EQUO was founded in 2020 by Marina Tran-Vu, and provides 100% plastic-free and compostable solutions made of materials like coffee, coconut and sugarcane to replace single-use plastics. The company aims to disrupt the industry by offering solutions that are easy, convenient to use, without asking consumers to change their lifestyle or behavior.
EQUO was named one of nine winners of the UNOPS S3i Innovation Center Sweden Global Challenge and a Top 18 Finalist in the Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge by the UNDP. Their products are currently available on Amazon in the US, Canada and Australia; on their website; wholesaler site Faire; and select F&B establishments and retailers in Vietnam, Singapore and Europe.
The funds will be destined to expand its product line, develop technical capabilities to quickly scale the business, and increase the brand’s awareness and exposure globally.
“The best way for us to make an impact is not to recycle or upcycle single-use plastic, but to stop its production altogether. EQUO will help do that by offering products made from alternative materials – but doing it in a fun and approachable way that gets consumers, businesses and big corporations to pay attention,” said Founder & CEO Marina Tran-Vu.
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.”
“The vision driving EQUO is exactly what the world needs at this time, and what attracted us was the incredible drive and ambition of the founder. Marina has the rarest combination of CPG brand experience, alongside global marketing savvy that is seldom seen in the sustainability space,” says Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto.
Furthermore, EQUO has announced their global partnership with professional golfer and businesswoman, Michelle Wie West.
“Our vision is to replace all single-use plastic on the planet. This isn’t just about the visible plastic we see in our environment, but also about the downstream effects of microplastics,” said Tran-Vu. “We are excited about the new products we are delivering this year to show the world all the things we can do WITHOUT single-use plastic and (in some cases) paper.”
First launching into the market with drinking straws, EQUO has expanded its portfolio, announcing an upcoming line of utensils made of coffee and wood, sugarcane food containers and cups, reusable totes, and compostable bags for grocery, retail and home use.
A recent report by the Center for International Environmental Law indicated that the production and disposal of single-use plastics will cause the equivalent emissions of 295 coal plants by 2030.