The pilot was a great success, both in terms of cost of acquisition and customer satisfaction. ‘My first customers are amazed by the machine!’ says Peters, ‘Apart from the concept, the appliance itself is wonderful. You think a washing machine is a washing machine, but if you use this new Miele appliance the laundry comes out cleaner, drier and less wrinkled...’ The data gave a wake-up call to almost all customers, ‘People are amazed by how much the machine is used and how many cycles. Somehow they are motivated to improve and immediately start using less energy. Seeing the impact of an individual appliance really helps people to act as responsible consumers. My current customers are already using 15 % less than they were initially.’This kickstart allowed Peters to start finetuning the product, preparing automation of processes and funding the business. ‘We are focussing on getting the funding for the next launch of the laundry bundle in December or January... I am currently in discussions with a crowdfunding platform through which I could offer bonds with a fixed period and payback per month from individuals. The idea is that while the business will be funded with equity, which is used for initial sales, product development and operations, the appliances are financed with bonds, initially bought by the crowd. Individuals can fund a machine and receive revenue over time.’
Bundles does not only provides customers with a better opportunity to use energy smartly, but also cuts down the demand for cheap, short-life electrical appliances. Customers are in a position to use more effective and energy-efficient machines than they might be able to afford outright. By leasing them instead, they can save on energy costs without the initial investment involved in buying superior quality white goods. They are also given a high level of usage-information regarding the appliance, putting them in a much better position to avoid energy wastage and get better results. Customers can assess how many cycles they need and chose a monthly payment package accordingly. They are incentivised to keep within their bundle threshold by continuous access to usage data, user advice, and charges on excess energy use.
Initial capital is needed to purchase the appliances, and because of the cost of high-quality goods, it will take 5 or 6 years for the business to start to make a profit, depending on the growth speed. With mentoring, office facilities, information support and a €20 000 investment from Amsterdam’s smart energy SME support, Rockstart Smart Energy Programme, Peters began a partnership with Miele, purchasing and retrofitting the Miele WKG 120 WCS washer to create a laundry bundle, Wasbundles. With the help of marketing experts, he sought out his first customers.
Bundles has big plans both to expand its appliance range and its user profile. ‘There is an international market for what Bundles can offer,’ explains Peters, ‘It is a concept that has no real limitations. For Wasbundles alone we are already in touch with laundry market experts in Spain, Germany, France, UK, Sweden, Dubai, Eastern Europe, US, China.... and the response indicates that in every country it is beneficial to shift from ownership to use.’
Next, Bundles will target home coffee-production, helping customers to process coffee themselves by removing the initial investment hurdle, reducing appliance maintenance cost and increasing its lifespan, wasting less energy, less coffee, and less money.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
phone : +31 85 4011908