meet Pyxo, A French startup that has been thinking a lot about disposable plastic food packaging for the past three years. The company wants to provide a service that is as easy and cost-effective as using a reusable food storage container on a large scale.
The idea behind Pyxo comes from a fair in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris. Right next to the food stand, the trash can was full of soda cups, clamshell burger containers, and various disposable food packages.
Initially, the company began a partnership with a French corporate catering service company. Sodexo.. They worked with them to replace the plastic cups and make everything reusable. With the coronavirus pandemic and switching to remote work, Pyxo began looking for other potential clients.
They started working together Hoodles, Popchev Other food tech companies that offer packed refrigerators and connected refrigerators with snacks.
However, Pyxo’s biggest market opportunity is due to regulatory changes. In July 2020, the French Parliament passed a waste control law with some drastic changes. Restaurants should switch to reusable food containers by January 2023.
This means that fast food restaurant chains cannot use paper and plastic cups, disposable clamshell boxes, etc. Pyxo is already working with an unnamed fast food chain in France to help switch to reusable packages.
The startup has created a kind of market for reusable food containers that connects all the companies in the industry. When fast food stores buy batches of containers, they all come with a QR code or NFC chip to track them everywhere.
The restaurant can outsource cleaning to a professional company. A professional company will provide you with a batch of clean containers when you come and receive the containers for the day. These contractors also scan containers, cups, and whatever they are cleaning.
In addition, customers can order takeaway food and take it home in reusable containers. They can use the app to find the nearest collection point — it doesn’t necessarily have to be the restaurant where you first ordered your food. Pyxo is thinking about gamification and small deposits to encourage profits.
“Our vision is that it’s an infrastructure industry,” co-founder and CEO Benjaminperi told me. Pyxo believes that it is building a network that functions like a power grid. In the future, startups believe they have a dense network of restaurants, collection points and cleaning centers.
Fast food chains can help kick start the industry as one client has many restaurants across the country. They can encourage other actors to join the network by having Pyxo act as a network operator.
Currently, few restaurants are actively using Pyxo, so the company is still in its infancy. However, the startup has raised $ 7.9 million (€ 7 million) from Eurazeo, Five Seasons Ventures and others.
On January 1, 2023, the startup expects to work in 2,000 sales locations in the restaurant industry alone. Pyxo still expects to work with food tech companies and corporate catering services, but they will be a small part of the business. In today’s funding round, the company will hire 70 additional employees.
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