Zoom In: Nadeera, Digital Solutions for Waste Management

Posted on July 7, 2021

The program helped us grow our idea into a business, identify what we need to focus our resources and efforts on, and set our objectives as a startup.”

Nadeera

What They Do:   

Nadeera is a social enterprise that provides digital solutions for solid waste management. The startup works with property managers, municipalities, and waste management companies to deploy holistic waste management master plans enabled by its tech solutions and proprietary waste-to-household attribution technology.   

Nadeera captures the value chain right from waste generation at homes to collection, secondary sorting, and recycling. The solution allows municipalities or property managers to educate and incentivize residents to sort at home, inspect and verify the quality of their sorting, send them tailored feedback messages, and reward them with our loyalty points system on Nadeera Marketplace.  

Their Startup Experience:    

Nadeera had been an idea for two or three years before we applied to the Cleanergy Hackathon in May 2020 and qualified for the accelerator program. We looked forward to the mentorship and guidance, the chance to test our idea, start bringing it to life, and transform it into a business; but we mostly looked for the network and support that Berytech provides.   

The program helped us grow our idea into a business, identify what we need to focus our resources and efforts on, and set our objectives as a startup. Since the start of the program, we’ve been able to build our idea from a mere prototype, to an MVP, up to a fully developed product with 3 mobile apps and a waste sorting inspection system.  

Phase I was all about validating our problem, testing and improving the prototype, and proving a product-market fit. We learned a lot about waste management in Lebanon and the struggles that both residents and municipalities face, and had to accommodate our product to address those challenges.  

Phase II allowed us to develop and test our product with a small pilot in Bickfaya, which paved the way to a full launch during Phase III. We’ll also be expanding to Ras El Maten in June 2021 working with Green Mount Recycling and the Ras El Maten Towards Zero Waste campaign. During this time, we’ve also managed to set foot in the UAE, by landing a pilot with a leading property manager for a 450-villa residential compound, to be launched in June as well.  

UAE is a different challenge since the infrastructure and regulations are ready and in place, but resident awareness on sorting from source is very low, so we’re excited to see how we’ll be able to bring value there.  

As of May 2021, we have been covering 440 households in Bickfaya, helping more people sort and helping them sort better. We started with 20 households in January and have been in Bickfaya for the past six months working closely with the municipality and Biclean Sorting Facility. We had to tweak and adapt our approach several times, but we can proudly say that the results have been quite exciting. We’ve been able to prove Nadeera’s value proposition by improving people’s sorting “score” from an average of 2.5/5 to a 4.9/5. The impact and interaction we’ve seen in Bickfaya have given us a tremendous boost to push forward as we scale and expand in Lebanon and beyond.   

We started working on Nadeera right in the middle of the pandemic, managing everything online, and onboarding new team members without having met them in person. Despite all that, we were able to bring together a cohesive and motivated team. COVID delayed our plans multiple times due to regulations, but the lockdown forced our team to get focused. Since then, our team has grown to 8 members, with environmental engineers, waste management experts, software developers, and business analysts on board.   

Both the pandemic and the economic crisis, increasingly in the past few months, have affected our business significantly, with waste generation rates decreasing and waste compositions changing, we had to reevaluate our financial model and business objectives, and explore other models where we can bring more impact in Lebanon.   

Lebanon pays $420 million every single year on waste mismanagement, and this needs to stop. We are in desperate need of holistic, circular, and participatory approaches that start from our own homes and unlock the unexploited environmental, social, and financial value of proper waste management, and Nadeera is committed to this mission.  

Learn more about Berytech’s Cleanergy Accelerator program