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Rheaply’s acquisition has long-term materials market implications

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Chicago based resource exchange platform provider Rheaply has bought the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BSCD)’s Materials Marketplace, with its 2,200 partner network, and presence across North America.

  • Rheaply has acquired the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (US BCSD) Materials Marketplace and its 2,200 partner network.
  • Materials Marketplace’s (MM) expertise in reusing building materials across five US states, and one Canadian province, will help Rheaply grow its resource exchange business.
  • Rheaply’s growth plans could also benefit from its relationship with US BCSD, as the latter’s Carbon Collaborative program seeks to invest in sustainability-related technology businesses.

The acquisition combines Rheaply’s technology based platform with MM’s established network of regional businesses, organisations and entrepreneurs in five US states and one Canadian province. It also enhances Rheaply’s position in the construction waste market.

With a $20 million fund raising round completed in June 2022, Rheaply’s growth plans include developing a solution for organisations to report the embodied carbon avoided from reusing materials. This may attract investors in US BCSD’s Carbon Collaborative network.

Rheaply’s technology based platform reduces industrial waste 

Rheaply is using technology to improve waste management by creating awareness and helping companies dispose and reuse industrial waste. The construction and demolition market is one of its areas of prime focus, which it shares with MM.

It provides a cloud-based technology platform which helps companies to reduce their carbon footprint by helping them dispose of materials at the end of their useful life. Companies get to realise value from salvageable materials, while reducing their environmental impact.

The US Green Building Council (USGBC), which is responsible for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating for buildings, has listed Rheaply’s resource exchange platform as one of its top 10 green innovative products and technologies for 2022.

Fundraising success drives growth strategies

Rheaply has raised over $30 million since its seed funding round in 2020, including $20 million in an inter-series funding round in June 2022. Rheaply plans to invest these funds in building carbon- and sustainability-related reporting features into its platform.

Its latest product idea is to help companies report the estimated embodied carbon avoided from reusing materials. A strategic focus when it raised $8 million in its series A round in 2021 was to build, or acquire, a materials marketplace – a goal that has now been fulfilled

Materials Marketplace expands Rheaply’s geographic footprint

By working with manufacturers, recycling companies and business owners, MM has diverted over 9,000 tons of material to next use, diverting them from being sent to landfills. It earned the Circulars Circulars Digital Disruptor award at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2016. 

The network is active in five US states including Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas (Austin), and Washington, and also in Canada (Ontario). It has plans to expand further, but those may now be subject to Rheaply’s plans for growing its business.

In addition to providing an online marketplace of materials available or needed, MM also facilitates discussions and conversations between businesses, which enables the exchange of business ideas and information.

As a “social” network for local and regional businesses, especially in the industrial sector, MM gives Rheaply a good base to build on for its future products, like the embodied carbon solution. It may also build on its technology solutions to grow its business.

US BCSD’s Carbon Collaborative programme an added bonus 

Building on over 25 years of experience of developing business networks, US BCSD is a global network partner of the Switzerland based World Business Council for Sustainable Development. It comprises a network of 200 member companies with $8.5 trillion in combined revenues and 70 global network partners.

US BCSD has been involved in various sustainability related programs in the country, including the Louisiana Water Synergy Project, Energy Efficiency in Buildings Laboratory (EEB Lab), Materials Marketplace (recently sold to Rheaply), and the Carbon Collaborative.

As a cross-industry platform, the Carbon Collaborative is designed to mobilise US businesses to reduce carbon emissions while also enhancing economic vitality – and that means cross-industry collaborations. Given the economic benefits of the cost savings on energy and materials use, as well as a reduction in waste, it means it also focuses on finding ways for US companies to invest in carbon reducing innovation and technologies.

Having already established a relationship with US BCSD, it seems likely that Rheaply will get involved in such development plans.

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