ihopa takes in capital to scale up neighborhood boxes
Sharing economy champion ihopa has received SEK 4 million in funding to rollout an additional 250 neighborhood boxes – giving more residents access to premium household products for a fraction of the price. Among the angel investors is Google profile Magnus Sandberg and Mathias Wilkne, who are both connected to Sting.
Sting company ihopa has developed a new service – the ihopa neighbor box – which gives local residents easy access to premium household, leisure and garden products that are safely stored in a box near their home. This subscription-based solution is both good for the wallet and for the planet, and gives people access to better products than they’d normally purchase themselves.
The service has received a lot of attention from interested neighborhoods, with 10 neighbor boxes currently deployed across Stockholm and 250 more on the way.
“This is an incredibly good example of how a sharing economy works in practice. Instead of everyone buying their own lawnmower or drill that will only be used a few times a year, ihopa gives people easy access to a full set of high-quality tools that are shared with their neighbors. This creates great savings, both for the environment and one’s own finances.”
– says Mathias Wilkne, Angel Investor.
The company was involved in Sting’s climate action accelerator program during the spring, which gave their business a boost.
“We’ve struggled for a few years with a lot of sweat and stubbornness. It’s wonderful to see how we’ve managed to carve out a service that the market really wants, and at the same time bring in relevant owners who fulfill a function that’s more than just contributing money. Now we can, and should continue to accelerate.”
– says Johannes Dahlberg, co-founder of www.ihopa.com.
One of those investing in the round is Kjartan Slette, part of the founding team of Tidal and Unacast. Kjartan sat on the jury when Johannes presented ihopa’s original concept at Oslo Innovation Week just over a year ago, winning in their category. At the time, Kjartan’s spontaneous reaction was:
“Someone will build a unicorn with this thinking – no doubt about it. It might be you.”
– Kjartan Slette
Ihopa’s business is now being scaled up, initially around Stockholm. The company already has 250 voluntary homeowners who are happy to lend land for the box and BRFs, landlords and property owners are also fighting for box allocations. Every box that has been placed so far has had a high subscription rate and high levels of customer satisfaction.
The products in the box are customized for each neighborhood, making the service relevant for any community or location. For homeowners, there is a focus on gardening, and Husqvarna and Gardena assist with products. For apartment-style communities, the boxes will include more hobby-based, kitchen and leisure products.
“The cool thing about this model is that the boxes are a tailor-made living product range, and our goal is to create the highest value. By engaging each neighborhood and letting them influence what’s in the box, and combining this with insights from existing boxes, we can be very accurate when it comes to product selection and also follow the seasons. In the end, it’s only our imaginations holding us back!”
– concludes Johannes Dahlberg
ihopa is a Swedish startup that reduces the inefficient consumption of products that are only used from time to time. The four co-founders come from three countries (Sweden, Italy, Romania).