Bristol-based PEEQUAL has come up with the UK’s first touch-free and standalone women’s urinal. The company sees a future of a more equal society, where everyone’s time is important and no one queues for the loo.
In a recent development, the company has picked up £250k in its maiden investment round as it strives to pioneer a pee-quality for women. The funds came from the British Design Fund, Monzo’s co-founder Tom Blomfield (who also backed theUp.co recently), former Gü COO Sarah Jones, and angel investors Chris Stamp and Elaine Groenestein.
Hazel McShane, co-founder of PEEQUAL said: “This funding is not only a huge vote of confidence in PEEQUAL but also a big moment for pee equality the world over. We want PEEQUAL to empower women to take back their time and break the taboo around female urination. We are building a team to bring our urinals to festivals, sporting events, outdoor shows and more. We’re really proud to be changing the way women pee, and doing it in a safe way which reduces time spent in queues.”
Tom Blomfield, co-founder of Monzo, said: “I’m proud to be an investor in PEEQUAL – it’s important that women have access to toilets that are quick, safe and sustainable. I was really impressed with Hazel and Amber’s drive and determination, and the progress they’ve made with the business is magnificent. I’m sure you’ll see more of their urinals at UK festivals this summer.”
As per reports, less than 1% of UK venture funding goes to all-female teams and nearly 48% of investment teams include no women at all. Amber, the co-founder of PEEQUAL said: “Being part of the 1% of women who successfully raise funding, I feel humbled and passionate about helping other female founders do the same.”
How was PEEQUAL formed?
PEEQUAL was founded in 2020 by University of Bristol graduates – Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane. The startup focuses on efficiency, safety and sustainability. The mission of this company is to provide events with women’s urinals that increase queue efficiency and protect both women and the planet.
The duo came up with the initial design while studying at the University of Bristol and the idea won them £15k from the institution’s startup competition. Since graduating in 2021 they have toured UK festivals, gaining user feedback and tweaking their design.
Amber and Hazel both studied at the University’s award-winning Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Students at the Centre take one of 14 regular subjects and combine their studies with Innovation units. Now, PEEQUAL has offices in Runway, the University of Bristol’s student and graduate startup hub.
Mark Neild, programme director for Runway at the University of Bristol, “Amber and Hazel are the perfect examples of what intelligent and dynamic young people are capable of doing – disrupting a stale market that doesn’t work for half of its consumers. We are excited to have them join our new Runway space to inspire others and share in the community we are creating to help student start-ups fly.”
Sustainable femtech product
Designed for women and co-created with women, PEEQUAL has designed flatpack portable urinals made of recycled sea plastics that are six times faster to use and produce 98% less carbon than traditional portable toilets. With these female urinals, the startup strives to pioneer ‘pee-equality’ for women and make long queues for the ladies a thing of the past.
Now, the urinals are set to become a common sight at British festivals and events. Currently, 250 units of the urinals are under construction. Several deals are being signed with large-scale festival operators in the coming weeks. Also, deals are underway with European festivals for the 2023 season.
PEEQUAL is working with social enterprise PEEPOWER to turn the urine into electricity. PEEQUAL also has plans to convert the urine into fertiliser in the future.
Christine Dent, site manager of Shambala Festival, said the urinals were “excellent” and “the best solution I have seen”. She added: “We look forward to having PEEQUAL back next year.”
Fashion stylist Twinks Burnett, said using the PEEQUAl urinal at a 2021 festival was the “best wee of the weekend: it felt right, it felt safe, it felt beautiful”.