Our Investment in Rheaply
Curbing climate change by creating a corporate circular economy
Over the past year, we’ve been encouraged by how the private sector has declared its intention of making climate change a priority. From Amazon’s The Climate Pledge, which includes signatories across numerous industries, to GM’s announcement that it will discontinue petroleum-powered vehicles, the climate clarion call has been sounded throughout the corporate world. As companies strive to decarbonize their businesses, we see a growing opportunity to deliver solutions that enable them to make meaningful progress towards net zero commitments, while also benefiting their bottom line.
Capitalizing on what we view as an enduring trend, Rheaply is a Chicago-based startup that is empowering companies of all stripes to reduce their CO2e footprints by curbing internal waste. It does this by creating a circular economy of reuse, both within a company and through a marketplace of asset exchange with other companies. We’re proud to announce our investment in Rheaply, as it pursues its vision of reducing waste and helping companies reduce their emissions.
MCJ Collective invested in Rheaply as part of its $8MM Series A. The round was led by High Alpha, with participation from 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund, Emerson Collective, Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, and Salesforce Ventures.
The Rheaply team, led by co-founders Garry Cooper (CEO), Tyler Skelton (CPO), & Peter Tucker (CTO).
What is Rheaply?
The company has built a SaaS platform that enables enterprise businesses to manage internal assets, such as peripherals, furniture, and laboratory equipment. Additionally, Rheaply offers an online resource-sharing marketplace, called Asset Exchange Manager (AxM), enabling organizations to sell and purchase secondhand assets with other local companies. These internal and external solutions allow a company to have visibility into the assets it owns, seize opportunities for reuse, and thereby avoid the need to spend on purchasing items brand new.
Rheaply serves a range of different customers, including universities, major tech corporations, and pharmaceutical companies. It generates revenue through enterprise subscriptions as well as from transaction fees through its marketplace.
Why Did We Invest?
As we’ve gotten to know Garry Cooper, Rheaply’s Co-founder & CEO, we’ve been impressed by the company he has built, the sales traction achieved to date, and his sincere commitment towards working to address climate change. Early on in our conversation with Garry, it became clear that he had architected an organization that was adept at selling to enterprises, had a large market opportunity in front of it, and remained focused and determined to have a significant impact on the problem of climate change, as well. Garry has a doctorate in neuroscience and previously served as a faculty member and management consultant, which were instrumental in establishing Rheaply’s early market-fit with universities and research-based companies. Due to the collective talent of the founding team, we have a strong conviction that Rheaply is setting out to be built to last and to make a large impact along the way.
Tackling the Expense and Emissions of “Invisible Assets”
It has been projected that over $630 billion worth of corporate physical assets in the U.S. remain idle each year. Left unused, these assets will contribute over 60 million tons of new waste to landfills. For companies, these items are often “invisible,” their existence and whereabouts unknown internally, and exact a recurring cost in terms of storage. Moreover, these invisible assets lead to companies unnecessarily spending money on purchasing new items, which contributes to an avoidable expense and carbon footprint. Incumbent enterprise asset management software falls short of providing actionable information and does not provide opportunities for reuse with other companies.
A Commitment Toward Climate
Among its early customer base, Rheaply reports that it has helped divert over 14.5 metric tons of waste and generate $1.6MM in cost savings. In addition, it has formed partnerships with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Circular Chicago Coalition to promote and advance the goal of scaling the circular economy. With the funds from this recent raise, Rheaply intends to scale its climate mission by supporting more companies and honing its carbon and sustainability reporting. We feel privileged to join Garry and his team as they work to support the net zero ambitions of companies around the world.
If you are an accredited investor, and want to learn more about being an investor in our fund (to back more great companies like this one!), reach out here.