The Brothers behind Australia's single-use coffee cup solution

Posted by OnMarket 19 November 2018 @ 12:00AM Equity Crowdfunding Investors

The Brothers behind Australia's single-use coffee cup solution

For years, brothers Marty and Jeremy Rowell talked about leaving the corporate world and creating a business together.

With a strong interest in the environmental and sustainability sector, and a desire to make a difference in the world, the brothers started thinking about possible business ventures in early 2017.

As fate would have it, the boys sat down in mid 2017 to watch ABC’s War on Waste Series 1 and were baffled by the sheer size of Australia’s take-away coffee cup culture, and the lack of genuine solutions that were tackling the issue and eliminating waste on a large scale.

Australians collectively send an estimated 1.2 billion single-use paper coffee cups to landfill every year.


At the time of watching War on Waste Jeremy and I were both owners of reusable cups but still found ourselves resorting to single-use paper cups from time to time,” said Marty Rowell, co-founder and CEO of TCX.

"While reusable cups work for some people, it is clear from single-use cup usage statistics that for most people they are inconvenient and often impractical. You only really want your cup for the short time that you are using it. We really wanted to help decrease the use of disposable cups and the environmental impact, but in a way that’s both convenient and desirable for consumers and cafe operators." said Marty.

The public’s reaction to War on Waste highlighted to Marty and Jeremy that Australians really care about this issue. The challenge was to develop an environmentally responsible solution that is convenient and scalable for the mass-market in order to have a significant impact.

They knew that if they could remove the barriers associated with reusable cups, then more people would avoid using disposable paper cups.

With Jeremy's background in IT & logistics and Marty's in product development & marketing they decided to combine their skills and spend the next few months brainstorming, conceptualising and designing a solution to address the widespread issue.

By September 2017 The Cup eXchange (TCX) was born – a sustainable, technology-enabled coffee cup subscription service that benefits all stakeholders - customers, cafes, government/councils and the environment.

“As a mission driven business our goal is simple, we want to eliminate the need for single-use paper cups”

“We recently completed a successful pilot onboarding over 2,600 customers, effectively saving over 25,000 cups from landfill. For us, that was really exciting as it validated the business model, tech platform and user experience for customers and cafes. We’re excited to help cafes, facility managers and councils reduce waste with the rollout of the TCX network in 2019,” said Jeremy Rowell, co-founder and CIO of TCX.

TCX’s equity crowdfunding offer is currently open via the OnMarket platform. TCX is targeting a minimum raise size of $500,000, and a maximum of $1.2 million, with a minimum bid size of $250.