Today’s finalist is ScrapAd. The Spanish startup developed a global platform for trading recyclable materials to counteract the lack of information in the recycling industry. The founders Sandra Montes and Samuel Ruiz discovered the need for a solution like theirs on a trade fair in Las Vegas! Connecting buyers and sellers worldwide, they want to disrupt the industry, that is still mostly based on personal connections, and solve its weaknesses. Read the interview to find more about ScrapAd’s founding story, their digital circular economy solution and their aspiring plans for the future.
You say that you got the inspiration for founding ScrapAd on a recycling fair in Las Vegas where you recognized some of the major weaknesses in this industry. Can you tell us more about this experience?
Samuel Ruiz and myself, Sandra Montes, participated in ISRI in Las Vegas – the worldwide leading trade fair for the recycling industry as part of our extended experience in the sector. We focused on offering our turnkey machinery solutions for recyclable materials, in terms of conveyance, treatment and revaluation of all kinds of waste, mostly specialized in all sorts of metals.
Then, we realized many people travelled thousands of kilometers in order to find the best destiny for their residues. An example: A representative of one of the most relevant recycling companies of north of Spain travelled to the fair in Las Vegas just to find not only the best buyer but also a good price for titanium chips waste that he was collecting from the aerospace industry.
Besides, participants told us that it is often impossible to find buyers for certain types of waste, which is why these materials are often deposited in landfills. This is economically inefficient and has terrible consequences for the environment. This was when we realized that there was a market demand: We started seeking for a proper solution to connect buyers and sellers, that would also offer a secure proposal in relation to material verification, payment terms and logistics. With this level of security, transactions that were usually done on a local basis between well-known contacts, could become global.
We came up with ScrapAd and realized that the platform would become a disruptive alternative never seen before.
Your concept is well-thought through and already seems quite mature. There are no concerns that your platform will be successful within a nation, but have you already considered how to get full access across borders and countries, considering regulations and the legal framework to transport waste across country borders?
Our logistic manager Lucía Peláez plays a key role here. She studied law and focused on logistics. And she currently investigates the regulations and legal frameworks in every single country ScrapAd is present in. She particularly focuses on the requirements for import and export to third countries.
Besides, taking opportunity of this knowledge, ScrapAd makes an alert to the members of the needed licenses and allowances to get a successful sales contract with the counterpart on the other side of the screen. Based on this knowledge, we also inform buyers and sellers on our platform about the licenses and allowances they need in order to establish successful contracts.
Thanks to our logistics manager’s work, we are aware of the regulations in almost every single country and know how to face them.
At least in Germany trading recyclable materials is often based on personal connections. How do you plan to disrupt this?
The recycling sector has traditionally been local and based on personal connections. However, a global vision is already present, since some types of materials cannot be sold in certain geographic areas for several reasons, for instance price or installed machinery.…
Besides, changes in supply and demand in different countries make import and export even more relevant. For example, the automotive industry in Mexico is booming and the aluminum request to produce certain parts is very high. In that case, difference in price for instance between Mexico and Europe would be so significant that even high logistic costs would be justified.
We are sure about the value proposition and would get global by:
- Showing our potential and how we could help companies
- Allowing people to save time and money
- Offering the transaction end to end
- Providing the maximum security
- Operating with a very competitive commission fee compared to other traders and other kinds of marketplaces.
Where do you see your startup in 5 years from now?
Our vision is to become the leading platform for trading recyclable materials worldwide and we aim to reach this goal within the next five years. Therefore, these years will be crucial to get global deployment and establish as the leader in the sector, disrupting it with our technological proposal.
Having invested in highly skilled people and great technology, we are sure that people will understand the true meaning and potential of ScrapAd. We are confident that once people use the platform for the first time, they will continue doing so, which will help us become the globally recognized platform for waste and recyclable materials.
Our solution helps to save the world because…?”
Our solution helps to save the world, because it reduces the percentage of waste that ends up in landfills and counteracts issues like the pollution of land and seas, and CO2 emissions, which have been increasing dramatically in the few years and would continue without innovations like ours.
Take your chance and watch Atelier Riforma pitch their idea live on stage in Berlin on 28th April. Register here and meet our finalist in person.
Source Green Alley Award