Alibaba. Chinese tech supergiant with a keen eye for big investments. Familiar? You should be — they have a current market capitalization of $554.2 billion and are often referred to as the “Amazon of China.”
Suffice it to say we like to keep an eye on where they put their money. And they just invested (via their Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund II) $6M into a startup called Ecoinno in their Series A1 round, putting their total funding at $8.8M.
You know the drill– this isn’t sponsored, we’re just stalking them.
Ecoinno is an environmental hero perched to impress globally and especially with Millennials and Gen Z, whose fiery interest in addressing climate change seems to be forever burning hot. Using GCM™ — their proprietary Green Composite Material™, they’re attempting to turn the consumer packaging industry on its head.
Ecoinno wants to literally replace the use of plastic in consumer goods– you know, the kind that’s either petroleum-based or, even when they’re bioplastics, are still manufactured using unnatural polymers through industrial-intensive methods. Instead, they use natural plant fibers, making it renewable, sustainable, 100% biodegradable (within 75 days), stronger than plastic, oxygen-impermeable, toxin-free, and just recently, FDA approved. They’re also freezer, microwave, and oven safe, making it the perfect alternative for things like to-go containers (we’re thinking a smart move for Gen Z consumers would be to tackle a partnership with DoorDash or Postmates…).
For a generation of consumers turning to Bee’s Wrap instead of Ziplocs…
…and making it trendy for influencers to be eco-conscious (even Jason Momoa [Game of Thrones, Aquaman] will call out other celebs [Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World, Parks & Rec] for using plastic water bottles), we’re betting as category marketers their branding won’t be too hard to pinpoint. Because if the two youngest generations want it, they’ll call out the places they shop for not using it, shifting their loyalty (and $$$) to more socially responsible competitors.
While their site could use serious UX and SEO work and their social channels are wanting, with Alibaba in their pockets we hope they make some smart integrated marketing decisions. Because we like underdogs– we fight for and work with them every day, our case studies prove that.
For these eco-innovators, if they profile their targets by behavior and geographic segmentation, omnichannel-optimize their conversion rate, and focus on future-proofing their brand marketing strategy, they’ll kill the game. And as the top growth hacking agency in Austin (and further), we sure could use the competition.
Good luck @Ecoinno — if you need a hand from a builder marketing team with over a decade of experience in emerging technologies, you know where to find us.