Startups with super plastics and new shopping experiences take off
A super plastic that will revolutionize the flooring industry and a mobile application for a new and better shopping experience – those are the business ideas behind the STING companies Mercene Labs and Reve, which after undergoing the incubator program were honored at a Takeoff ceremony on Wednesday.
Materials technology company Mercene Labs is behind a new super plastic with a variety of uses. The company’s main product right now is a primer that quickly makes inert surfaces easier to paint and glue. Mercene Labs also sees a business opportunity in medical diagnostics, something that the company wants productify together with a strategic partner during 2015.
While at STING, Mercene Labs started up the manufacturing and sales of its super primer and in 2014 has sold for a total of 450 000 SEK. The team has grown from two to four people and has brought in external financing in the form of soft loans and grants totaling SEK 5.5 million, including Ingemar Croon Award of 2 million that it received in 2013. Now the company aims to attract global growth.
− The market for primers are enormous. Every year, five billion square meters of flooring is produced in the world and many of them need a primer. We want to make an impression on the market. From day one, we have worked closely with customers and focused on selling, and it has proven to be the way to go. In 2015, we expect to have deliveries to pilot customer at a value of SEK 20 million, says Tommy Haraldsson, CTO and co-founder of Mercene Labs.
Today’s other company, Reve, has developed a mobile service for a better shopping experience; anytime, anywhere and in all channels. Reve’s vision is to fully integrate e-commerce and physical retail. Through a powerful search function, the mobile app recognizes the products and inform the customer about the price, available sizes and colors. The garment can then be purchased directly through the app or in-store. All information is shareable within the Reve community and through other social media platforms.
When Reve came to STING in May of this year, the product was not yet introduced to the market. The company has built and launched its mobile app in record time and today has 96 000 registered products and 38 signed retailers. Earlier this fall, Optimizer Invest and Almi Invest became owners in Reve.
For retailers, the app opens up a new sales channel, a strong marketing channel and information about customers’ buying behavior. Sweden is the first market that service is available in, but the plan is global expansion. The technology is scalable and can also be applied to other areas.
− Reve is a company that will become global. In five years, I hope that our product is the standard for people all over the world who want to improve their shopping experiences. During my time at STING, I have learned that perseverance is an entrepreneur’s most important feature, and something I intend to stick to, says Josep Nolla, CEO and founder of Reve.
At the Take-off ceremony, Mercene Labs and Reve received the award “Certified by Sting” as proof that they have undergone STING’s incubator program and is now ready to take the next step toward global expansion.