Berny raises 2 million euros!
Berny, a pioneer in the circular economy, has secured €2 million in its first round of financing with the aim of boosting its development among major retailers and food industry players.
Founded in 2020 in Nantes by Claire Nijdam and Olivier de Kerimel, Berny is developing a solution aimed at food industry professionals and mass retailers, by setting up a deposit system that adapts to their business model.
So why “Berny”? It’s not a reference to Albert Dupontel’s film, but a simple tribute to the hermit crab, which reuses shells which have been abandoned by its fellow creatures.
The Nantes-based company has just raised 2 million euros to accelerate its development. The funds involved in this transaction are Epopée Gestion, which is making the first investment of its new fund Epopée West Web Valley II, Pays de la Loire Participations and Business Angels.
Contributing to the transition from disposable to reusable
The company designs and manufactures reusable stainless steel containers, which it rents out to its customers, while ensuring the collection and washing, so they can be re-injected into the rental circuit.
Thus a simple concept of circular economy is created. The customer chooses his product in a reusable container, pays his rental, as well as a deposit, then brings back the container when he doesn’t need it anymore in order to be reimbursed for the loan. The advantage is enormous, because it puts an end to many abuses such as the burying or incineration of too much used disposable plastic waste.
Berny’s mission: reusability at all costs
The European provision on the banning of single-use plastics, article L541-15-10 of the environmental code, marks the gradual and extensive banning of the use of disposable plastic in all areas of society.
With this favourable context, the young company has not been idle since its creation. It has already deployed its solution in 10 hypermarkets in the western region and is still carrying out numerous projects in other regions of France during the year.
At the same time, Berny is helping professionals to implement a model based entirely on reusable stainless steel packaging, regardless of the content being packaged.
For example, Berny has designed a sealed stainless steel tray to preserve food in a modified atmosphere, just like a disposable tray, and recently presented this packaging solution at the CFIA in March 2022.
Strong growth, growing demand and interest from food retailers, Berny has been doing well since its launch. The company has therefore asked its financial partners to deploy its solution in France.
The objectives of this maneuver are multiple. In addition to the creation of new stainless steel packaging formats in 2022, the company also plans to set up a technical team dedicated to supporting retailers and manufacturers in the implementation of the system. This way it can capitalise on the overall acceleration of the trend to favour reusable packaging, which will promote its rental business.
Berny, riding the wave of reusability
Various laws, including the AGEC law, set the objective of increasing the share of reusable packaging from 1% today to 5% by 2025 and 10% by 2027.
The reduction of single-use packaging and plastics is a major challenge for the preservation of the ecosystem. More than a simple fashion effect, it is a question of the necessity of a change of habits and mentalities in the long term.
Because of these laws, as well as the constraints they impose on industry and commercial and collective catering, reusable packaging and deposits are likely to become commonplace in the near future and Berny has understood this well by taking the lead in this very promising emerging market.