Incubayt Investments to fund The Waste Lab, a female-led startup

DIFC-headquartered Incubayt Investments has just announced their investment in, and onboarding of The Waste Lab, a Dubai-based, female-led startup.

Focused on tackling the issue of food waste across households and businesses in the country, The Waste Lab, co-founded by Lara Hussein and Ceylan Üren, creates solutions that will benefit the local agricultural community in the UAE.

Incubayt’s portfolio of sustainability-focused startups includes Wisewell, a water purification tech company that transforms tap water into purified and mineralised water through an installation-free device. Inc

The Waste Lab offers off-site and on-site composting, targetting both B2C and B2B clients, with the scope to customise subscriptions to suit individual needs and also provide consultancy services and contracts to restaurants, hotels, schools, and other establishments.

Its latest offering involves conducting on-site household composting as well as disseminating a part of the mature compost back to them. These efforts are directed towards addressing the issue at the grassroots level, right in the backyards of UAE residents.

In addition to the primary business model, The Waste Lab also hosts workshops imparting key guidelines on effective composting and its role in improving soil health and fighting climate change. Instilling a sense of accountability towards nature, the female duo is building an environmentally conscious community that targets the growing issue of landfills and scraps right at the source.

Having already onboarded over 120 households in Dubai in addition to several pilot projects which are already live, the company aims to accommodate the wait list as soon as the duo scales up resources. Customers and households can begin their composting journey with The Waste Lab by submitting an online form on its website.

Its ongoing pilot projects with The Hilton Group and Pullman Dubai Creek City Center are marking the startup’s initial steps into the domain of B2B. Previously focused primarily on households, current projects with hotel giants mark the impact-driven startup’s crucial entry into waste management and scrap rescue in partnership with bigger establishments.

While households collectively have a significant bearing on the total collection of scraps (at 61 per cent as per the UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021), corporations and business organisations also make a sizable contribution. 

The Waste Lab is aiming for full-scale operations by 2023 across Dubai by administering the principle of ‘Reduce, Repurpose, Resoil’, in every B2B and B2C offering. Their growth plans are aligned with the nation’s staunch commitment to keeping sustainability as the pivoting compass for decision-making.

Lara Hussein, co-founder and CEO, said “We are an impact-driven startup that strives to power the country’s food security with a practical and simple approach to composting. While we offer an interactive digital platform, we continue to stay close to nature which is our best teacher in degrading organic matter.  Allowing nature to play its course, at The Waste Lab our technology is nature and tools microorganisms and macroorganisms in an aerobic environment.”                              

The vision of the company is in line with the UAE’s National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, Ne’ma, to cut down food waste by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve a Net Zero on carbon emissions by 2050. 

Ceylan Üren, co-founder and COO, added “We want to build a community that understands and practices effective composting of organic scraps, which are typically seen as a burden and not a resource. At The Waste Lab, we do not see organic leftovers as waste for every food scrap that we rescue is used to benefit local soil, local farms, local food and local jobs. Incubayt Investments has given us the platform to effectively materialise these benefits through their funds, tools and technical know-how and pave our way into the ‘environment first’ movement in the region.”         

Sami Khoreibi, CEO of Incubayt Investments, said: “Incubayt Investments has always believed in the power of founders supporting other founders and with The Waste Lab, we will continue to support sustainability-led startups. Lara and Ceylan are a powerful duo and through our services, we are excited to further their sincere passion to steer the UAE towards a greener tomorrow.  We will continue to support them to scale their business through our investment and 360-degree in-house support team.”

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