Stockholm (NordSIP) – Denmark’s Green Investment Fund (Danmarks Grønne Investeringsfond) has decided to finance EcoClean Nordic, a Danish startup company that has developed a range of cleaning detergents since 2016 that are 100% natural, sustainable and which comprise organic ingredients.
Denmark’s Green Investment Fund is an independently run government loan fund that aims to co-finance investments that promote green change in Danish society. The fund has as its purpose to build bridges between traditional bank financing and equity and operates with both a green and commercial focus. Individual loans can have a maturity of up to 30 years, and the fund initially finances up to 60 per cent of the total cost of an individual project.
EcoClean Nordic is the first Danish company and one of only a handful of European companies to develop detergents at this level of sustainability. Its product line includes dishwashing detergents, universal cleaning material, anti-grease, anti-lime, toilet cleaner and liquid detergents all produced at the EcoClean factory in Holeby, on Lolland. Cleaning products are based on plant oils with scents from natural essential oils and organic flower waters, with packaging made from recycled bottles.
“We believe that there is a large market for natural detergents. Consumers in Denmark and internationally are very aware of chemicals and demand an alternative to the rough resources filling the shelves in supermarkets,” said Eco Clean CEO and co-founder Tommy William Anderson.
“We have the courage, therefore, to face off with big global players such as Ajax, Biotex and Cillit Bang.”
EcoClean Nordic is one of just a small handful of manufacturers in Europe that has obtained the internationally recognised ECOCERT® environmental certification for a 100% natural cleaning product. In addition, it is the only company in the Nordics to have done so under its own brand.
The EcoClean product has already managed to penetrate 11 markets – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Taiwan and South Korean – and stocks its products on the shelves of the largest supermarkets in Denmark. The biggest challenge, however, is still competing for shelf space with the bigger names, and thereby the attention of customers.
The Green Investment Fund’s funding, which is in the millions of Danish crowns, is therefore to help the company scale its business. In a comment obtained by NordSIP, Denmark’s Green Investment Fund’s Business Manager Line Lundbye explains:
“EcoClean comes with an environmentally sustainable product in an industry where the majority of detergents are manufactured from synthetic substances that can burden our aquatic environment when consumers pour cleaning water into the sink. Therefore, EcoClean is helping to ensure a greener choice on the shelves for the benefit of our environment, and we want to help develop this progress. We are also in a position to fund EcoClean because their business is also commercially viable and has the potential to become even more widespread internationally.”
On the basis of this financing, Eco Clean Nordic expects to increase its market share in all the countries it currently operates in and to quadruple its revenue from 2017.
“With the new capital infusion from [Danmark’s Grønne Investeringsfond], we can finance growth in our current countries – especially Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Finland. This must be done through more aggressive marketing, including in promotional newspapers and on social media. It also means we can hire more employees,” Andersen said.
One decisive factor for EcoClean’s rapid growth has been a balance between price and quality. Eco Clean has been working on a business plan where the pricing should be roughly identical to that of its competitors.
“Eco Clean has developed a unique product range not yet seen in Scandinavia and still not widely used in the world in general. With a price that matches the competition and a recognised certification, they have the potential to scale the business, to which we are pleased to contribute,” Lundbye added.
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