The self-sustainable micro-unit Ecocapsule is known throughout the world. The innovative design, flexibility of use, and technology sensitively incorporated into the design with sustainability at the fore have gained the attention and interest of several celebrities. Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon, for example, enjoys owning an Ecocapsule.
The first limited edition has already reached customers who have found a home for their Ecocapsule in often exotic locations, including Japan, Costa Rica and the Bahamas, among other places. The Ecocapsule rental fleet is also seeing great interest, whether from adventure accommodation providers, hoteliers or summer festival organisers.
Ecocapsule is now on the threshold of a new phase of development with the preparation of a next-generation product based on the experience of the first series. In the context of changes in consumer behaviour, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people are seeking more economical lifestyle solutions, ideally in more remote and natural locations, with a high degree of mobility and sustainability. Ecocapsule is a comprehensive and functional product that is leading the way in this emerging market. Investors now have the unique opportunity to accompany Ecocapsule on its next journey and to satisfy the relentless customer demand for an improved and more affordable version. The goal is to develop the next generation of Ecocapsule's product, called NextGen, and prepare the company for the arrival of a strategic partner.
The uniqueness of Ecocapsule point by point:
- A proven product – a mobile, energy self-sufficient and intelligent micro-unit powered by solar and wind.
- The innovative design, enabling living anywhere in the world, has won several major awards, including the prestigious New York Design Award.
- A wide range of applications, thanks to the launch of the new Ecocapsule Space and 6Pack products.
- A world-famous product that has featured in Times Square, New York; Expo 2020 in Dubai; Brain Bar 2022 in Budapest; at the Pohoda and Grape Festivals; and on television in a commercial with James Corden and an episode of HBO's Zero Waste Chef.
- Marketing with a global reach, great interest from influencers and wide media coverage, including CNN, the New York Times, Wired and NBC News.
- Customers from all over the world – the US, Japan, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Switzerland and others.
About the Company
Ecocapsule is a company that follows a philosophy of strong sustainability. It offers a medium-term accommodation option that takes full advantage of the latest technological advances. It enables people to live in harmony with nature while minimizing negative impacts on the environment.
The story of Ecocapsule began in 2009 when Nice Architects entered the Andes Sprout Society Idea Competition to design a small housing unit for an artist. The huge number of subsequent enquiries about their competition entry convinced the founders, Soňa Pohlová, Tomáš Žáček, and team to develop the project further.
In 2017, the company received investment from Crowdberry investors in the amount of €750,000. In 2018, another €2 million was raised to complete and operationalize this complex product. In the same year, the first limited edition Ecocapsule was launched.
In 2021, the company received an investment from the CB Growth ONE investment fund, managed by CB Investment Management, to launch the rental fleet. Since then, Ecocapsule has been placed in a number of exciting locations around the world.
ECOCAPSULE® represents a vision of self-sustainable living. It is a micro-unit that combines minimalist design with comprehensive functionality and ultimate use of the 6.3 m2 of interior space that comfortably fits two. The micro-unit gives you the freedom to enjoy life, work and leisure in any location.
Ecocapsule does not need to be connected to any utilities (electricity, gas, water, etc.) and leaves no ecological footprint. Each unit is powered by a low-noise wind turbine with a maximum power output of 750W day and night. The telescopic pole on which the turbine is placed can be easily folded for smooth transportation. It is complemented by high-efficiency solar cells to maximize solar power generation with an installed capacity of 880W. The battery capacity is 9.6 kWh.
Ecocapsule is an intelligent micro-unit controlled by a mobile app. Its unique shape is adapted to withstand harsh natural conditions in cold and tropical climates. It also makes efficient use of the interior space, while the exterior is optimized for rainwater collection. This is collected from the surface of the capsule into a water tank and filtered for the user's convenience. The capsule weighs 2,000 kg when empty and 2,220 kg with full water tanks.
The device stands on four hydraulic extendable legs that allow convenient handling and levelling. Thermal comfort is ensured by a high-efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation unit with residual heat recovery function.
How will NextGen differ from the current version?
CONSTRUCTION – Low weight at 1,600 kg and elimination of thermal bridges.
SYSTEMS – Optimizing the energy balance, generally more standard components, better serviceability of the technology.
EXTERIOR – Panoramic window providing a better-connected experience to the surrounding environment, this new model is 500mm longer, with an increased solar panel area on the roof of 1200W and additional retractable solar panels of 800W.
INTERIOR – Increased interior area of 7 m2, increased storage capacity to 1,400 l from the current 700 l, and improved UX.
