Ocean-cleaning startup makes a splash with crowdfunding campaign

Seabin Project startup founders

Seabin technology is being used to clean up waste from the world's oceans. Source: Supplied.


By Dahlia Jovic

The Seabin Project, an Australian ocean-cleaning startup, has raised more than $1,000,000 through crowdfunding since the launch of their new ‘Public, for Purpose’ campaign.

The campaign is being hosted on the equity crowdfunding platform Birchal and has amassed over 660 public shareholders in just four days, with more than 1000 investors onboard at the time of writing.

The goal of of the campaign is to reach $3 million by March 19th, which will allow for a full scaling of the project, including its operations and technology.

“The initial capital raised will be injected directly into the reshoring of our manufacturing and IP to Australia, optimising Seabin business operations,” said Seabin Project CEO and Co-Founder Pete Ceglinski. This includes paid and unpaid city trials and revenue streams for leased Seabin fleets.

With these funds, Ceglinski and director David Turton hope to “educate the next generation for a cleaner and smarter future” by using sustainable, eco-friendly technology to remove marine litter from the world’s oceans.

Ceglinski and Turton hope to use the money raised from their crowdfunding campaign to teach members of the public about Seabin’s mission. Source: Supplied.

Seabin technology is designed to not only eradicate plastics from oceans, but to prevent them from entering in the first place. Each Seabin works independently by sucking water in through the top of the device and pumping it back out, which allows waste such as trash, oil, fuel and detergents to be captured and collected.

Over 850 individual Seabins have so far been used in 52 countries, with 3.6 tons of marine litter captured around the world each day.

In recent years, there has been a surge in small businesses and startups that use the ‘profit for purpose’ model to draw in community support and create positive change in society.

Profit for purpose social enterprises encompass a range of different areas and represent many causes, from anti-bullying platform Bullyology to coffee waste recycling startup Reground.

Seabin’s collaboration with Birchal ensures that global attention is given to the issue of plastic pollution, which is growing by the day.

Seabin CEO and Co-founder Pete Ceglinski. Source: Supplied.

“Tackling the issue of plastics in our oceans is huge and requires a strong team and passionate following,” Birchal co-founder Alan Crabbe said. “Clearly, Seabin has both.”

Seabin’s passionate following includes over 130,000 Facebook likes and millions of views on YouTube.

The 2019 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey shows that protecting the environment is the number one concern for both Millennials and Gen Zs, with almost half of all respondents saying they value businesses that share their vision for a brighter future.

As more Australians than ever face the effects of record-breaking temperatures, severe droughts and extensive bushfires, there is a newfound urgency for small businesses and start-ups to become what Microsoft’s head of Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, Jean-Philippe Courtois has called a “force of progress to benefit people and the planet.”

Seabin’s endeavour has recently drawn support from government officials, with Lord Mayor Clover Moore to support the initiative with funding and city trials in Australia.

The project has also been named by Good Design Awards as one of its top ten designs of the decade and has received numerous accolades, including an honourable mention in Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2018.

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