Through the eyes #15
Wednesday 12 October 2022
This week we take you to Bulgaria to discover the fifteenth story from UniCredit's 2021 Annual Report. UniCredit Bulbank strongly believed in Cupffee's potential, a start-up with a mission to disrupt the hot and cold beverage sector by redefining sustainability. That’s why we provided Cupffee with two targeted credit lines to both finance the purchase of a new production line and provide assistance in optimising the company’s balance sheet. Read this success story!
Over a decade ago, Bulgarian start-up Cupffee set about working to achieve its mission: to revolutionise the hot and cold beverage sector by redefining
sustainability. CEO Miroslav Zapryanov and his Plovdiv-based team began creating edible, biodegradable ‘cookie cups’ that obliterate the need for plastic and single-use alternatives. From mixing ingredients, through to dough making, baking, and packaging, Zapryanov has striven for Cupffee’s production process to be at the cutting edge of automation and digitalisation. Moreover, the use of wholly natural ingredients means that this process does not generate any excess industrial waste; just clean steam and the tasty aroma of freshly-baked cookies.
As a testament to the popularity of the product and the brand’s mantra of environmental responsibility and social consciousness, participants in meetings involving the Bulgarian Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Water began drinking their coffee in Cupffee cookie cups last year, with the company also becoming part of the world’s first long-haul flight without the use of disposable plastics on board.
It was clear to Zapryanov that Cupffee held vast potential. To fully realise it, he had to take the next step. Cupffee needed to increase industrial production whilst, at the same time, ensuring sufficient liquidity to cover the CEO’s growing working capital needs. Zapryanov and the team would need support if they were to make this transition and spark the revolution they desired.
Thankfully, UniCredit Bulbank saw its potential as well. The bank provided Cupffee with two targeted credit lines (Investment Line: purchase of a production line; Credit line: working capital needs; Size (total amount: €1.5 thousand) to both finance the purchase of a new production line and provide assistance in optimising the company’s balance sheet during its crucial start-up phase.
Thanks to our strong and highly motivated team and with gratitude to UniCredit Bulbank, we managed to find a solution that both improves the environment and protects our nature’s wealth.
Bulbank’s help has been nothing short of revolutionary for Cupffee. In September this year, the startup opened the first fully-automated European production plant for edible, biodegradable cups, with a capacity of 2,500,000 cups a month. The factory occupies 3,600 sq m in Plovdiv’s Trakia Economic Zone and currently employs more than thirty people. Despite this success, Zapryanov certainly isn’t resting on his laurels. The company aims to boost its monthly production capacity by another 7,500,000 cups in the coming months. “Thanks to our strong and highly motivated team,” he says, “and with gratitude to UniCredit Bulbank, we managed to find a solution that both improves the environment and protects our nature’s wealth. The bank is our ultimate financial partner and we greatly rely on its expertise and support. Having a like-minded partner is critical in the realisation of further business”.
Discover more stories from our 2021 Annual Report here: