Franco-German logistics startup LivingPackets has raised €5 million through a crowdfunding campaign to develop its intelligent packaging system, THE BOX, which is designed to reduce shipping waste and improve last-mile delivery service. Currently, over 100 billion cardboard boxes are shipped each year in e-commerce alone, requiring 700 million trees to be cut down each year. THE BOX can be reused up to 1000 times. Not only is the packaging eco-friendly but also tech-enabled, equipped with numerous sensors to track the parcel, change the delivery address, etc. The boxes are still in a pre-production phase, but the startup claims several thousand companies have shown interest or requested to use the product once available. "This year we are concentrating on entering the market in Germany and France with select online retailers and will then continuously expand our production," said CEO and managing director Alexander Cotte, who is just 23 years old.
The CEO has chosen a “Sharing Angel” crowdsourcing campaign as opposed to traditional avenues of startup financing. The sustainable logistics startup has committed to sharing half of its profits with people “who help the model succeed,” so every crowdfunder (from €50 upwards) should eventually receive a return at five times that amount. "We have designed our financing model in such a way that as many people as possible can participate," explained CTO and co-founder Fabian Kliem. "Many people participate with smaller amounts, but we also see many larger contributions between €3,000 and €25,000. With every month that we get closer to entering the market, the entrepreneurial risk for our Sharing Angels is reduced. In order to continue to reward our supporters fairly for their contribution, we are therefore adjusting the rewards model of our campaign to the reduced risk as planned in the near future.”