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Supporting hardware companies towards producer ownership

Twist helps hardware companies adopt producer ownership models - where they maintain visibility on product lifecycle, and take responsibility for end of life, unlocking economic and environmental benefits

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Their mission
Make hardware investible and climate compatible
Reducing emissions
London, UK

Their UVP

Twist’s software solutions help their customers get granular lifecycle data, down to each component of their products, and use this data to manage and extend lifecycle, reducing emissions and waste, and unlocking preferential financing terms.
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Grand challenge

Reducing emissions

of electronic waste was recycled in 2019 (UN University)
92 billion
tonnes of materials are used in our economy per year (Systemiq)
supply chain emissions are 11x higher than operational emissions (CDP)

Electronic waste is the world's most valuable waste, yet less than 20% of e-waste is recycled correctly every year. This means that $60 billion of value is lost annually. As an illustration of the missed opportunity of our linear model: there is 100 times more gold in a tonne of e-waste than in a tonne of gold ore.

E-waste is also incredibly toxic if not disposed of properly: e-waste in landfill contaminates soil and groundwater, putting food supply systems and water sources at risk. In particular, e-waste has been identified by research studies as a common source of heavy metals and chlorinated organic compounds such as arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium and PCBs, which are carcinogenic, teratogenic and mutagenic, putting communities at risk of cancer, congenital disabilities and mutagens.

Let's take a more extensive view than e-waste. A total of 92 billion tons of materials are used in our economy annually, responsible for 50% of GHG emissions and 90% of biodiversity losses. About 90% of those materials, and the energy used to make them, are lost after only one use.

Concretely, the problem is that producers sell the equipment and leave it up to customers to try and get the most out of them and dispose of them safely: the people that produce our stuff – businesses – aren't incentivized to look after the earth's resources or the products they make with them.

Why did we invest?

Up to 37% CO2 emissions reduction

Twist founders
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William Godfrey, CEO
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Sebastian Sabouné, CPO

We were introduced to Will and Seb through our friends at Hardware Club, with whom we’d already co-invested.

Though it’s rare for us to consider pre-seed deals, we were impressed by their vision for the future of hardware ownership and sustainable supply chains, and their track record of building dozens of products for companies in the Founders Forum ecosystem.

Through our work with hardware companies like Cowboy, Dendra and Aerones, our deep dive into supply chains (built while running diligence on Circulor), and our regular scan of regulatory changes especially in Europe, we had firm conviction on the need for hardware companies to move to producer ownership models.

From the first day we spoke to them, Will and Seb’s vision was to build a layer of software infrastructure that could power the shift of hardware companies towards sustainable supply chains and circularity, in the same way that Stripe powers global payments. We knew this was a problem worth addressing. Their roadmap – determine granular component-level LCA and create a new data layer to generate new financing possibilities with this data – was thorough and well thought-out.

We decided to invest, and are delighted to have supported this team since day 1.

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