Anne-Sophie Raoult and Mathilde Bivel at Hipli’s stand. Photo credit: VivaTech
When the right people meet at the right time, conversations start, ideas are born and partnerships are made. Thousands of startups, investors, media, and partners come together at VivaTech to find their crowd every year. And when they do, some pretty inspiring VivaStories come out of it. We found some exciting ones that hit home this year.
Sector: Environmental services
HQ: Le Havre, France
Year founded: 2019
Who we interviewed: Anne-Sophie Raoult, co-founder
The truth about packaging waste
It’s the end of November, which means consumers have already started ordering and sending packages for the holiday. 159 billion parcels were sent worldwide in 2021 and that number is expected to grow to 175 billion this year. That’s a lot of back and forth for boxes and envelopes that will only be used once. As of now, 91 percent of packaging waste is sent to landfills or into the environment.
One French startup is doing something about this waste problem. Hipli has designed a package that can be reused 100 times. Every time someone reuses a Hipli package, it is one piece of packaging that is neither manufactured nor thrown away. This saves up to 25kg of waste and decreases 83% of carbon emissions compared to a box.
When a consumer receives a parcel in a Hipli package, they can easily post the packaging back to Hipli’s sorting centers using the prepaid label. “We receive it, clean it and send it back into the market to our e-commerce clients, who then send packages to consumers with it,” explained co-founder Anne-Sophie Raoult. Just one year after its creation, Hipli was already operating in nine countries across Europe.
Raoult on stage at the LVMH Innovation Awards. Photo credit: VivaTech
A year of wins
In 2021, Hipli applied for the LVMH Innovation Award, an award that is presented annually at VivaTech. After being named one of the top 30 finalists, they were invited to exhibit at VivaTech and attend the awards ceremony.
“We ended up winning the operational excellence award, during the big ceremony. It was just an amazing moment and allowed us to meet many important people in their ecosystem,” said Raoult.
During the same VivaTech edition, Hipli partnered with La Poste, the French postal service company, to present how their solution could avoid thousands of kilos of postal waste every year.
After four days of exhibiting, the Hipli team gathered over 100 qualified leads. Within six months, one-quarter of those leads signed up for Hipli’s service.
But that’s not all that came from their excursion down to the capital for the Le Havre-based startup. At the end of 2021, Hipli signed an exclusive partnership with Colissimo, La Poste's private parcel delivery service.
Hipli’s foldable packaging. Photo credit: VivaTech
The construction of an ecosystem
Raoult and the rest of the Hipli team were invited back to VivaTech with La Poste the following year to present their newest service to the general public and got the chance to reconnect with their newfound friends from the previous edition.
“We created links last year, with other partners and startups, who are also all over VivaTech. Since we are not based in Paris, it's a great opportunity to say hello to everybody and connect with the people that we've been talking to throughout the year. We get to come together with the rest of the ecosystem under one roof,” Raoult told us.
Advice for startups
One piece of advice Raoult would give first-time startups at VivaTech? “It’s important not to be shy. People won’t just come up to your stand and ask you to pitch. You need to go up to people and say hello. It shows that you are excited to talk about your startup.”
We’re wishing this startup the best and can’t wait to see where this packaging revolution will go next!
Check out VivaStories similar to Hipli’s from startups like HD Rain, La Vitre, or Green Score Capital.
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