Ghana-based AppCyclers aims to tackle this crisis across Africa via an online marketplace, where individuals and businesses can buy and sell recyclable e-waste. The startup says its mission is to maximize the “reuse and recycling of electronic materials,” and out of necessity, the company’s efforts go far beyond operating a digital platform.
“We are forced to do the collection ourselves,” said co-founder and CEO Agudor Agabas, citing the lack of local recycling infrastructure. While the executive aims to scale AppCyclers across Africa via its marketplace, Agabas told TechCrunch that the company also intends to invest in new recycling infrastructure in Ghana.
To get there, AppCyclers is seeking to raise a $100,000 to $250,000 pre-seed. The startup says it’s secured $20,000 to date, via a combination of “bootstrapping, grants and pitch competitions.”
A Startup Battlefield 200 company at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, AppCyclers also has its hands in recycling education and e-waste stripping machines. Those machines help recyclers separate rubber and plastics from more valuable materials, such as copper and gold — they’re an alternative to the practice of burning away insulating materials.
AppCyclers says it’s also developing an AI model to identify the value of e-waste in photographs. “This approach will automate the manual process of pricing waste items, and will ensure consumers visiting our web platform have a hassle-free experience,” the startup told TechCrunch.