Circularity Capital invests in solution to global e-commerce returns challenge
London, 17th January 2019: Circularity Capital LLP, the specialist private equity firm supporting growth stage European SMEs in the circular economy, continues to build its portfolio, leading a multi-million growth funding round in ZigZag Global, a software solution for retailers to optimally manage the return, repacking and resale of products.
Circularity Capital’s investment will further accelerate the rollout of the solution to bluechip retailers.
E-commerce return volumes are growing at 10-20% per annum. In the US market alone, 2.5 million tons of returned goods end up in landfill, the equivalent of the volume of waste produced by 5 million Americans.
ZigZag’s multi-award winning SaaS platform enables retailers to reduce the costs and waste associated with returns whilst dramatically improving and simplifying the customer returns experience and speeding up the time to refund. ZigZag grades returned products and can consolidate, refurbish, locally redistribute, recycle or even resell stock internationally.
The system reduces parcel journeys by up to 65% by identifying opportunities for the repacking and redistribution of returned products within the country of delivery, resulting in a measurable reduction in the wastage and carbon footprint associated with retail returns. ZigZag also reduces the cost and transit time of returns and has been proven to reduce customer related service enquiries by 40%.
Circularity Capital’s investment in ZigZag is consistent with its hands-on approach of backing businesses capturing new sources of value through circular business practices. Circularity Capital’s investment will see it play a key role in supporting the management team accelerate its international roll out plan. Ian Nolan, partner at Circularity Capital, has joined the ZigZag Board.
ZigZag’s support of the circular economy has also been recognised by the Circulars, an initiative by the World Economic Forum and the Forum of Young Global Leaders. The initiative, which started in 2014, is run in collaboration with Accenture Strategy and aims to recognise individuals and organisations across the globe for making notable contributions to the circular economy in the private and public sector.
ZigZag are nominated for this year’s People’s Choice category. The winners will be announced during a ceremony at the upcoming 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos.
Andrew Shannon, Partner at Circularity Capital, said:
“ZigZag has developed a powerful solution for retailers to addressing the growing challenge posed by e-commerce returns. Our investment in ZigZag is highly aligned with Circularity’s focus on using the circular economy to identify opportunities to drive financial value creation in parallel with positive environmental and societal impact.”
Al Gerrie, founder of ZigZag, commented:
“Circularity Capital’s investment will play a key role in fueling our market growth. In addition to allowing us to reach more customers, the funding will allow us to further develop our product offering to deliver even more value for retailers. We placed significant emphasis on bringing on board an investor who brings more than just capital to the table - Circularity Capital’s specialist network and insight in the circular economy was a great fit for us in this regard”.
The investment in ZigZag is the third investment of Circularity Capital’s debut fund. It follows investments in Winnow, a business providing a solution to dramatically reduce food waste; and Grover, a company offering flexible ‘access over ownership’ to technology products.
The investment also follows last week’s announcement that Circularity Capital has achieved a final close of its debut fund above target and at its £60m hard cap, with investors including global financial institutions, family offices and strategic corporate investors.