PRODUCTION – Acceleration and simplification of production, reduction of production price, with increased production capacity according to the business plan research.
Ecocapsule is suitable for international transport by container via shipping, air or freight transport. A special custom-designed trolley allows the Ecocapsule to be transported behind an automobile, turning it into a fully functional caravan. The bottom is designed to be loaded onto the trailer very easily by one person. When placed on a pontoon, it can also become a houseboat.
The Ecocapsule team comprises talented people from a range of professions, including architects, designers, marketers, technicians and engineers, all with international experience. The team's focus on quality and results orientation was evident in 2017 when it the first final capsule prototype was launched.
The company's founders, Tomáš Žáček and Soňa Pohlová, are behind the design and development of Ecocapsule. The team is also supported by a network of reliable suppliers that manufacture and stock the individual sub-components of the capsule. Ecocapsule also brings together an advisory board of innovation and sustainability experts, including Nuru Mugambi, a sustainable finance and responsible investment expert behind the Kenya Sustainable Finance Initiative and the Green Bond Programme.
Market and Competition
Ecocapsule represents a niche segment of the market because it combines bold design with the values of individuality and environmental awareness. The company focuses primarily on the caravan market and micro-house market. The global caravanning market was valued at $21.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% from 2022 to 2030. The European market for motorhomes and caravans achieved the best result in its history in 2021 with approximately 260,000 newly-registered vehicles. In 2022, there were a total of 218,301, which represented a 16.1% year-on-year decrease but still represents the industry’s third best result. The reason for the decline was weakened supply chains and a lack of employees at European manufacturers (i.e., demand exceeded supply).
Thanks to technology, it is possible today to work from almost anywhere – a trend that was significantly accelerated by the pandemic, with the increase seen highest in East Asian countries. In 2022, 16% of the world’s companies worked 100% remotely.
As for the global green technology and sustainability market, it is projected to grow from $13.76 billion in 2022 to $51.09 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 20.6% driven by regulations at the transnational level.
Ecocapsule's competitive landscape is defined by two areas: small caravans and innovative concepts for self-sufficient and mobile living.
The caravan sector has been slow to innovate and did not undergo as many fundamental changes as other sectors. The mass commercialization of mobile solutions providing self-sustainable living is in its infancy, providing room for innovative solutions such as the Ecocapsule and for capturing the premium part of the market.
Its competitive advantage stems from unique design combined with an eco-friendly concept. The combination of mobility, sustainability and flexibility in one product is unrivalled. Mobility by road, ship and air opens up many new applications. The volume of pre-orders combined with the many enquiries and presence of US and Japanese distributors create a solid basis for the implementation of the business plan.
Technological and operational risk
Ecocapsule is a specific product that has been developed mainly by an in-house team of experts and there is no equivalent in the world. The company has already undergone pilot testing, development and production of the first limited batch of capsules. These have been transferred to customers, thanks to which the company has received feedback on their practical use. The founders’ years of experience in the technical, implementation and design aspects of this series collectively reduce technological risk, and the input of an experienced industry partner will be beneficial in this regard.
Ecocapsule continuously registers hundreds of expressions of interest from all over the world – from distributors, hotel chains, or camping and glamping resorts. By launching mass production, thanks to economies of scale the final price for the consumer will fall. Ecocapsule holds several advantages in terms of green solutions as well as in terms of transport via a specially designed trolley. At the same time, the business model foresees the arrival of a strategic investor, which will mitigate potential market risk. This is also minimized by the possibility of renting and trying out the Ecocapsule.
Risk of competition
Ecocapsule has no direct competitors, nor are any yet emerging as it is a complex, technologically demanding product. Neither caravans nor mobile homes are able to combine self-sufficiency and mobility with green solutions at a comparable price level.
With the advent of strategic, mass production should be set/negotiated with relevant manufacturing partners at up to 200 capsules per year by 2025. The risk of scaling up production stems from the fact that production management, quality and capacity are currently designed for limited production. However, Ecocapsule has already produced its first batch, which has eliminated the most serious defects and is gradually introducing new improved versions using standardized components and production processes. Further scalability of the business plan and sales is to be achieved through the expansion of the product portfolio with new products such as Ecocapsule SPACE or 6PACK.
The investment of €2 million with co-investment of an institutional investment fund in the form of a convertible loan will be used for:
- Design of the next development version of Ecocapsule NextGen
- Speeding up the production process and enabling series production
- Development and upgrade of technical elements
- Working capital and staffing
- Sales and distribution
- Preparing the company for the entry of a strategic partner
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