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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Algramo launches in NYC to fight single-use plastic—and help forgetful customers

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere,” or so the saying goes. And so one startup is showing its mettle in New York City.

Chilean Algramo had announced an undisclosed investment via Closed Loop Partners in October of last year. And from the venture capital (VC) firm’s HQ in the Big Apple, it’s assisting Algramo launch into the United States.

For this endeavor, the startup is rolling out a new kiosk system to help New Yorkers save money and the environment in the process. Algramo is pilot testing its product in two locations in Brooklyn and one on the Lower East Side.

Nonetheless, the plan is to eventually expand into the rest of the city.

Algramo, from Chile to New York to the world

The Chilean startup had become a familiar sight along the streets of Santiago. Within low-income neighborhoods, its electricity-powered vehicles circulate and allow people to refill a designated recipient with common staples, like cleaning products.

At first sight, it’s clear that this approach helps the environment by cutting down the consumption of single-use plastic. But wait there’s more.

This also tackles the infamous poverty tax problem wherein smaller apparently cheaper recipients actually charge users more for every product ounce.

But through Algramo, users can “buy by the gram.”

In its home country, it’s already helping 325,000 customers and 2,000 businesses.

But for the Big Apple, Algramo has other plans.

New York City, newly wroght product

For its latest solution, the startup created a kiosk that lets users refill a special container with a cleaning product. To add in a dash of tech, these recipients have a chip on them that connects to the Algramo app. New Yorkers can then complete the product purchase electronically via their phone.

 “A lot of people forget to bring their refillable container back to a store, and never forget to bring their wallet,” Algramo CEO-Founder José Manuel Moller told Fast Company. “That’s why we transformed the packaging into a wallet.”

Each user will have their own nifty container so as to not worry about catching Covid-19 along the way.

It’s the touchless tech we greatly need for the new normal as we continue to obsess over cleaning products and hand sanitizer.

Because at the end of the day, our physical wellbeing shouldn’t be at odds with the environment. It’s all about finding innovative solutions to these big problems. 

And that’s precisely what makes Algramo such a fascinating startup.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Chile!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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