VC climatetech venture builder Wavemaker Impact has launched its first startup WasteX with an initial investment of $525,000. The company will help agricultural producers in Southeast Asia turn biomass waste into products that tackle climate change.
Every year, 3.5 billion tons of agricultural waste is discarded, burnt, or sold cheaply, causing environmental harm. To tackle this problem, WasteX will offer an end-to-end solution for agricultural producers that has the potential to create substantial financial, operational, and sustainability benefits.
The startup will help agricultural producers choose the right technology and its deployment, and will offer them operational support, carbon credits certification, and help with the sale or application of upgraded products such as biochar or black soldier flies, whose larvae can improve the biomass waste properties to reduce the loss of carbon.
The early assessment shows a potential for more than $150 billion Gross Merchandize Value for the higher-end products and over 700 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses reduction.
WasteX came out of Wavemaker Impact’s 4-month-long venture building initiative, which is the first one purely focused on climate tech in Southeast Asia. The process of choosing to focus on biomass waste conversion included reviewing an array of agriculture and food problems and conducting hundreds of interviews.
“There are some amazing new technologies and developments in waste valorization but due to their novelty and process complexity, they are sparsely adopted by agricultural producers,” said Pawel Kuznicki, the Founder and CEO of WasteX. “Given how challenged the industry is by multiple global crises, including climate change, the war in Ukraine, and global inflation, we want to enable these new solutions for both smallholders and large producers, and unlock 3-5x more value for them.”
WasteX has already begun several pilot projects in Southeast Asia and is working with clients coming from agricultural organizations, livestock farms and independent mills. The startup’s plans for the future include digitizing its solution and creating connections between diverse actors in the biomass waste value chain.