Incubayt Investments has just announced their investment in, and onboarding of The Waste Lab, a Dubai-based, female-led startup. Focused on tackling the issue of food waste across households and businesses in the country, The Waste Lab simultaneously creates solutions that will benefit the local agricultural community in the UAE.
Incubayt’s portfolio of sustainability-focused startups includes Wisewell, a water purification tech company that transforms tap water into purified and mineralized water through an installation-free device. Incubayt’s latest investment, The Waste Lab, is co-founded by Lara Hussein and Ceylan Üren.
Pioneering sustainable tech stays at the forefront of Incubayt’s investments. The Waste Lab, which focuses on rescuing food scraps and transforming the country’s desert sand into farmable soil, has now joined the tech-led ecosystem with its user-friendly solution and data-driven strategy. The homegrown startup is led by co-founders who share a profound commitment to bringing nature to the fore, while using low-tech equipment to back their nature-based solutions in restoring ecological balance.
The Waste Lab offers off-site and on-site composting, targeting both B2C and B2B clients, with the scope to customize subscriptions to suit individual needs and also provide consultancy services and contracts to restaurants, hotels, schools, and other establishments. The latest offering involves conducting on-site household composting as well as disseminating a part of the mature compost back to them. These efforts are directed towards addressing the issue at the grassroot level, right in the backyards of UAE residents.
In addition to the primary business model, The Waste Lab also hosts workshops imparting key guidelines on effective composting and its role in improving soil health and fighting climate change. Instilling a sense of accountability towards nature, the female duo is building an environmentally conscious community that targets the growing issue of landfills and scraps right at the source. Having already onboarded over 120 households in Dubai in addition to several pilot projects which are already live, the company aims to accommodate the wait list as soon as the duo scales up resources. Customers and households can begin their composting journey with The Waste Lab by submitting an online form on their website.
The Waste Lab, in its agenda to alleviate ‘ecological vulnerability’, is entering the B2B space to help the community on a magnified scale and make the region at large more cognizant and sensitive of their carbon footprint. As it tests its customizable model against larger quantities of data, the partnership is allowing The Waste Lab to extract key learnings and find a simple solution for complex processes. The pilot runs are in phase 1 and predominantly focus on orientation, data collection and training, giving the startup a platform for further tests. For The Hilton Group, this comes as a part of their self-committed mandate to reduce its global food waste by half by the year 2030.
The Waste Lab is aiming for full-scale operations by 2023 across Dubai by administering the principle of Reduce, Repurpose, Resoil, in every B2B and B2C offering. Their growth plans are aligned with the nation’s staunch commitment to keeping sustainability as the pivoting compass for decision-making.
As part of the service, key components by The Waste Lab entail:
● Collection bins along with guidelines to segregate the food scraps and leftovers at source to ensure effectual composting and repurposing.
● Transportation to a control station for further segregation before transferring to the in-house composting station and/or to different partners who will process them into valuable by-products such as animal protein, essential oils, food dyes, and a medium to grow mushrooms, to mention a few.
● Data-tracking, wherein relevant metrics with analytical reports on the quantity of food waste, its composition, treatment and composting output are saved on a cloud system.
● Impact reports formulated using the collected data which are shared periodically with the client, allowing them full transparency on their contribution to reducing food waste, diverting from landfills and eliminating the associated methane and carbon emissions.
Lara Hussein, Co-Founder and CEO, said: “We are an impact-driven startup that strives to power the country’s food security with a practical and simple approach to composting. While we offer an interactive digital platform, we continue to stay close to nature which is our best teacher in degrading organic matter. Allowing nature to play its course, at The Waste Lab our technology is nature and tools microorganisms and macroorganisms in an aerobic environment.”
The vision of the company is in line with the UAE’s National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, Ne’ma, to cut down food waste by 50% by 2030 and achieve a Net Zero on carbon emissions by 2050. The Waste Lab directly targets the UN’s following Sustainable Development Goals:
● SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
● SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production
● SDG13: Climate Action
● SDG15: Life on Land
Ceylan Üren, Co-Founder & COO, added: “We want to build a community that understands and practices effective composting of organic scraps, which are typically seen as a burden and not a resource. At The Waste Lab, we do not see organic leftovers as waste for every food scrap that we rescue is used to benefit local soil, local farms, local food and local jobs. Incubayt Investments has given us the platform to effectively materialize these benefits through their funds, tools and technology know-how and pave our way into the ‘environment first’ movement in the region.”
Sami Khoreibi, CEO of Incubayt Investments, shared: “Incubayt Investments has always believed in the power of founders supporting other founders and with The Waste Lab, we will continue to support sustainability led startups. Lara and Ceylan are a powerful duo and through our services, we are excited to further their sincere passion to steer the UAE towards a greener tomorrow. We will continue to support them to scale their business through our investment and 360-degree in-house support team.”