RAIKU saves the world from a suffocating bubble wrap

Raiku 1
In the last round of Prototron, 20,000 euros were awarded to a start-up that produces RAIKU. And we are not talking about the guy living next door; RAIKU is a natural, beautiful, and soon the cheapest biodegradable alternative to bubble wrap made from wood. The creators of RAIKU – the author of the idea, Rain Randsberg, and Karl Pärtel, who is responsible for marketing – share their story.

Rain has satisfactorily smashed all the bubbles on the bubble wrap that came with the goods ordered from the e-shop when he suddenly realizes that 90% of it goes to the landfill or to nature. He feels he is on the verge of a discovery. The great success of Woola with their wool-based replacement for bubble wrap proved the market’s desire to move towards a more sustainable economy, and the growth of e-commerce made him recognize the need to invent another alternative to bubble wrap.

Rain had previous packaging experience with wood wool historically used as a packaging material (thin wood planing strips), but it had many shortcomings: it creates debris, requires gloves for handling, lacks protection because it is too easy to compress. At the same time, Rain invented a special material; he took the scrap from the veneer industry, cut it into strips, and the resulting spring structure gave the raw material flexibility and increased its volume 20-25 times. By weaving the spring-structured wooden strips together into a fabric, RAIKU – a vigorous opponent to the reign of bubble wrap and plastic. It is a compostable, beautiful, and excellent defender of shipments, but in the name of the ultimate victory, it must become cheaper than its opponent – plastic, it is undergoing serious development work and, according to initial calculations, can be achieved in case of production in industrial volumes.

A quarter of a hundred suitors

RAIKU is currently building its headquarters and is looking for allies/partners, and the design of the prototype production line and the construction of the first parts of the prototype line are underway. The plan is to find a business model for how to quickly spread production around the world. There is ongoing research on market preferences and volume. A total of 26 companies have shown interest in participating as pilot customers.

“Prototron’s money injection was crucial for us at this stage. At the moment, we are developing the production line, and initial technology testing is underway; with the help of Prototron, we can start using the development units of Enterprise Estonia and so we can amplify our idea with Prototron money” said Karl.

In this way, RAIKU gathers strength and power in order to take action.  Rain and Karl do not regard a similar hero, Woola as a competitor because the companies’ products are different, and the € 10 billion fast-growing market with e-commerce is large enough to accommodate two Estonian players

In the five years’ perspective, the creators of RAIKU see that they have created enough competition for bubble wrap, ideally conquered the whole world, and added a number of new products to the selection. “Rain comes up with inventions a mile a minute,” said Karl.

Who knows, maybe one day you, dear reader, will send out a package, and you can sleep in peace at night knowing that RAIKU will take care of your shipment and protect the world from bubble wrap.

First of all, RAIKU intends to enter the market with packs full of springs that are comfortable to use and decorate the product, and more information can be found on the website raiku.co.

WATCH VIDEO: How to pack with RAIKU.