World of Books - Bridges Fund Management

    

    




























 






    
	            
			    
    



		
		    

    
    
    





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World of Books

'Circular economy’ technology business that has pioneered the reuse and recycling of unwanted books

Investment Strategy

Growth Business

Theme

Sustainable Planet

Date of initial investment

November 2016

Bridges Executives

Oliver Wyncoll
James Hurrell

Thesis

For years, economies have enjoyed growth based on an assumption that resources are abundant; a ‘consumer culture’ has developed where we endlessly create, consume and discard. Around 50m tonnes of waste goes to landfill each year in the UK, significantly contributing to CO2 emissions, while just 9% of the global economy is considered circular. So there is a huge opportunity – and a clear imperative – to convert the remaining 80 billion+ tonnes of material extracted for use annually to a more sustainable lifecycle.

The circular economy is growing across different sectors, from re-commerce to plastic, electronic waste to clothing – striving to reduce the consumption of raw materials and energy, and protect or even regenerate our natural environment. Moreover, consumers are increasingly choosing to purchase from more sustainably-minded brands, giving those businesses a competitive edge.

Investment

World of Books Group is a circular economy technology business that has pioneered the reuse and recycling of used books. It has grown to become one of the biggest sellers of used books globally – selling a book somewhere in the world every two seconds.  WOB’s market-leading algorithms, built upon 12 years of innovation and sales data, have made it a best-in-class re-commerce technology business; it has also developed its own sourcing app (Ziffit) and online sales software for charities (Shopiago).

Outcomes

World of Books has seen strong growth and momentum through its WOB.com channel, ‘direct from consumer’ sourcing via its Ziffit app, and a successful launch in the US. Crucially, World of Books’ model means that items don’t end up in landfill, reducing CO2 emissions and waste: the business averted over 7,000 tonnes of net CO2 emissions in FY20, both through its core business model and via a combination of newly upgraded, fuel efficient fleet vehicles, automated routing software, new facilities, and other changes. WOB also achieved B Corporation status in 2019, meaning that it meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.

https://www.wob.com/

www.worldofbooks.com