Positioned at retailer distribution and fulfillment centers, Relocalize's micro-factories can produce CPG products on-demand for 100–200 retail stores.
Relocalize, the developer of the world's first autonomous micro-factory for the food and beverage industry, revealed that it has raised $2.5 million in the initial closing of a $3.5 million seed round.
Montreal-based Relocalize offers autonomous food production platforms as a service (PaaS) to grocery and convenience retailers. Positioned at retailer distribution and fulfillment centers, these micro-factories, known as RELOs, produce CPG products on-demand for 100-200 retail stores. According to the company, each RELO performs all of the functions of a traditional factory but at approximately 1/20th the scale, and eliminates transportation-related CO2 emissions and waste.
In March, Relocalize made headlines when it partnered with Southeastern Grocers on an autonomous ice-manufacturing pilot project. The RELO debuted at Southeastern Grocers’ Jacksonville, Fla., distribution center. The pilot project has since been successfully producing the world’s first hyperlocal, certified plastic-negative packaged ice on-demand for local supermarkets in Florida.
The proceeds from the new seed round will be used to prepare Relocalize’s autonomous production platform for scaling and to solidify its leadership position as the industry’s first mover in distributed hyper-local food and beverage manufacturing.
In response to Relocalize’s latest seed round, D. Wayne McIntyre, co-founder and CEO of the company, said, “This is a big step towards a truck-free future for our food system. It reflects both the urgent need to decarbonize food production and the high market demand for sustainable and affordable products.”
The financing round was led by i4 Capital and Waterpoint Lane. Tim Tokarsky, founder and managing partner of i4 Capital, said, “We believe that Relocalize’s micro-manufacturing technology will help reinvent the way consumers access quality food and beverage products. The world’s first hyper-local micro-factory for packaged ice is just the beginning; numerous applications will leverage their disruptive manufacturing platform, directly cutting [greenhouse-gas] emissions.”