How It All Began: The OPN Platform Story

The OPN Platform is an independent packaging marketplace for buyers and sellers to make deals wherever they are in the world. Every great brand has its humble beginnings, and here is the story of ours. 

We’re living in an age of innovation, where the customer experience and sustainability are constantly driving change. To survive, more and more companies are migrating to the cloud and adapting their systems and processes to meet changes in technology.

Back in 2018, in the Swiss city of Zug, packaging entrepreneur Sergei Ciachir saw change coming and set out to transform the packaging industry. He drew on his twelve year’s experience in procurement, production, and distribution (as well as his own funds) to design a new business model that offered a more personalized digital experience. 

His vision was to build a global marketplace of manufacturers, suppliers and local producers.  Out of this dream, the Open Packaging Network (OPN) was born. A team of global talent was rounded up and development began. Thanks to innovations in AI and the blockchain, the marketplace soon came to life in the form of the OPN Platform. 

“I founded the OPN Platform with some friends to resolve many of the challenges the industry faces, especially smaller companies wanting to enter the market, and bigger companies looking for new suppliers or products. Most of all I wanted to build trust and transparency in the packaging market,” says Sergei.

Currently in version 2.3.0, the OPN Platform connects buyers and suppliers quickly, and facilitates easy online deal-making. The platform has already facilitated more than 10, 000 deals across the globe and is trusted by big brands like Unilever, 3M, and L'Oréal.

But to affect real change, Sergei wanted to transform the industry in a sustainable way and to make a measurable impact in the world. To achieve this, the platform had to become a dedicated online space for new, sustainable materials. 

Today, platform users have access to a range of innovative materials like alternative inks, renewable materials, forest-friendly paper pulp, recycled materials, and plastic-free products. Businesses looking for alternative suppliers and supply chains can also use the platform to discover new vendors and local producers to lower their carbon footprint. 

“It’s time to save the planet, and the packaging industry has a huge impact on the environment and is closely connected to human daily consumption. Reducing packaging inventory, using new sustainable materials, and optimizing procurement processes is enough to contribute to global sustainability. Even the smallest company in the packaging value chain can make a difference.”

The company currently employs staff from almost every continent, including Europe, Africa, and India. The team all share the vision of working towards a more sustainable future and a greener packaging industry. For its efforts, OPN was included in the 2020 World Business Angels Investment Forum’s list of Top 100 most promising startups for industrial transformation. 

With more and more businesses signing up to the platform, more sustainable materials entering the market, and an expanding team as passionate about making a difference as their CEO, we can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

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