Rheaply raises $20 million in new inter-series funding

We are thrilled to announce a major milestone at Rheaply!

The dedication and passion from the Rheaply team and our supporters has positioned our resource exchange platform to raise $20 million in a new inter-series funding round. This funding allows us to continue innovations toward making the world’s resources more discoverable, transferable, and valuable in the global economy. 

This funding round is anchored by Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, chaired by AOL co-founder Steve Case. “Rheaply is not just scaling a great company in the ever-growing Chicago tech ecosystem,” said Case, “it is developing a critical solution for businesses that are trying to effectively use and recycle physical resources while also combating climate change.” 

Additional investments came from the John Doerr Family Trust, Coupa Ventures, PSP Growth, Rankin Family Ventures; and executives, including Joe Thomas (CEO & co-founder of Loom). Existing investors, including High Alpha, Salesforce Ventures Impact Fund, Emerson Collective, Techstars, and HPA, also returned to participate.

What’s next for Rheaply?

It’s long been our belief that the traditional take-make-waste linear economic model of production and consumption hinders our chance to reduce the effects of global warming. That’s why we’re attacking the largest untapped opportunity for reducing carbon emissions through scaling the circular economy

We want every organization to think more about the carbon emitted during the manufacturing process, as well as the carbon associated with everything from office chairs and desks to the building materials associated with structures. Scaling the visibility and transferability of these items, and allowing organizations to measure the value, can provide the triple bottom line win with reductions in purchase price, waste, and embodied carbon emissions.

With this funding, we intend to bring forward a solution that will give organizations the means to control their carbon emissions on the back end of a resource’s lifecycle. This solution will arm companies with value-adding tools for reuse and disposition

Paired with our circular consulting offering and partnership program, these elements will enable organizations to recirculate resources in a streamlined way and thus save money and make meaningful progress toward carbon emissions targets.

Additionally, this funding will allow our company to continue focusing on building a just and inclusive circular economy that aims to circulate capital while connecting people and communities into flows of value.

For more information on the historic fundraise, read the lead story on Axios.

Rheaply granted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) award to empower material reuse and embodied carbon reporting in the built environment

Rheaply is excited to announce that it has been awarded a Phase I SBIR grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This grant will provide Rheaply with the resources to continue building out its material reuse and carbon reporting work in the built environment.

The Phase I SBIR award is the “proof of concept” stage in the company’s work with the EPA. In total, the Federal SBIR Program awards approximately $3.2 billion across the federal government as a set-aside program for small businesses to engage in federal research and development. 

Rheaply and the EPA

As the single largest consumer of materials and energy use worldwide, the construction sector remains a prime target for materials reuse reform. Construction and ongoing operation of the built environment extracts a significant amount of resources – and on an ongoing basis. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), buildings account for approximately 40% of total energy use, 40% of raw materials use, 30% of waste output, 13.6% of total potable water consumption, 73% of total electricity consumption, and 38% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (USGBC, 2015). 

Research, regulatory compliance and even voluntary efforts to lower the built environment’s GHG demand have consistently and aggressively focused on managing, measuring and reporting the energy efficiency lifecycle from design through post-occupancy performance. However, energy efficiency is responsible for only one portion of a building’s GHG emissions; its operational carbon impact. Embodied carbon – the remaining carbon impact – derives from the combined GHG emissions caused by extraction, manufacture, transportation, construction, maintenance, replacement, deconstruction, disposal, and end of life activities for the collective materials and systems that comprise a building. Annually, embodied carbon is responsible for 11% of global GHG emissions and 28% of global building sector emissions. 

Sustainable Materials Management demands a lifecycle approach to promoting environmentally responsible harvesting, management and usage of a quite complex and often-commingled supply chain of resources. In the built environment, this calls for a shift in “cradle to gate” design thinking to “cradle to cradle” design thinking. Rheaply’s Resource Exchange is a web-based asset management system that employs the best in-class features on a modern-day online marketplace to increase asset visibility, utilization, and redeployment. On Rheaply’s platform, construction stakeholders can request and exchange reclaimed building materials. 

This award will allow Rheaply to go beyond typical usage of surplus materials and invest in additional features that will enable the platform to empower decarbonization efforts by reporting on estimated embodied carbon savings related to each transaction of reclaimed materials.

“Small businesses funded through the EPA’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program provide innovative approaches to address EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment,” said April Richards, EPA SBIR Program Manager.

More details about the EPA SBIR funding can be found here.

Rheaply is named winner of 20th Annual Chicago Innovation Award

We are extremely proud to share that Rheaply has been named one of the winners of the 20th annual Chicago Innovation Awards. The winners were announced at this year’s event held on Tuesday, December 7th.

Team Rheaply with Chicago Innovation Award

The Chicago Innovation Awards, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is the Chicago region’s foremost recognition of the most innovative new products or services brought to market each year.

Rheaply’s technology is helping scale the circular economy — an economic model that emphasizes keeping resources in constant circulation rather than discarding them and adding to landfills. Through its resource management platform, Rheaply empowers organizations to better manage, exchange, and track their material resources, helping them save money and eliminate waste while allowing employees and users to understand the sustainable impact of their procurement decisions. Rheaply’s climate-forward solution is already being leveraged by Fortune 100 companies, state, local and federal governments, small businesses, and nonprofits ready to adopt the principles of reuse and the circular economy.

Through its platform Rheaply is a climate-forward solution for Fortune 500 companies, governments, universities, small businesses, and other community members ready to adopt principles of reuse and the circular economy.

“As we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, innovation is needed now more than ever,” said Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder with Chicago journalist Dan Miller of the awards. “The 2021 winners are solving unmet needs impacting healthcare, social services, education, finance, food consumption, telecommunications, manufacturing, business services, consumer products and more.”

“On behalf of the entire team at Rheaply (here and beyond); our climate conscious customers and users; our supportive investors and mentors; our patient yet righteously motivated family and partners; and all the other entrepreneurs fighting for a better, cleaner, more just world, we are excited to accept the social innovator award. This is quite the honor, and we take this as further validation that the big impactful company, Rheaply, we are building in Chicago work is seen and heard. I promise you all, this is just the beginning.”

Dr. Garry Cooper, CEO and co-founder of Rheaply

The winning organizations receive a variety of honors including the opportunity to ring the Nasdaq Bell in New York City, and meetings with the Mayor of Chicago, Governor of Illinois and Cook County President.

“425 organizations nominated for this year’s awards,” said Luke Tanen, President and CEO of Chicago Innovation. “As a group, these nominees are responsible for generating over $19 billion in new revenues, 22,807 new jobs, and 340 patents from their nominated new products and services. The winners represent the best from this very impressive group.”

The complete list of this year’s Chicago Innovation Award winners can be found at www.chicagoinnovation.com.

The Chicago Innovation Awards are supported by Diamond Sponsors Wintrust, Accenture, SMS Assist, and Walgreens, along with Gold Sponsors Comcast Business and Exelon, and other organizations.

Rheaply joins Intuit’s Climate Action Marketplace to enable community resource exchange for small business networks

Rheaply is excited to announce that it has joined Intuit Inc., the global provider of financial software and services for small businesses, in its commitment to helping 1 million U.S. small businesses cut their carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. 

Small businesses have long been the backbone of local economies and communities. They have a critical role to play in combating climate change. Yet despite the fact that they make up half of the U.S. and global economy, small businesses are often left out of the equation when developing solutions for climate change. 

To address this issue, Rheaply’s resource exchange enables businesses to come together and share workplace resources with other leaders in their local communities. The Intuit Climate Action Marketplace is an online destination that empowers small businesses to take immediate action to replace high carbon-emission activities with more sustainable solutions in the energy, travel, food waste, commuting and procurement sectors. With this marketplace, Intuit is helping small businesses align with the United Nations Race to Zero pledge, a global campaign to rally leadership and support to commit to a resilient future.

