Oakland, Calif., June 1, 2023–Renewal Mill, an upcycled food company that fights climate change and global food loss, has announced the successful closing of the first part of its Series A round of funding, which is being led by Beyond Impact Advisors. ICA Fund, an early investor in the company, has also participated in this round.
Renewal Mill upcycles byproducts from food manufacturing that would have been otherwise wasted, such as soybean pulp, oat pulp, and almond pulp, into superfood ingredients and premium, plant-based flours, baking mixes and cookies. Founded by Claire Schlemme and Caroline Cotto, a Forbes 30 Under 30 – Food and Drink, the company has been growing steadily since its launch as an ingredient brand in 2018.
In June 2022, Renewal Mill launched in Whole Foods with three baking mixes and three flours, and has built impactful partnerships with companies across the Bay Area. Since June 2022, product sales at Whole Foods alone have diverted over 66K pounds of food waste.
"With a firm footing in both the upcycled ingredients and the plant-based products space, Renewal Mill not only continues to bring its own innovations to market but also helps its customers do the same,” said Claire Smith, CEO of Beyond Impact Advisors. “Through it all, the company remains singularly focused on ensuring its mission that food be put to its best and highest use - feeding people, a mission we've supported them on since 2018 and are proud to continue championing."
Renewal Mill has won numerous awards in the industry, including a NEXTY Award at Natural Products Expo West ‘22 and “Best Emerging Brand for 2022” by NOSH, and has been repeatedly featured in Whole Foods' annual trends list. The founders are active in growing the upcycled food industry, with Caroline serving as the president of the Upcycled Food Association board.
Renewal Mill is one of more than 40 companies in ICA Fund’s investment portfolio. The ICA Growth Fund makes equity investments of $100K to $750K with 85% of its investment dollars to date going to companies owned by women or people of color. In addition to receiving funding from ICA, Renewal Mill is a 2021 alumni of ICA’s Accelerator, a 12-week program helping Bay Area founders scale through coaching, connections, and access to capital.
"Growing a business can be an uphill battle for female founders. As a super small, female-founded team, having ICA on our side made the process of growing our business and trailblazing the upcycled food industry a little easier,” said Caroline Cotto, co-founder of Renewal Mill. “The Accelerator at ICA was incredibly helpful. From helping us build a deck to sales pitches and opportunities to get our product in front of investors, ICA has been there for us, and has done a great job of making us as entrepreneurs feel more human and supported."
"We're thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Renewal Mill,” said John Gough, ICA Investment Officer. “We've been so impressed by the continued growth Claire and Caroline have forged for Renewal Mill since we began working with them in 2021. This Series A is a huge milestone, and I can't wait to see what's next for this truly innovative company."
Renewal Mill will be raising the remaining amount of its Series A over the next 90 days and plans to continue growing its retail spread, introducing new products, and finding new ways to build a more sustainable food system.
About Renewal Mill
Renewal Mill is an upcycled food company that fights climate change and global food loss by upcycling byproducts from food manufacturing into superfood ingredients and premium, plant-based pantry staples. www.renewalmill.com
Renewal Milll debuts upcycled flour replacement blend at IFT FIRST, Food Business News, July 20, 2023.
Renewal Mill is developing staple food products from food waste, The Business Journals, July 21, 2023.
Renewal Mill secures funding to expand product line, distribution, Food Business News, June 6, 2023
Renewal Mill Launches Upcycled Corn Flour, Debuts in Seven Sundays' New Protein Cereal, Specialty Food Association, June 8, 2023
About ICA Fund
ICA accelerates great businesses through mentoring and investments to close the racial and gender wealth gaps. We support small businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area led by founders of color and women by providing capital, coaching, and connections. ICA helps entrepreneurs grow the value of their businesses and create wealth for themselves and their employees, driving toward our vision of an economy that works for all. ica.fund
About Beyond Impact Advisors
Beyond Impact Advisors was created in 2017 to facilitate investment in products and services that are either inherently vegan in nature or are cruelty-free and remove mankind’s reliance on the raising of animals for slaughter. beyondimpact.vc