By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, Aug 7 (Bernama) – Klean, a Malaysia-based startup, is actively seeking funds to allow further research & development (R&D) and to launch its smart machines across the country, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN.
It is currently seeking to secure US$5 million (US$1=RM4.04) in funding.
Only recently, Klean participated in Krungsri RISE, a Thai-based accelerator which is a collaboration between Krungsri Bank (Bank of Ayudhya), Thailand’s fifth largest bank and RISE, an expert in startups.
The project aims to boost the country’s economy by bringing startups to Thailand and help them realise ideas and innovations through training and partnerships with corporate and government agencies.
Krungsri is looking for startups who can plug in directly to its business, while RISE aims to drive innovation in Thailand.
Krungsri RISE takes zero equity from the startups for its programme as the ultimate aim is to get them access to the Thai market.
“ASEAN needs the container deposit scheme to tackle its plastic problem. The fact that countries within ASEAN are amongst the top plastic polluters in the world, shows that current efforts are simply not working,” Klean co-founder, Datuk Mohamad Arif Abdullah told Bernama.
“Klean has the solution and is still actively looking for funds so we can scale our business,” he added.
Klean had in June won the first ASEAN edition of Pitch@Palace in Singapore and was one of the six finalists for Temasek’s, The Liveability Challenge.
Klean's ecosystem utilises a unique Malaysian-made smart reverse vending machine (SRVM) with its own Klean operating system, an app and a wallet that rewards people for recycling empty polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and aluminium cans with an innovative points scheme, which is redeemable for rewards such as prepaid air time and discounts for transportation rides, goods and services.
The company’s greatest achievement to date is to team up with HelloGold to tackle generational poverty.
By returning bottles and cans, users can build up a gold portfolio, allowing poor people to save money using readily available waste.
They can even use this gold as collateral to secure a loan, start a business and increase savings.
“Educating people on the importance of recycling alone is not enough. People need to be incentivised to ensure behavioural change. Klean’s unique reward system is the answer,” said Klean co-founder, Datuk Dr Nick Boden.
In Singapore, Klean has teamed up with a leading beverage company to start a proof of concept on a container deposit scheme in the island state later this year.