Philippine circular economy startup Humble closes oversubscribed seed round


Philippine circular economy startup Humble closes oversubscribed seed round

Seedstars Global

NOVEMBER 9, 2022

MANILA, Philippines, November 9, 2022 — Humble Sustainability, a circular economy startup from the Philippines, closed its seed round led by Seedstars International Ventures and with participation from iSeed Ventures, an early stage VC in San Francisco, and angel investors like Alan Wong, co-founder of Ula, as well as Sagar Achanta, who has held product leadership roles at Amazon, and Disney+. Fresh funding will enable Humble to continue bringing companies’ excess inventory back into circularity through its technology services.



Humble helps some of the largest e-commerce, logistics and retail companies in the Philippines make their returns and excess inventory the hero, while extracting high value from the items for their clients.

With a vision to create a community where any item can be brought back into circularity by anyone, Humble’s advocacy of “circular living” reduces waste from both ends, by preventing items from being disposed of and decreasing demand for the production of new items. As Humble continues to grow, it hopes to become a leader in circular economy and sustainability in the Philippines, with initiatives in mind like carbon footprint tracking, innovation grants and raw materials extraction.

Founded by passionate advocates of sustainability, Humble’s CEO Josef Werker and COO Niña Opida used their combined years of experience growing and scaling companies in the past to build Humble as a means to create a more sustainable Philippines. Werker says, “Our dream is to make living circular as normal as possible, starting with the way we buy things and what we do with them. We’re not environmental scientists but we’re really passionate about making an impact in this area, and this is the decade where action has to happen.”

Leading Humble’s seed round was Seedstars International Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund dedicated to emerging and frontier markets. Seedstars Partner Patricia Sosrodjojo shared “We are delighted to support Humble in the journey to reduce waste and promote circular living. Humble is a great fit to Seedstars’ thesis of supporting early-stage companies that can create meaningful impact with an attractive business model”.

Notable investors also participated in the round, including iSeed Ventures and known international figures such as Alan Wong, who is the co-founder of Ula (backed by Jeff Bezos, Sequoia & Tencent); Sagar Achanta, ex-product leader at Amazon, and Disney+; and Paco Sandejas and Richard Eldridge, some of the Philippines’ top strategic investors and serial entrepreneurs, among others.

Werker says: “Our new investors bring so much more than capital - they are all actively involved and the value they bring is immense. We’re really grateful for their trust and guidance - we have already learned so much. This journey started because our dream is to make a real impact towards one of the world’s greatest challenges. The crazy ride continues.”

The problem of unused and wasted inventory is a major issue to people, planet, and profit. It is estimated that e-commerce companies alone lose up to USD1 trillion from returns, which are often stocked up in warehouses to eventually be disposed of or incinerated. This equates to a significant amount of waste sent to landfills, such as the 2 billion tons disposed of in 2021. Unfortunately, sustainable and tech-driven opportunities to access options that offer high revenue recovery remain limited. With the estimated value of waste-to-wealth initiatives at USD4.9 trillion by 2030, Humble’s position to establish a circular economy in the Philippines is critical.

To address this problem, Humble uses two main channels to bring items back into circularity - the high quality items are sold on their e-commerce platform, Thrift by Humble, while everything else is sent to their network of B2B buyers and recyclers. This allows Humble to ensure all items are sent to new, sustainable homes.

Thrift, an extension of Humble’s initial brand, was launched in October 2021 with the objective of providing consumers with a sustainable alternative to e-commerce. The products offered on the platform are high-quality and the deals are hard to beat anywhere else online.

With the impressive growth that has taken place, Humble is on track to continue scaling as they expand their network to more partners and buyers from a variety of sectors. Humble is also set to hire more employees for their ever-expanding team.

Opida adds: “Thank you so much to our team, our community, to all the quiet voices who have supported us along the way - none of this would be possible without you!”

Humble is constantly growing, on the hunt for partners and buyers from a variety of sectors. If you would like to sell your items with Humble, or purchase sustainably-sourced items in bulk, they have a dedicated B2B platform at If you’d like to check out the openings they have available in their ever-expanding team, you can explore their Careers page at


About Humble

Humble is a circular economy startup, helping businesses with the products they're struggling to sell, doing so sustainably, with excellent service and high value recovery. Since 2021, Humble has been successfully handling the inventory of some of the top companies in the country, with the aim to bring every item back into circularity.


Rianna Bengzon, Communications and R&D

[email protected]

Michaela Villaroman, Media Relations

[email protected]

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