Rheaply will work with small business networks around the U.S. to scale local reuse, reduce costs, and divert valuable resources from the landfill. Through this partnership, Rheaply and Intuit will aim to identify areas of opportunities for small businesses to stimulate a circular economy within their local communities through both their platforms. 

“The Intuit Climate Marketplace is core to Intuit’s climate positive commitment to reduce 2 million metric tonnes (MT) of carbon from the atmosphere by 2030, 50 times it’s 2018 operational footprint,” said Bharani Sankar, Strategic Partnerships Lead at Rheaply. “We’re proud to work together with Intuit to contribute to this bold goal and a more sustainable future.”

“All businesses, regardless of size, can play an important role in making their community more sustainable, more equitable, and more circular,” said Daniel Kietzer, Director of Ecosystem Growth at Rheaply. “We’re thrilled to be working with Intuit to help small businesses get the most out of the resources they have, and catalyze new relationships to keep these valuable resources circulating within their community.”

With one click, small businesses can take immediate action to replace high carbon-emission activities with more sustainable solutions across energy, travel, office supplies, and other categories. Collectively, the choices made by millions of small businesses today can accelerate our global response to the climate crisis.

More details about the Intuit Climate Action Marketplace can be found here.

Rheaply Honored by Goldman Sachs for Entrepreneurship at Builders + Innovators Summit

Dr. Garry Cooper, Rheaply CEO, among 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at 2021 Builders + Innovators Summit.

We are honored to have the recognition from Goldman Sachs for Rheaply’s own Dr. Garry Cooper as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2021 at its Builders + Innovators Summit in Healdsburg, California.

Goldman Sachs selected Garry as one of 100 entrepreneurs from multiple industries to be honored at the two-day event. 

“I’m honored to have been chosen for the Builders + Innovators Summit, and inspired that industry leaders recognize the need for innovation solutions to address our broken take-make-waste economy. Rheaply is poised to play a major role in helping world leading brands avoid unnecessary costs, and implement circular practices through resource exchange,” said Dr. Cooper.

“Innovation doesn’t happen just anywhere; it thrives where there’s a wide range of thoughts and perspectives,” said David M. Solomon, Chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs. “One of our great strengths is our ability to bring together people from different walks of life and to spark conversations today that will lead to breakthroughs tomorrow. The leaders we’ve chosen to highlight at our Builders + Innovators Summit are truly remarkable, and we are pleased to recognize Garry as one of this year’s most intriguing entrepreneurs.”

In addition to honoring 100 entrepreneurs, the summit consists of general sessions and clinics led by seasoned entrepreneurs, academics and business leaders as well as resident scholars.

Dr. Garry Cooper is the Co-founder and CEO of Rheaply, a Chicago-based tech company that enables Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and universities to better visualize, quantify, and utilize their physical resources. He also serves on the boards of directors of P33 Chicago and 1871, the faculty of Northwestern University, and the investor team at LongJump Ventures, of which he is a founding partner. Previously, Garry facilitated supply chain and performance improvement for enterprise businesses at Ernst & Young. As a result of his work, Garry has received recognition on the Forbes Next 1000, Chicago Magazine’s The New Power 30, and Crain’s 40 Under 40, and as a Scholar at Google for Entrepreneurs. Garry has published in high-impact, peer-reviewed international journals and holds a U.S. patent. He holds a PhD in neuroscience from Northwestern University, a certificate in management from the Kellogg School of Management, and a BS & BA in mathematics and chemistry from Indiana University.

Learn more about Rheaply here.

Rheaply named Most Innovative Reuse Company at the Reusies!

We are honored to accept the inaugural award for Most Innovative Reuse Company of 2021!

Four heroes of the reuse movement were announced as winners of the National Reuse Awards (aka The Reusies) among an audience of policymakers, investors, corporate and NGO leaders, and other influential attendees working towards a world without waste. The virtual awards show was presented by Upstream, a non-profit sparking innovative solutions to plastic pollution, in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, a circular economy-focused investment firm and innovation center. 

“Never has recognition of heroes in the reuse movement been more crucial as we experience the multiple effects of climate change and plastic pollution in the air, on land and in our oceans,” said Matt Prindiville, CEO and Chief Solutioneer at Upstream. “The recipients of The Reusies are true trailblazers and game-changing innovators of the growing reuse economy. In the not-too-distant future, our hope is that the leaders we’re honoring today will have scaled reuse systems and passed policies in communities throughout the world that make it possible to get what we want and need without the waste.” 

Most Innovative Reuse Company at the Reusies

From The Reusies:

A leader in the circular economy, Rheaply is a Chicago-based technology company that enables organizations to share and manage underutilized inventory in a more cost-efficient, collaborative, and connected manner. With Rheaply’s Resource Exchange, organizations can gain transparency about and re-utilize available assets, reducing procurement & storage costs, and avoiding unnecessary waste.

Added Bridget Croke, managing director at Closed Loop Partners: “Scaling reuse systems is critical if we are to address the mounting global waste challenge. The winners of The Reusies demonstrate how individuals and organizations are paving a better pathway forward, working to protect our precious planet by keeping valuable materials in play and out of landfills and the environment.”

Reusies award acceptance

Rheaply Chief of Staff, Garr Punnett, shares our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for this incredible award in the following video.

We are extremely grateful for the award and will continue to do our part to advance the mission of reuse and the circular economy to organizations seeking a solution to reduce waste and save money.  

Rheaply Joins CivStart 2021 Cohort GovTech Accelerator Program

Rheaply is proud to announce that we were selected to join the 2021 cohort of the CivStart GovTech Accelerator Program, which focuses on providing local governments with affordable and innovative solutions to their biggest challenges. Through this two-year program in the CivStart network, Rheaply will connect our exchange technology to enable state and local governments to track and share their resources more efficiently. We view this as a great opportunity to further reduce procurement overspend and landfill waste within the government sector. We are humbled to be among a group of 12 other inspiring and influential startups working on the biggest challenges facing local governments today and are eager to learn and grow with this group. 

Read more about the 2021 Cohort from the CivStart press release below. 




CivStart has chosen thirteen startup companies to join its accelerator program focused on providing local governments with affordable and innovative solutions to their biggest challenges. 

WASHINGTON, DC, September 15, 2021 – CivStart, a non-profit with a mission to build an honest and inclusive ecosystem of solutions serving local governments and their communities, just announced the thirteen startup companies participating in their annual Govtech Accelerator Program. The cohort was selected after an intensive vetting and selection process involving CivStart’s selection committee of current and former public and private-sector leaders. 

CivStart’s program is a comprehensive approach to supporting a diverse set of entrepreneurs by providing them with the knowledge and resources to grow their solutions to better serve local governments and their communities. In line with our inclusive mission, eight of the thirteen companies have underrepresented — women & minority — founders, and all of the startups’ solutions are aimed at building more equitable and inclusive communities. 

“We are very proud to bring on this incredible cohort of startups into our GovTech Accelerator Program,” Anthony Jamison, CEO of CivStart, said in a statement, “Our network of public officials keep us informed on their top issues, and we are proud to say that this cohort is meeting some of the most difficult challenges facing state and local governments. Whether it’s improving public engagement or digital workflows during a pandemic, rethinking 911, or increasing employment and building up a more equitable economy at a local level, this is a very impressive array of solutions for state and local governments.” 

“Covid-19 and unemployment are at alarming numbers in marginalized communities. People with barriers to employment may be left out again as we try to bring our country back better than before. Local Governments are the leaders that can bring cities together to connect un(der)employed residents to jobs, training programs, and supportive services,” Dominique Wilson, Co-Founder of RiseKit, explained. 

