in the national finals in Central European Startups Award and received a Sustainable Economy Award in the category - Leader in Technology for Sustainable Solutions.
We were particularly happy to participate in conferences about Circular Economy - had a pitch on the 4th Circular Change Conference in Slovenia, participated in the European edition of Circular Week and Mazovia Circular Congress, had circular design workshops on Open Eyes Economy Summit.
In the last quarter, we were honored to participate in „DO BUSINESS, MAKE IMPACT" conference - this was an event dedicated to social innovators, creative startups, positive impact companies, and ethical business.
We feel our unique character which is the symbiosis of innovation and creativity with environment-friendly solutions was appreciated. We definitely notice a hunger for fresh solutions in the area of waste management, which is the growing challenge in running the business nowadays. - says Agata Frankiewicz CEO of Dekoeko.com.
Agata Frankiewicz was invited to many initiatives around sustainable business challenges and innovations for a greener future. Among many Deko Eko was mentioned as one of the 60 most promising startups run by women globally. Agata Frankiewicz was also invited to the initiative "Jutronauci" (‘People of Tomorrow’), led by the most influencing press organization in Poland - Gazeta Wyborcza. Every year they select exceptional people - so-called ‘Jutronauts’, who undertake the actions to change the world to be a better place to live. We are extremely proud to be selected as one of them.
Plans for 2020?
In 2019 we embraced new trends and innovations in the field of upcycling, among them upcycling of post-consumer packagings. We are keeping track of new technologies and ideas in upcycling due to new designers we work with and our presence on the Dutch market - which is one of the most mature in terms of circular solutions - a real circular hotspot.
We can observe that one of the strongest trends at the moment is plastic upcycling - various methods and products coming up, but also a creation of new composites, from which new consumer products can be made of.
We believe that the following year will be equally interesting. Let’s act!
Best wishes for 2020.