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Juha Koponen WCEF2019: Investing in circular economy businesses


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The World Circular Economy Forum presents the world’s best circular economy solutions and gathers together the most recognised experts and decision makers in the field. The event is organised by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. Read more:

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Juha Koponen WCEF2019: Investing in circular economy businesses

  1. 1. 11 | Dr. Juha Koponen, Co-Founder World Circular Economy Forum 4 June 2019
  2. 2. 22 | ● $343B Clothing & Apparel market ● $100B Pre-owned opportunity ● 400B€ Clothing & Apparel market ● 100B€ Pre-owned opportunity 85% goes to waste 75% goes to waste Unsustainable clothing & apparel market has created a big business opportunity
  3. 3. 33 | ● On-line consignment store for pre-owned items in the USA ● Offices in Helsinki, Finland and Woodridge, IL, USA ● Launched 2013 ● Raised 50m+ EUR
  4. 4. 44 | Sold 8m pre-owned items 200,000 tons of CO2 saved
  5. 5. 55 | Industrial scale operations for pre-owned item processing
  6. 6. 66 | Neural network automates item recognition and attribute extraction …pattern… Polka dots Floral Recognized with 99% accuracy Recognized with 96% accuracy …and look Active Bohemian Recognized with 97% accuracy Recognized with 95% accuracy Items are recognized based on type... Dress pants Sweatpants Recognized with 90% accuracy Recognized with 80% accuracy Data from >8m items with high quality photographs and metadata trains the neural network to extraordinary levels
  7. 7. 77 | Growth and Turnaround ● Among 5 fastest growing US clothing retailers 2016 ● Prepared to very fast growth ● Turnaround in spring 2018 with cost savings ● Turning profitable in 2019 ● New round open
  8. 8. 88 | ● Real world problems require scale ○ Costs big money and requires risk taking ● Commercial investor will not fund solving the sustainability issue ● Doing good helps to put your business to some investors’ focus ● Align your business with the sustainability goal Learnings