Climate tech startup WasteX gears up for accelerated growth in Southeast Asia with P4G funding

Climate tech startup WasteX gears up for accelerated growth in Southeast Asia with P4G funding

WasteX, a climate tech company operating in Indonesia and the Philippines, reached another milestone by securing US$450,000 in funds from P4G Partnerships, an initiative that helps businesses working on climate mitigation and adaptation solutions in food, water, and energy.

This financing is pivotal in advancing WasteX’s mission: to help farmers solve agricultural waste issues, improve their income, and reduce carbon emissions. In addition, a string of successful biochar implementations and semi-automated biochar equipment has allowed the company to make an impact on its clients.

Robyn McGuckin, Executive Director at P4G, said, “Small and medium enterprises are engines of growth for many economies and need catalytic capital to overcome the valley of death. P4G is committed to supporting innovative climate solutions like WasteX that deliver not only long-term positive impact to smallholder farmers but also do so in a way that contributes to Indonesia’s priorities around enhancing food security and reducing emissions. We look forward to helping WasteX attract the investment it needs to scale in Indonesia and beyond.”

The prestigious P4G funding was awarded to the WasteX-Bina Tani partnership. To expand the biochar solution further and reach more farmers, WasteX plans to leverage the funding to establish production facilities in strategic locations throughout Indonesia by partnering with local mills and poultry farms.

WasteX invests, develops, and operates the facilities while the mills provide biomass that is converted into biochar. A significant portion of the biochar will be distributed for free to local farmers, alongside training programs to equip farmers with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively integrate biochar into their agricultural practices.

Pawel Kuznicki, Founder and CEO at WasteX, said, “We are thrilled and honoured to be selected for the partnership with Bina Tani and for the grant funding from the P4G Partnership. The P4G Partnership not only provides substantial capital for an early-stage climate-tech startup but requires and greatly supports the partnership to engage with national policy-making and market development. The objective is to facilitate the development of a favourable regulatory and commercial environment that would support the growth and adoption of the innovation. Together with Bina Tani and the P4G Partnership, we want as many farmers and agricultural producers as possible to reap the benefits of biochar.”

However, the mission extends beyond immediate benefits to farmers. By making biochar readily available and demonstrating its effectiveness, the company aims to foster widespread adoption of this sustainable technology. This initiative comes at a crucial time, with fertiliser prices skyrocketing and agricultural yields suffering. The use of biochar not only reduces reliance on expensive materials but also promotes long-term soil health and resilience.

Agriculture has faced multiple challenges in recent years, including extreme weather conditions, the increasing cost of fertiliser and fuel, repeated occurrences of soil degradation, and an ageing workforce, among others. These have hit farmers hard, affecting their livelihood.

Biochar has emerged as a practical solution, helping crops withstand these challenges by binding fertiliser minerals, retaining water, enriching soil, locking in carbon in soil, and reducing overall fertiliser use. It’s a promising means for farmers to adapt and thrive in this changing landscape.

WasteX has stepped in to simplify the adoption process of biochar in agriculture. The company offers an end-to-end integrated biochar solution consisting of its own proprietary equipment, mobile app, full implementation, support with biochar application in agriculture, and carbon credits facilitation to maximise the benefits for agricultural producers and farmers. WasteX’s solution addresses both climate mitigation (through carbon removal) and adaptation (through facilitating more resilient agriculture).

At the centre of WasteX’s biochar technology is its proprietary small-scale and semi-automated carboniser equipped with a unique dual-action burner. While conventional carbonisers rely either on electricity or burning biomass for heat generation, WasteX’s carboniser takes a dual approach: it utilises both biomass fuel and captured syngas produced during biomass pyrolysis, significantly enhancing energy efficiency. Furthermore, by recapturing and reutilising syngas for heat generation used in biochar production, WasteX minimises the potential for methane emissions, contributing to a more environment-friendly process.

Using the high-quality biochar produced by the equipment, the company has already completed numerous biochar implementations on diverse crops across Indonesia and the Philippines, demonstrating impressive results. In corn farming, for instance, biochar application resulted in a remarkable 95 per cent increase in yield while reducing fertiliser by 50 per cent compared to the typical practice.

Similarly, rice yields increased by 38 per cent with biochar application, along with the potential for long-term fertiliser reductions of 25 to 50 per cent. These findings highlight the immense potential of WasteX’s biochar technology to revolutionise agricultural practices by enhancing productivity and promoting sustainable resource management.

Pak Wisnu, a farmer from Bogor, Indonesia, shared his experience working with WasteX in applying biochar to his farms. “We are having a hard time buying chemical fertilisers, as cassava and sweet potato farmers are not the recipients of government’s subsidised fertilisers. However, with the help of biochar applications, the results are quite significant. […] Hopefully, this biochar solution can boost the prosperity of Indonesian farmers and attract the youth to farming.”

Recently, WasteX has successfully deployed two biochar facilities. The first was at a rice mill in Tarlac, Philippines in November 2023. Biochar produced at the facility will be distributed and applied to the farms within the mill’s extensive network in the next planting cycle, with two goals in mind: to support local rice production and foster long-term sustainability by encouraging younger generations to embrace the agricultural sector.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, WasteX has partnered with a corn mill in Pasuruan, East Java, to develop a larger-scale biochar facility with the production launched in February 2024. Currently, the company is manufacturing its equipment for multiple local and international clients as well as continues developing more partner facilities in Indonesia.

Looking ahead, WasteX remains laser-focused on maximising the impact of the P4G funding to establish a robust network of biochar facilities across Indonesia. Simultaneously, the company is actively engaged in discussions with numerous potential partners throughout Southeast Asia who are exploring opportunities to integrate WasteX’s biochar solutions into their operations.

To propel these growth plans, WasteX anticipates an equity fundraising round in the second half of 2024, further solidifying its position as a frontrunner in the biochar revolution and empowering a more sustainable future for Southeast Asian agriculture.

About WasteX

WasteX is a climate tech startup operating in Indonesia and the Philippines. The company provides an end-to-end solution to farms and agricultural producers, helping them utilise biomass waste by converting it into biochar and then applying it in their operations for operational, financial, and environmental benefits. Find out more at

About P4G

P4G is a global platform hosted by World Resources Institute and funded by Denmark, the Netherlands and the Republic of Korea.

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