LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Queen of Raw, Inc., a New York-based climate fintech company specializing in recouping value from excess inventory, has raised funding from Future Planet Capital (“FPC”), the international venture capital and impact investor with ~$400M of committed capital and a portfolio including 23andMe, Vaccitech, and Tokamak.
$288B of excess inventory annually becomes waste in landfills, burned, or laid to rest in warehouses. Queen of Raw turns it into a revenue source through sustainable solutions. Its flagship SaaS software, Materia MX, was released out of stealth over a year ago in response to growing supply chain inefficiencies, rising prices, and excess inventory that were escalated amidst the pandemic. These market forces are depleting company profits.
Companies using Materia MX can digitally manage, resell, and recycle excess inventory from a centralized location, with end-to-end automation and reporting in the cloud. Business losses are recouped and capital is preserved to be deployed during periods of recession. No CapEx required.
For its customers, including some of the world’s biggest Fortune 500 companies, the amount of wasted materials represents up to 15% or more of their bottom line. “At that volume,” says Stephanie Benedetto, the female founder and CEO of Queen of Raw, “waste isn’t just environmentally irresponsible–it’s a financial risk and a CFO issue.” An example of the impact: In just weeks leveraging the software, one client realized savings on $14M worth of inventory and holding costs, generating revenue from recycling 10 metric tons of excess materials in Asia and diverting 95% from landfills and incineration.
Stephanie Benedetto’s family has been in the textiles business for over 100 years and has seen firsthand the waste that can result, with one tee shirt taking an average of 700 gallons of water to produce. According to the United Nations, the textile industry is the second biggest polluter in the world of clean water globally. Through its initiatives, Queen of Raw has already saved over 1 billion gallons of water – enough clean water for 1.43 million people to drink around the world for 3 years.
How do you measure the impact in a way you can trust? Together with Queen of Raw’s CTO and Co-Founder, Phil Derasmo, they built a reporting tool into the software. Launched in 2022, consumers and companies can see their waste footprint. Proprietary algorithms based on scientific standards were developed with data scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (“MIT”) Solve programme. As an enterprise resells and recycles excess inventory, the algorithms measure the environmental and economic impacts on-chain. Everything is backed by a record and proof. Communicating these circular economy efforts to end consumers, one Fortune 500 customer increased its conversion rate 3x.
Before joining Queen of Raw, Phil Derasmo spent over 15 years building solutions for large organizations from the Department of Environmental Protection to Citi. He architected Queen of Raw’s blockchain and machine learning-based technology to intelligently meet businesses’ needs, turning pollution into profit and solving the world’s water crisis.
Ed Phillips, Partner at Future Planet Capital, said: “The textile industry is responsible for around 35% of microplastics in the ocean and up to 10% of the world’s CO2 production. It’s rare to find smart founders like Stephanie and Phil tackling a challenge so grand, so elegantly. Queen of Raw’s SaaS solution has the opportunity to clean up supply chains, making a real dent in ocean pollution and creating a circular economy in unfinished goods. The opportunity beyond this to move into other waste streams is significant.”
The investment advances FPC’s Blue Ocean strategy, announced earlier this year in partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Monaco Government. Future Planet Capital first identified Queen of Raw as a high-growth and high-impact company profitably tackling the blue economy as a result of its partnership with MIT Solve.
Participation in the deal included Queen of Raw Board Member True Wealth Ventures, a VC fund specializing in women-led businesses improving environmental or human health. Queen of Raw has raised enough to get to profitability and beyond, signed software deals with three of the world's top 5 apparel and footwear brands, and expanded its operations, with team on the ground in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
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About Queen of Raw
With Queen of Raw's no-code software, called Materia MX, businesses meet regulatory requirements, reduce inventory losses, and build a more financially successful business at the product and operational level. Its customers have seen a 15%+ reduction in costs and 3x the conversion rate from greater participation in the circular economy. Take action on excess inventory with automated reuse, resale, and recycling in the cloud. Proprietary algorithms, developed in line with science-based standards and with data scientists from MIT Solve, measure the environmental and economic impacts of an enterprise’s activities on-chain. Go Raw at queenofraw.com.
About Future Planet Capital
Future Planet Capital is the impact-led venture capital firm built to back growth companies from the world's top universities and research ecosystems. Headquartered in London, but investing globally, the firm has committed capital of almost $400M from institutional investors having backed over 300 companies across geographies and stages. Future Planet Capital’s mission is to profitably solve the world's greatest challenges in climate change, education, health, sustainable growth, and security. Learn more at futureplanetcapital.com.
About True Wealth Ventures
True Wealth Ventures is a seed-stage venture firm investing in women-led companies improving human and/or environmental health. The firm was selected to the ImpactAssets 50 list, a global list of impact fund managers across sectors and asset classes. True Wealth Ventures’ 2018 $20M Fund I close made it the largest venture capital fund ever raised at that time with an exclusive gender-diversity strategy. Fund I’s 80% women limited partners was also unprecedented. After closing an oversubscribed $35M Fund II, True Wealth’s current total AUM is about $60M and it now boasts 15 portfolio companies. Additional information can be found at truewealthvc.com.