LiquiDonate, a female and immigrant founded climate tech startup bringing sustainable solutions to retail returns, announced today that it has raised $2.25 million in seed funding, led by Uncork Capital. Following successful pilots with large retailers like RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) and small businesses like Merch Kitchen, the injection of new capital will be used to scale both retail and nonprofit adoption. Additional investors in LiquiDonate include Sean Plaice, co-founder of Postmates, Gene D’Ovidio, a previous executive of RH, Sean Behr, CEO of Fountain and Founder of Shopping.com, and Jill Greenwald, a nonprofit Board Member.
“Nonprofit organizations do life changing work and solve some of the biggest problems we face locally and globally”Tweet this
Each year, 6 billion pounds of waste is generated through returns. 80% of retail returns end up in the landfill, while the other 20% go into a costly, inefficient, and often wasteful liquidation process. According to an analysis by the National Retail Federation, shoppers returned an average of 16.6% of their purchases in 2021 equating to a loss of $761 billion to retailers, more than the annual budget of the U.S. Department of Defense. Concurrently, there is an increased interest for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting combined with a growing demand by consumers for corporate sustainability accountability. A problem of this magnitude can only be solved using technology.
Founded in 2021 by two ex-Postmates employees, LiquiDonate provides retailers a sustainable solution for the costly and often messy reverse logistics flow, by seamlessly donating excess goods to nonprofits. LiquiDonate’s tech-based solution for landfill diversion saves retailers billions of dollars, while having a direct social impact on local nonprofits. Nonprofits get items for free, allowing them to spend their donation dollars on other programmatic costs. LiquiDonate’s products, the Donation as a Service API and matching algorithm, are in line with multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals. The scalable API is built to handle millions of item donations from enterprise retailers, and instantaneously match them to nonprofits.
“Our goal is to do some of the most extreme landfill diversion in the world while increasing the accessibility of quality items for nonprofits who need them the most,” said Disney “Diz” Petit, Founder and CEO of LiquiDonate. “With the funds secured through Uncork Capital, we look forward to building our team to further scale our impact.”
Petit is joined by Chai Nadig, who’s a co-founder and CTO. During their time together at Postmates, Petit led the sustainability and social impact efforts while Nadig built the tech-for-good products. Together, they built food security products that salvaged food waste from restaurants to aid in curbing the hunger crisis. Additionally, the team was awarded the Time Magazine Invention of the Year award for their creation and implementation of Bento, a first of its kind SMS non-smartphone access to the Postmates restaurant network. With LiquiDonate, Petit and Nadig have taken their institutional knowledge and applied it to the retail waste problem.
“LiquiDonate is built to prove that you can do both good for the world and save on operational costs,” said Tripp Jones, a partner at Uncork Capital. “It is no longer a trade-off when you use technology to bridge these two worlds that do not often interact. With Diz and Chai’s experience from building FoodFight! and Bento at Postmates, two food security products with huge impacts, they’ve already proven they are the right team and this is the right time.”
In less than a year, LiquiDonate has diverted over 20,000 pounds of material from landfills, generated over 10,000 donations, and saved nonprofits, schools, and community members over $100,000 by matching a quality second-hand item with them versus buying a new one.
“Nonprofit organizations do life changing work and solve some of the biggest problems we face locally and globally,” said Casey Hagerman, Executive Director at A Meal With Dignity. “Being able to receive automatic notifications about items that we can use for our nonprofit office or clients to make us more efficient means we can spend our donor dollars on programmatic work to help us meet our mission faster.”
LiquiDonate is a member of Pledge 1%, donating 1% of their time, product, profit, and equity to nonprofits around the world. They rang the NASDAQ opening bell for Giving Tuesday with the Pledge 1% team on November 29, 2022. To celebrate, LiquiDonate is launching a nationwide virtual coat drive at liquidonate.com/donate. Coats nationwide can be uploaded from your homes and the matching software will find the best nonprofit or school fit for the coat. Nonprofits are invited to register at www.LiquiDonate.com/register-nonprofit.
LiquiDonate is a sustainable social impact solution for retailers, businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations. The platform matches unsellable items with local nonprofits saving large retailers billions of dollars every year while helping them meet their ESG goals.
Laura Beachy | Beachy@BeachyMedia.com | 814.279.9825