Zafree, an Ethiopian startup that produces paper pulp without using trees, launched a crowdfunding campaign today. The campaign was launched on GoFundMe and aims to raise EUR 200,000.
Zafree produces its products using agricultural waste. The funds raised from the campaign are going to be used to construct storage sheds for agro-waste. These sheds will be constructed in the vicinity of farmers and their lands so as to make it easier to deliver waste and curb transportation costs.
These sheds will allow Zafree to fulfill its environmental goals not only through its production process and products, but through its supply and distribution chain as well.
Planning to disrupt the paper industry, Zafree has come a long way since its conception days. Co-founders Bethelhem Dejene and Betelhem Fikre first started making tree-free paper products using traditional means at home using their mom’s juicer and pot. This was four years ago; Zafree is currently constructing its own factory to produce 100% tree-free paper pulp.
Zafree also plans on leveraging its ‘first-mover’ status by eventually replicating it’s production and business model across Africa and becoming a global leader in the industry. In order to see this ambition come to fruition, the company is seeking supporters for the next phase of its growth, which includes expansion into Zambia and Nigeria.
The crowdfunding campaign is being implemented in collaboration with Melanin Kapital, a financial services startup based out of Germany that connects African ‘social impact projects’ with international investors.
The campaign also includes perks to donors including a virtual tour of the Zafree factory, customized notebooks made with Zafree paper, painting the Zafree factory with an art piece of your choice, and a trip to Ethiopia. As such a donation would entail supporting an eco-friendly startup, AND perks.
Support Zafree here.