Vancouver’s ChopValue marks two key milestones today: transforming its 100 millionth chopstick into new products and closing a $7.7 million funding round to expand its decentralized microfactory network.
ChopValue is the brainchild of Felix Böck, a former UBC doctoral student in the faculty of forestry who studied bamboo as a building material. The sustainability brand designs and manufactures circular economy products made entirely of recycled chopsticks.
ChopValue was named one of 10 Homegrown B.C. Startups to Watch in 2022 by Techcouver.
Today’s milestones align with ChopValue’s rapid growth since inception in 2016, as demonstrated by the creation of 150+ jobs across 6 countries through 63 in-development franchises, and the storing of 136,000+kg of carbon into new products from material collected by 1,700+ community restaurant partners.
The company also recently signed strategic growth agreements for market entries in Japan, Singapore, Central Europe, and the US. The new scale achieved through its microfactory network is allowing the company to serve strategic B2B clients for projects such as multi-restaurant buildouts, while continuing to meet end-customer demand.
Böck credits the team’s “commitment to demonstrating that the circular economy should become the norm when our natural resources are strained, and our landfills continue to grow.”
He hopes that the “decentralized microfactory approach that uses local resources for local production to meet local demand will also give a reason to rethink globalized supply chains,” as ChopValue enables small business owners to own local ChopValue franchises.
The funding round was led by two high profile technology entrepreneurs with expansion interest in Asia Pacific and Europe. Also joining the round were corporate venture capital funds and existing investors.
The funds will be used to expand ChopValue’s operations, particularly to better serve B2B partnerships. The focus will be on increasing production capacity and developing new product lines. The company also plans to invest into research and development with the goal of optimizing its micro-manufacturing principles and continuing to reduce its environmental footprint.
“ChopValue’s innovative approach to circular manufacturing, which has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the manufacturing industry, is a vision that’s coming to life and has tremendous potential for positive impact,” said Andy Burt, one of ChopValue’s strategic growth partners.
By continuing to expand its network of microfactories, ChopValue is paving the way for a more sustainable future. The unique approach to commercializing its “waste” to “resource” philosophy allows it to scale responsibly as each microfactory is tailored to its end market size and needs. ChopValue is looking to announce the opening of 100+ new locations in the near term.
Leave a Reply