Recently we came across Shanghai-based startup Seeder. This innovative online platform functions as a place where Chinese building owners can hook up with green building service providers.
Most of China’s buildings (large and small) are still very energy-inefficient. According to a study by the China Greentech Initiative (CGTI) buildings account for 33% of China’s total energy consumption.
It’s that 33% Seeder and the companies on its platform aim to reduce.
They do this in a very smart way by removing the two most important barriers that prevent Chinese building owners to invest in more energy-efficient buildings.
First of all Seeder realized that for a lot of these Chinese building owners it is hard to find reliable, trustworthy green building service providers. In most cases these owners don’t know where to start. Seeder removed this hurdle by offering a big network of service providers that they personally checked for criteria like reliability and capability. Once they meet Seeder’s criteria these service providers become members and will be added to the platform.
Another barrier is that Chinese business owners have now clear vision of how much money they can safe by making energy-efficient adjustments to their buildings. In most cases such initiatives are also subsidized by the Chinese government, as making buildings more green has become an essential part of its sustainability strategy. Seeder succeeds in making it very transparent for building owners what their initial investment will bring them in the long run. Moreover, Seeder shows these business owners additional benefits of their investment. They for example show them that buildings that are certified as energy-efficient enjoy a stronger branding in an increasingly environmental conscious society; point out that in many cases they can charge higher rent; enjoy lower energy bills, etc.
As a result Seeder’s platform is growing quickly. The revenue model is simple: monthly subscription fees from its members plus small commissions on the deals that are made on the Seeder platform.
In our opinion Seeder is yet another innovative Chinese company that not only succeeds in coming up with a viable revenue model but also truly contributes to a greener, cleaner China.
We are therefore determined to closely follow the developments of this company in the coming future.