Want some love from the VC crowd? Don’t start a toy company
To see what kind of companies attract the most venture capital, we looked at 895 U.S. startups that have gotten at least $20 million in equity funding since 2008. This year, funding is projected to fall 25 percent from 2015’s record $63.3 billion, in part because of concerns about overvaluation.
depending on the size of the unit; the purchase price ranges from $23,000 to $42,000. A small digester—46 inches wide, 35 inches deep, and 50 inches high—processes up to 800 pounds of waste in 24 hours, according to Celli.
BioHiTech estimates the market for its type of digesters could expand to more than 250,000 units used by businesses domestically, as cities and states grapple with better waste management and environmental regulations. Roughly one-third of food production globally is lost or wasted, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Ninety-five percent of that winds up in landfills, where decomposing scraps emit methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Last September the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture set a first-ever national goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030.
Many states are pushing for reductions, too. A California law that requires businesses to arrange for recycling their organic waste started to take effect this year. Since 2014, Massachusetts has prohibited large waste producers, such as food processors and college campuses, from dumping food with the rest of their garbage. The efforts are similar to the move to adopt recycling in general, according to David Bodamer, an executive director at the trade publication Waste360. Some states lead the way, others follow. “The same thing is going to happen with food waste,” he says.
BioHiTech’s Celli sees even greater opportunities to expand into larger machines and internationally. On May 16, the company, which is not yet profitable, announced that a subsidiary will focus on the municipal waste market. Last year it established a unit in the U.K. to exploit opportunities in Europe. The company hopes to sell 100 disposers in the U.K. in the next 24 months, and it’s also expanding in Singapore, Latin America, and Mexico. Totally Green, which turned a profit in the last year, could eventually expand beyond the U.S. and Canada. “We’re getting calls from all over the world,” says CEO Louis Anagnostakos. “People are starting to understand there are options to the truck, to the traditional waste-disposal methods,” he says.