About my Start-up
In this world, there are more than 6 billion mobiles, desktops, and laptops in use, and Usody wants to be the enabler to let them be reused and recycled in the best possible way. Usody is a startup offering a B2B SaaS Circular device lifecycle management. Our customers help the planet, reduce their IT costs and improve their CSR/ESG indicators.
Our customers today are companies that want to account for the CE impact their discarded devices generate, and circular economy businesses such as refurbishers, and recyclers that need to trace their devices. With our solution, the first segment is able to identify which CE businessess are best able to extend the lifespan and ensure final recycling. In the short term, this will reduce the digital divide and increase the local second-hand market. In the medium term, our device recommender system will detect which devices are more circular, beneficial for the planet, and with a reduced Total Cost of Ownership.
The Usody project, currently under the umbrella of the Pangea Association, has been working for more than five years and has customers and partners in Spain, Argentina, the USA, and Germany. In absolute numbers, we have processed more than 20,000 desktop, laptop, and mobile phone devices.
Why your idea is a “winner"?:
We make the positive impact of reuse and recycling accountable by providing verifiable and trustworthy data. A Digital Product Passport (DPP) is created using a digital twin technology. An agnostic blockchain-enabled lifecycle management is storing evidence of trails and product-quality trustworthy data. Anonymous credentials avoid disclosing business and personal data. Impact and quality are accountable and verifiable without requiring human inspection and this dramatically reduces verification costs. We have been implementing a solution for years that can quickly adapt to the DPP suggested by Europe. In two years it will be mandatory and this positions us to be able to comply with it. The EC says that DPPs have to be done with open and interop standards, we work with standardisation organisations (ITU-T, ISO) and we can offer some open-source tools, especially for SMEs (repairers, refurbishers).
What is your current or intended business/revenue model?:
Our business model is a software as a service (SaaS). We offer the inventory and traceability system to all the supply chain agents. Our revenue model is different depending on the customer segment. To the "CE Businesses" segment we offer a monthly plan between 30-250 €/month depending on the volume of devices in traceability devices. In contrast, for the "producers" and "consumers" segments our ticket is 10€/device. Other models to consider could be a) software licensing in exchange for maintenance and code updates, and b) cloud on-premise.
Do you have any Patent or IP registered (related to the solution that you are looking for an investment)?:
Intellectual property belongs to UPC (university) and to collaborators. There is no patent.
Has your technology already been implemented in any field/sector?:
A ledger (blockchain) for ICT devices allows to verify traceability and impact information about devices. Combined with additional details of the data stored outside the ledger accounting books, including social networks, the data stored there allows us to generate verified circularity and social impact reports and metrics, as well as generate rewards, in the form of tokens, to promote positive behaviours, and ensure sufficient sustainability impacts (in economic, social and environmental terms). Thanks to Usody the public administration has been able to identify a greater number of potentially reusable devices, and thanks to our connection with partners (refurbishment social enterprises and digital divide reuse programmes) they have been able to channel them. This has increased the % of reuse from 0.5% to 50% in some cases, so Usody has played a key role in increasing the % of reuse and the ability to account for the impact generated. The estimated impact per device reused is a saving of €300 per device: Instead of paying €500-1000 for a new one, they pay for a refurbished one adapted to the needs of the students, 300 kg of CO2 (based on average reuse of 5000 hours or three years). After 5 years of supporting our customers, we have accounted for more than 5 million extended hours of use, a saving of 1,500 tonnes of CO2 and a saving of €4m for our customers.
Which market and customer need(s)/problem(s) is (are) your products(s)/service(s) going to solve?:
Currently most small IT devices (desktops/laptops, smartphones and routers) are not repairable, upgradable and recyclable. The problem is that businesses and citizens are forced to replace devices frequently because they cannot be easily upgraded or repaired. This causes them high economic costs and serious environmental pollution and resource scarcity. The main cause is that consumers do not have information on repairability, durability and recyclability at the time of purchase.
We work with two segments:
1) Consumers of digital devices and,
2) Circular Economy Businesses such as refurbishers and recyclers.
It is expected in 2 years to have a third segment, the producers of digital devices.
1) Consumers: These are large companies and public administrations (PA) that every year retire hundreds of devices that are still functional and can be reused externally. Their need is to account for and optimize the reuse of their digital devices, in the case of private, to increase Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) investment performance, and PAs, to promote circular economy policies such as increasing second-hand and closing the digital divide. Currently, they donate or sell their devices to dealers without impact accounting, so they lose the opportunity to claim up for the impact they generate (i.e: up to 300 kg of CO2 per reused device).
2) CE Businesses: NGOs and companies that manage, repair and distribute used devices to the second-hand market. Their motivation is to generate sufficient margins to sustain their circular economy activity. Most of their traceability management systems are based on excel spreadsheets or hand-made inventories. These systems do not allow them to audit the quality and impact generated, and this prevents them; to do impact accounting, a high rate of returns due to selling malfunctioning devices, and a large overhead in managing and reporting to their device suppliers (consumers) and national waste authorities. They are our early adopters because thanks to Usody's unique value proposition they are able to report the impact and reduce their management costs so they receive a greater supply of devices (+50%) and have reduced returns by 40%.
3) Producers: These are manufacturers of digital devices. With the recent entry of the EC directive on Digital Product Passports, audit traceability and updating product information during the full-lifecyle will be mandatory, this means producers will become a new customer segment for Usody making our business case more economically sustainable.
Summary of the problems
1. Consumers of 1st or 2nd hand digital devices (laptops, desktops, smartphones)
– “Want to buy durable devices, but this information does not exist.”,
– “What happens to my used devices when I donate or sell? Will they get reused, recycled, or ends up in a landfill?
– "Want to find partners that report circular economy impact to me in exchange for their devices”
– “What is the quality and expected remaining lifetime of a refurbished device?”
– "What will I get for my old device if I bring it to a Circular Collection Point?"
2. Circular economy businesses.
– I need a constant in-flow of high-quality devices for being refurbished
– (coming soon) Update a Digital Product Passport.
– I need to create and update Digital Product Passports