“We are thrilled to partner with CivStart in connecting to state and local governments to help supercharge state-wide reuse programs and scale a circular economy,” Dr. Gary Cooper, Founder & CEO of Rheaply stated. 

“With CivStart’s wide network we will be able to scale more quickly, raise product awareness and provide these valuable services to more communities around the country,” Ian Hamilton, Co-Founder & CEO of TruTriage, added.

This cohort of thirteen startups joins an existing 24 govtech startups in the CivStart Accelerator’s portfolio. The startups will be matched with mentors from CivStart’s Mentor Network, learn from experts across the govtech sector, receive unique access to support from established companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), and get opportunities to present to, and learn from, the experience of public-sector leaders. 

About CivStart 

CivStart believes solving society’s biggest problems starts at the local level. Our mission is to build an honest and inclusive ecosystem of solutions that serve local governments and their communities. We guide and accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge technology solutions at the local level by connecting governments, startup companies, and corporate partners to steward good ideas and address the needs of local communities through a technology lens. We accomplish our mission in three broad ways: The Govtech Accelerator Program, Government Innovation Programs, and Thought Leadership. Learn more at CivStart.org. 

Contact: Nick Lyell | Chief Impact Officer, CivStart; (608) 234.2166 nick@civstart.org

Rheaply partners with the City of San Francisco and the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance to develop online resource exchange

The platform will enable Bay Area businesses to access building products and other resources efficiently.

San Francisco, CA. (September 22, 2021) — Rheaply, a climate tech company that combines a resource-sharing network with a user-friendly resource management platform, today announced funding from the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) Game Changer Fund to build an online exchange for building products and other resources. The exchange, which is set to launch in late 2022, will enable businesses in the greater Bay Area to access surplus and salvaged resources at cost-effective rates. 

One of the primary purposes of this exchange is to address the magnitude of waste that is generated by construction and demolition (C&D) activities. According to the EPA, C&D activities in the United States generated about 600 million tons of waste in 2018. In San Francisco alone, over 100,000 tons of C&D material end up in landfills annually rather than get recycled. With new construction slated to accelerate worldwide, reaching a projected 2.5 trillion square feet by 2060, it is clear that, from an environmental perspective, there is a dire need for change. 

Through this partnership, Rheaply’s proven resource management technology will establish a sustainable means of procuring building products, many of which might otherwise have been sent to landfills. Being able to access these usable salvaged and surplus items, rather than having to buy new, full-price materials, will provide cost savings to the Bay Area’s commercial construction, small business, and nonprofit sectors. For organizations looking for supplies for their physical spaces, the online exchange will provide insights into what resources are available and make transactions simple. Especially for small businesses and nonprofits, the time and cost savings could be highly impactful.

“Achieving our City’s climate goals is going to take ingenuity, innovation, and persistence,” said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “Through this partnership with Rheaply we’re creating a new, online exchange where businesses can benefit from no- or low-cost materials recovered from construction and demolition projects. Facilitating access to usable materials benefits the environment, builds green jobs, and enhances cost-effectiveness. That is a winning combination!”

“We at Gensler believe it is imperative to set the standard for a sustainable built environment,” said Marcus Hopper, Senior Associate at Gensler. “Using Rheaply, we anticipate that we will be able to more effectively share resources, which will aid us as we pursue our goal of eliminating all net emissions associated with our work by 2030 and enable us to have a positive impact on Bay Area communities.”

“We are proud to partner with the City of San Francisco and CNCA to infuse circularity into the built environment. This development is one key part of our vision for circular cities, and we hope it will inspire other urban areas to adopt circularity,” said Garry Cooper, CEO and Co-Founder of Rheaply.
To learn more about this partnership and the future of material reuse, attend the panel “Building a Regional Material Reuse Ecosystem: Vision to Practice” at Greenbuild 2021.

Rheaply Partners with EKI-Digital to Scale Reuse and Waste Diversion

Underserved Chicagoland business communities will benefit from quantitative category management and reuse networks.

