A year after securing its first investor, Bin-e, a Poznań, Poland-based smart waste bin startup, has acquired a second. The addition pushes the company beyond the prototype phase and onto signing a production contract with a factory and landing its first client.
Bin-e created a bin for automatic waste segregation. Its functionality is based on a combination of mechanical and electronic elements along with software and elements of artificial intelligence. The company’s new investor is Altamira, an equity fund based in Warsaw, Poland.
“They focus on investments in unique technologies with the potential to make a breakthrough in their sectors,” says Jakub Luboński, CEO of Bin-e. “We first met them at Wolves Summit, which is one of the largest technology events in Poland. After a few months of talks, we decided to cooperate.”
Altamira will invest 500,000 EUR (more than $622,480) in Bin-e, which will be used for further product development, expanding the team and establishing the company’s sales network.
Bin-e also signed a contract to establish the production of a factory in Poland. It will handle the production process based on outsourcing.
“It allows us to increase the production and delivery. Thanks to the factory, the product development is supported by an engineering office. We are glad to have such a trustworthy and reliable partner,” says Luboński.
Bin-e’s first client is Interseroh, a provider of integrated environmental services that makes a huge contribution to the spread of the zero waste idea in Poland. It will use Bin-e for automatic waste segregation and compression in the office, contracting for the sale of the first 100 devices.
“Automatic waste sorting frees users’ minds from a humdrum task, which, especially in the office area, is a good idea and lets people focus on work challenges,” says Anna Grom, chairman and recycling expert at Interseroh. “Also, Bin-e fits modern office décor, which is an important quality. People want to work in nice spaces and surround themselves with friendly technology. The more of that we provide, the more happily will employees join the recycling effort.”
No longer a prototype, Bin-e recognizes, segregates and compresses waste automatically. It is based on an object recognition system that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. Bin-e also has a fill control sensor and notifies the waste disposal company automatically when one of the bins inside is full. It is connected to an Internet of Things (IoT) platform that manages the data collected by the device.
“From the user's perspective, nothing changes. You put the waste into the bin and simply do not have to bother with proper segregation anymore because Bin-e does it for you,” says Luboński.
The company plans on improving the current generation to ensure the highest product quality.
“Developing a product from scratch means a lot of hard work,” says Luboński. “You keep facing impediments at almost every step you take. We are more than happy how things turned out for Bin-e. A few years ago, nobody would have believed that such a device could enter the market.”