Renewal Mill Secures Initial Series A Funding for Diverted Food Waste Flour Blends
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The upcycled food innovator, Renewal Mill, has successfully secured the initial phase of its Series A funding round.
The undisclosed financing round was led by Beyond Impact Advisors and ICA Fund.
In the upcoming months, Renewal Mill plans to secure the remainder of its Series A round. The acquired capital will fuel further expansion of its retail presence, facilitate the introduction of new products, and explore fresh opportunities to create a more sustainable food ecosystem by diverting food waste.
Second life foods
Since its inception in 2016, Renewal Mill has been instrumental in giving a second life to residual pulp from plant-based milk production, transforming this by-product into eco-conscious flours, baking mixes, and cookies.
“Growing a business can be an uphill battle for female founders,” Renewal Mill’s co-founder Caroline Cotto said in a statement.
“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. 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,” Cotto said.
Beyond Impact Advisors’ CEO, Claire Smith, expressed strong support for the company. “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,” she said.
“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,” Smith added.
The venture’s success to date has translated into more than 66,000 pounds of diverted food waste. Additionally, Renewal Mill has fostered a network of collaborative relationships with various enterprises throughout the Bay Area. Last year, the company’s three new baking mixes and flours hit the shelves of Whole Foods Market outlets across the country.
Partnerships and new product launches
In March, Renewal Mill debuted its first co-branded product in a partnership with precision fermentation company Perfect Day on a gluten-free Upcycled Vanilla Cake & Cupcake Mix. The mix incorporates Perfect Day’s Egg Replacer made from animal-free whey protein along with Renewal Mill’s upcycled okara flour —a byproduct of soy milk production. The mix was developed by five-time James Beard Award-winning baker and cookbook author Alice Medrich.
Perfect Day’s egg replacer provides a structure that’s hard to replicate in traditional egg-free vegan baked goods, according to Medrich who said in a statement, “Perfect Day Egg Replacer is a game changer. I didn’t think it possible to reproduce the texture of a classic American-style cake without using actual eggs.”
“Perfect Day has been the perfect partner,” Cotto in a statement at the time of launch. “Not only did the functionality of the egg-replacer open up a whole new range of R&D possibilities for us, but Perfect Day’s mission to make the foods we love with almost no impact to the earth aligns deeply with our mission to make eating for the planet easy, delicious, and fun.”
The brand has also recently added its third upcycled flour to its portfolio; upcycled white corn flour — a byproduct of the cornmeal milling process — joins Renewal Mill’s upcycled oat and okara flours.