Bower collective raises GBP2.1m in seed stage funding
Bower Collective, the sustainable consumer goods business has raised GBP2.1 million in a seed stage fundraising round led by Oxford Capital and Doehler Ventures.
The brand offers a range of sustainable home and personal care products and is on a mission to eliminate plastic waste. It has developed an innovative approach to ecommerce by providing a closed loop, plastic waste-free solution. Users subscribe to a range of products that are supplied in refill packages. Customers return the empty packages in pre-paid envelopes to Bower for reuse and recycling, ensuring zero plastic waste in their supply chain.
Since launch, the company has experienced rapid growth, building a community of over 60,000 consumers and delivering 30 per cent MOM growth in revenues. It is in the final stages of B-Corporation certification, part of a community of purpose led businesses, and has launched its first Impact Report which highlights the significant sustainable impact the business has already made. This includes protecting (to date) 20,367 sq m of endangered sea grass as part of its partnership with the Marine Conservation Society. For every purchase made with Bower Collective, it will make a donation to help protect 1m2 of endangered seagrass as part of its mission to eliminate plastic waste from the natural environment and support biodiversity.
Backed by funding from Innovate UK, Bower is currently working on a next generation reusable packaging system, which will allow the business to reuse and refill at significant scale. This will ensure a closed loop so that no packaging ends up in landfill, incineration or the natural environment. It aims to launch this new packaging in Autumn 2021.
While Oxford Capital and Doehler Ventures are the first institutional investors into the business, a number of prominent angel investors also participated in the round including Dharmash Mistry. In 2020, Bower Collective graduated from the Founders Factory accelerator programme supported by Reckitt, the global consumer goods company.
Nick Torday, Co-Founder and CEO, Bower Collective, says: “At Bower we are passionate about creating a transformative sustainable solution within the home and personal care market and are really proud of the exceptional talent that we’ve attracted to build the brand going forwards. This fundraising round will enable us to accelerate the growth of the business, continue driving innovation across product and packaging while taking advantage of the rapid growth of subscription services.”
David Mott, Founding Partner at Oxford Capital commented: “We are really proud to be backing co-founders Nick and Marcus who launched the business with a strong purpose to eliminate plastic waste in the home. Since launch, the rapid rise of sales and subscriptions has been encouraging and the feedback from customers has been exceptional. We love to back companies with a strong purpose, and we believe Bower Collective can make a real impact as it continues to grow.”
Bower Collective was founded by friends Nick Torday and Marcus Hill, their inspiration is the Bowerbird – famous for recycling brightly coloured plastic scraps to decorate its nest, or Bower. Nick’s background was running a digital and technology consultancy that included clients such as the UN, WWF and Amnesty International, helping to solve major global social and environmental issues. Marcus founded and built London Bio Packaging, one of the UK’s leading providers of biodegradable packaging for the food industry, which he then sold to the FTSE 100 company Bunzl. Both share a passion for sustainable business.