CHICAGO, Ill. (September 17, 2021) — Rheaply, a climate tech company that combines a resource-sharing network with a user-friendly resource management platform, and EKI-Digital, a leader in the quantitative digital transformation space, today announced a partnership aimed to foster economic growth and development opportunities for underserved communities in the greater Chicagoland area.

In Chicago, as in many other cities, there exists a major opportunity to simultaneously establish sustainability programs and foster economic growth that benefits city residents. Rheaply, with its technology to operationalize and grow the circular economy, has helped scale local reuse to enable small businesses to reduce costs and avoid valuable resources being sent to landfills. Going forward, Rheaply will be expanding its scope to identify areas of opportunity where it can tap into local businesses to scale category management and better utilization of resources. Working with EKI-Digital, Rheaply will be able to accelerate these efforts by leveraging EKI-Digital’s Lean-Digital Delivery capabilities.

Together, Rheaply and EKI-Digital will operationalize scaled reuse and waste diversion. Creating this circular loop includes services Rheaply’s customers and partners can utilize to better operationalize their resource and inventory management processes. Below are a few key opportunities made possible by the partnership: 

  • Quantitative Category Management
    • Organizations will gain the ability to use lean principles to understand resource utilization rates and make better procurement decisions.
  • Inventory Management 
    • Organizations can contract out inventory management activities to local businesses that can help reduce the time & effort required to upload surplus into Rheaply’s Resource Exchange.
  • Storage
    • As organizations look to sell surplus resources and inventory on Rheaply, locally owned storage businesses can be utilized to help facilitate the transfer of resources/inventory from one business to another.
  • Transportation/Logistics 
    • Local logistics companies can help with the transportation of purchased resources/inventory from one business or storage location to another.
  • Maintenance/Service/Repairs
    • As organizations have resources that require servicing, repairs, or maintenance, local businesses can be contracted to perform these services.
  • Change Management and Strategic Reuse Plan Formulation
    • Rheaply and EKI-Digital can partner with local experts to stand up policies, processes, and change management frameworks critical to creating a reuse program.
  • Surplus Resource Sourcing
    • Through Rheaply, local businesses and nonprofit organizations will be able to purchase used resources/inventory that can help cut down on overhead costs to maintain their business operations. Large organizations can also gain viable paths to help achieve “zero waste to landfill” goals. 

“We are excited to partner with the Rheaply team, which I find to be a talented group of professionals with a compelling product,” said Robert Blackwell Jr., CEO and Founder of EKI-Digital. “We at EKI-Digital believe in using the scientific method to deliver ‘Digital Alpha,’ and who better to partner with than a company led by a scientist?”

“One of our core tenets at Rheaply is ‘be helpful,’” said Garry Cooper, CEO and Co-Founder of Rheaply. “Being able to partner with the EKI-Digital team and harness their expertise will greatly expand our ability to be helpful to our clients, which is always top-of-mind for us.” 

Rheaply clients in the Chicagoland area will be able to experience the benefits of the EKI-Digital services starting in early 2022. To learn more about this network, reach out to partnerships@rheaply.com.

Rheaply Hires Connie Kim as Chief Operating Officer

Kim brings a wealth of experience and insights from technology and business.

Today, Rheaply is happy to share that we are welcoming Connie Kim to the organization as our Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Rheaply and Connie Kim

Connie has spent the whole of her career focusing on operational excellence starting from McKinsey & Co. to Google and most recently at Unilever where she was the Vice President of Technology Operations for their prestige eCommerce beauty brands. She brings with her expertise on building out scalable and lean operations, utilization of technology as a digital driver, and familiarity with the importance of B2B SaaS platforms for company growth. Connie is acutely familiar with Rheaply’s value proposition to businesses as she was involved in one of the very early enterprise contracts during her days at Google.

“I am so humbled to be given this opportunity to join such an amazing team focused on helping companies deliver on their sustainability goals while making a meaningful impact on both their business and the environment!”