Backacia, the construction industry’s own “Ebay”

Posted on 14 March 2019.

This online marketplace means construction industry professionals can give a second life to their building site surpluses and demolition waste.

Regulations require the construction industry to recycle 70% of building waste.

With waste production standing at almost 35% of the total waste production in the European Union, the construction industry has a heavy impact on the environment. In recent years a number of efforts using a circular economy approach have been made to improve the collection and recycling of construction waste – in fact its nature, size and weight can make it a both difficult and expensive operation. Re-use practices are still underdeveloped in the sector.
Based on this observation, in August 2017 Késia Vasconcelos, a former works manager, and Lucile Hamon, an entrepreneur specializing in waste recovery, decided to set up a B2B marketplace dedicated to reusing materials from demolitions and building project surpluses. The idea is to facilitate the sale of second-hand materials and equipment to prevent them ending up in dumpsters.
Backacia therefore puts the sellers who own these resources in contact with potential buyers through a digital platform providing secure online transactions. All the website users are construction and real estate professionals - from large groups, SMEs and sole traders.

Financial profit and circular approach

The first benefit for users of this construction “Ebay” is of course financial. Sellers reduce their waste management costs and generate additional income; buyers benefit from cheaply priced professional quality products. Backacia also allows users to bring the circular economy into their building projects and implement high-impact actions.
A 2008 European waste directive (transposed in France in the energy transition for green growth law of August 17, 2015) requires the construction sector to recycle 70% of building waste. Currently, this stands at only 35%. In France, the volume of construction waste was 227.5 million metric tons in 2014.

The start-up has already attracted numerous customers, won several awards and attracted the interest of large construction groups. The next steps include a first fund raising campaign to fund development outside Île-de-France, recruiting new employees and developing new features on the platform. The two founders hope to be completing 26,000 transactions a year within three years.

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