Byron Bay compost technology startup Subpod shuts down due to tough conditions

Byron Bay compost technology startup Subpod shuts down due to tough conditions

Subpod CEO Saadi Allan (right) with the Subpod team at Byron Bay

Difficult trading conditions have claimed the once budding Byron Bay-based environmental solutions company Subpod which has announced that it is closing down its operations.

Company co-founder and CEO Saadi Allan has revealed on the company’s social media channels that Subpod is being placed into liquidation, although he remains hopeful that a buyer can be found for the business.

Subpod, which has developed an innovative composting system specifically designed for urban usage through a compact, smell-free design, was founded in 2018. Its key product is described as an in-ground compost bin, worm farm and self-fertilising garden bed.

Over the past few years, Subpod has made inroads into global markets with its products sold to 65,000 customers in 20 countries, with sales booming at the tail end of the pandemic.

Subpod reported sales of $16.4 million for its novel home composting systems over the two years to the end of 2022. The company claimed at the time that by converting food waste to soil, its system was responsible for preventing more than 14,500 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere annually.

However, in a message on social media today Allan says ‘difficult trading conditions’ had forced Subpod to cease operations.

“We have been fighting hard for many months to find a way to keep trading and the decision to close our door has been made with heavy hearts,” says Allan.

“I want to thank everyone that has supported Subpod over the years, from our co-founders, past and current team members, investors, trade partners and most of all the wonderful community of people who supported our dream of making composting and connection to nature a part of everyday life.

“With over 65,000 people in more than 20 countries using Subpod to turn food waste into soil food, together the Subpod community will continue to make a positive impact into the future.”

Subpod’s website in recent days has hinted at the company’s troubles, with a closing down sale launched by the business.

The Subpod business gained early support from an angel investor to the tune of $420,000 in 2018 and in 2021 it raised about $190,000 on the US-based Indiegogo platform to launch its Modbed compact balcony system for apartment dwellers in the US.

The original composting system is designed so that 90 per cent of it is positioned below the soil of any garden, while the Modbed is a freestanding Subpod that can sit above ground on any apartment balcony.

Subpod gained the backing of new investors in 2022 after raising $787,000 on crowdfunding platform Birchal.

The Subpod concept was derived from a prototype developed by Byron Bay artist Andrew Hayim Devries, who is a shareholder in the company.

Allan remains hopeful that the Subpod technology will survive the company’s corporate collapse.

“While we wind up operations over the coming weeks and enter the liquidation process we will do all we can to see if we can find a buyer who may want to purchase the assets and continue the brand,” he says. “We would love to still see Subpod exist into the future.”

The Subpod website says that the company will continue to ship orders as normal during the closing down process.

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