RAIKU saves the world from bubble wrap
In the last round of Prototron, which is funded by Tehnopol, 20,000 euros were awarded to a start-up that produces RAIKU. It is a natural, beautiful, and soon the cheapest biodegradable alternative to bubble wrap made from wood. The creators of RAIKU – the author of the idea, Rain Randsberg, and Karl Pärtel, who is responsible for marketing – share their story.
The great success of Woola with their wool-based replacement for bubble wrap proved the market’s desire to move towards a more sustainable economy, and the growth of e-commerce made Rain recognize the need to invent another alternative to bubble wrap.
Rain had previous packaging experience with wood wool historically used as a packaging material (thin wood planing strips), but it had many shortcomings: it creates debris, requires gloves for handling, lacks protection because it is too easy to compress. At that time, Rain invented a special material; he took scrap from the veneer industry, cut it into strips, and the resulting spring structure gave the raw material flexibility and increased its volume 20-25 times. By weaving the spring-structured wooden strips together into a fabric, RAIKU was created – a vigorous opponent to the reign of bubble wrap and plastic. It is a compostable, beautiful, and excellent defender of shipments, but in the name of the ultimate victory, it must become cheaper than its opponent – plastic, it is undergoing serious development work and, according to initial calculations, can be achieved in case of production in industrial volumes.
A quarter of a hundred suitors
RAIKU is currently building its headquarters and is looking for allies/partners, the design of the prototype production line and the construction of the first parts of the prototype line are underway. The plan is to find a business model for quickly enabling production around the world. There is ongoing research on market preferences and volume. A total of 26 companies have shown interest in participating as pilot customers.
“Prototron’s money injection was crucial for us at this stage. At the moment, we are developing the production line, and initial technology testing is underway; with the help of Prototron, we can start using the development units of Enterprise Estonia and so we can amplify our idea with the Prototron money” said Karl.
This means that RAIKU is gathering strength and power in order to take action. Rain and Karl do not regard a similar hero, Woola as a competitor because the companies’ products are different, and the € 10 billion fast-growing market with e-commerce is large enough to accommodate two Estonian players.
In the five-year perspective, the creators of RAIKU see that they have created enough competition for bubble wrap, ideally conquered the whole world, and added a number of new products to the selection. RAIKU intends to enter the market with packs full of springs that are comfortable to use and decorate the product, more information can be found on the website raiku.co.
How to pack with RAIKU: https://youtu.be/Z-1Ho1DfPFU