Montreal-based food technology startup Relocalize secured C$1.4 million in a pre-seed financing to develop an automated food micro-factory. The round was backed by a group of grocery retail and industry executives, including Marc Poulin, formerly the CEO of Sobeys.
MONTREAL, Oct. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Relocalize, a North American food-tech company, today announced the closing of a $1.4M pre-seed round to fund the development of the first ever automated food micro-factory.
The round is led by grocery retail and industry leaders including senior executives from Slack, Emerson, ex-Sobeys and an undisclosed USA-based retail chain.
“Our food system is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Relocalize CEO Wayne McIntyre. “At Relocalize, we drastically reduce the carbon footprint of production by eliminating long-haul transportation. We’re making food where people live, unlike conventional centralized producers.”
The company plans to deploy thousands of micro-factories at grocery distribution centres across North America. Their first micro-factory, which will produce packaged ice, will be deployed in November 2021.
“Consumers increasingly factor sustainability into their buying decisions and retailers have taken note,” says Marc Poulin former Sobeys CEO. “Our industry needs innovative suppliers like Relocalize to achieve our sustainability objectives. Their technology reduces both cost and CO2, which is transformative.”
Since the company’s founding in November 2020, Relocalize in-licensed, designed, patented, prototyped and tested its technology, as well as secured a leading Southern-US retail launch partner for their first sustainable premium ice micro-factory.
“We’re starting with ice because the standard practice of trucking frozen water long distances just doesn’t make ecological or economic sense,” says McIntyre. “24 billion lbs of packaged ice travels across the United States and Canada from centralized production plants to retailers, and our mission is to disrupt this $6B market and prove the benefits of re-localization.” Relocalizing packaged ice alone would reduce CO2 emissions in North America by more than 1.3 million metric tons per year.
Relocalize’s ice product cuts up to 90% of road transportation and 50% of water waste. Each robotic-enabled micro-factory produces, packages, palletizes and stores up to 1.6M bags of ice per year, supplying 100-200 local retail stores.
In addition to sustainability, the company plans to compete on consumer experience, supply chain resilience, operational cost reduction and innovative premium packaging.
Relocalize is accepting pre-orders in the US and Canada. Contact them at their website relocalize.com.
Relocalize is North America’s first food micro-factory platform leveraging automation to shrink large-scale food production to an efficient micro-scale. At Relocalize, we believe in responsibly and sustainably feeding humanity. Our ice micro-factories will be located close to grocery distribution hubs to reduce road transportation (and CO2) by up to 90%. Today, we are 100% focused on packaged ice with a vision to expand the re-localization revolution to more packaged and fresh foods.