Business case and revenue model for circular platform PostNL

The background

Copper8 supported PostNL in developing the business case and revenue model for their circular platform Flown. With Flown, consumers can have all their household appliances through a subscription. They pay for usage, not for ownership.


The platform is intended as one-stop-shop for all household appliances. Consumers can use the devices for a monthly fee. The platform enables circular applications through smart agreements with suppliers on durability and reuse. In order to make this possible, all parties involved had to collaborate in a new way.

The question

Help us with the calculation to support the business case. See whether Flown’s concept is affordable for both PostNL and the consumer. And then help us develop a revenue model for Flown. How should we organize the platform to be highly circular, and how do we structure the collaboration between PostNL, suppliers, financiers and other stakeholders?

Current situation and future

The subscription that Flown offers consumers could not be more expensive than the purchase of the same household device. In addition, the platform had to guarantee circularity. The devices offered all had to score high on energy and water efficiency. This would give large group of people access to high-quality devices with the lowest possible negative impact on humans and the environment.

The process

We started by calculating. How is the cost of a household device structured, how does the cost structure change in a circular model, and what does this mean for the subscription price for a consumer? We then worked with PostNL, financiers and accountants to develop different circular revenue models. Parallel to this we worked with everyone involved; this model required a significant adjustment to the traditional way of working.

The results

PostNL’s Board of Directors gave a green light to further develop Flown. We also ended up with a calculation model that makes value insightful in circular (usage) models. We gained insight into the various options for revenue models, and for each revenue model we developed an associated collaboration structure. As part of this process, we started discussions with De Koninklijke Nederlandse Beroepsorganisatie van Accountants (NBA) (Royal Dutch Accountancy Organization), in which we talked about the importance of circularity. As a result, they are now considering what adjustments should be made to legislation and regulations to successfully integrate circularity into business models.

test Michel Bagli CMO / Marketing & Innovation Director

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