EQUO raises US$1.3M and announces Michelle Wie-West as Global Ambassador

15:29 | 20/04/2022 Companies

EQUO, a Vietnam-based sustainability company, has raised US$1.3 million in seed funding.  Leading the seed round is NextGen Ventures with participation from Techstars, East Ventures, and supported my notable seed investors such as Luke Vigeant, Jeff Hohner, Jack Tai, Mark Groves, and Dimple Mukherjee.

EQUO was advised by the legal team of Drew & Napier in Singapore and Allens in Vietnam.

Founded in 2020 by solo female founder Marina Tran-Vu, EQUO provides 100 percent plastic-free and compostable solutions made of materials like coffee, coconut and sugarcane to replace single-use plastics. The company aims to disrupt the category by offering solutions that are easy, convenient to use, without asking consumers to change their lifestyle or behavior. EQUO differentiates itself through bright, exciting and distinct branding that captures the consumer’s attention in categories that were traditionally ignored; and focusing on education of new sustainable materials available on the market.

equo raises us 13m and announces michelle wie west as global ambassador

EQUO, which recently was named one of nine winners of the UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) S3i Innovation Center Sweden Global Challenge for startups and a Top 18 Finalist in the EPPIC (Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge) by the UNDP (United Nations Development Program), is currently available on Amazon in US, Canada and Australia; on their website; wholesaler site Faire; and select F&B establishments and retailers in Vietnam, Singapore and Europe.

EQUO intends to use the funds to further expand its product line, develop its technical capabilities to quickly scale the business, and increase the brand’s awareness and exposure in US, Canada, Vietnam and Singapore, while expanding to recently entered markets like Europe, Japan and Australia.

Jimmy Quach, CEO of NextGen Ventures, noted: “EQUO is a purpose-driven company with a clear mission to rid the world of single-use plastic and to give consumers options that better protect the environment. NextGen is pleased to support Marina and her team in their trailblazing effort to drive her sustainability mission with reach and scale.”

“EQUO’s mission aligns with East Ventures’ core belief in providing solutions that bring us closer to a sustainable future. Countless single-use plastics are used in our daily lives, which means there’s a big market and potential that lies ahead for EQUO to solve and improve upon today’s current products. We have a strong belief in EQUO, and are looking forward to seeing the further positive impact that Marina and team will have on the world.” says Willson Cuaca, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of East Ventures.

In addition, the brand is announcing their global partnership with professional golfer and businesswoman, Michelle Wie-West, whom Tran-Vu met and secured a deal with on the television show Front Office, by the first ever athlete owned media network, Players TV.

“I was so happy to meet Marina and experience first-hand her passion and unique vision for making sustainable solutions easy, convenient and exciting! As a fellow Asian woman, I am thrilled to be on this journey with her and the EQUO team,” said Michelle Wie-West. “I am a mother of a 21-month-old baby girl, and I can’t wait to go on adventures with my daughter, knowing I can bring EQUO straws and utensils with us that are safe for her, and the environment. I believe sustainability and wellness go hand in hand, and being an advocate for building a more green future for generations to come is a cause that is near and dear to my heart, so partnering with EQUO was a perfect fit.”

Thanh Thanh