£2m Equity For Good
12th December 2022
We have successfully closed our latest funding round with a £2 million raise to grow the positive impact of our business.
Equity For Good Principles
All investors have again committed to our unique investment model, Equity For Good.
You can read our blog post from 2018 when we first devised the principles.
Essentially, whilst purpose-led businesses were doing lots with their products or services, and the processes through which they add value, there was little attention to another area of huge impact: shareholder wealth creation.
When investors sell their shares at a profit, what happens to that additional value? When spent or invested, some of it may do harm to the environment and to society, counteracting the positive actions of the company’s purpose.
Equity For Good was about ensuring that the shareholder value created through the growth of our business (and thanks to our customers supporting our mission), continued to have a positive impact.
Investors sign a legally-binding pledge, agreeing to reinvest their net capital gains in a business or fund that will use it to benefit the environment.
This is additional to not taking dividends, as all our distributable profits go to charity.
Scaling our impact
The funds raised in 2022 will be used to scale our work to prevent bread waste.
We’ve collaborated with 86 breweries since we launched in 2016, supporting them to use surplus bread in their brewing. However, the industry has not yet fully embraced the circular economy.
Challenges range from the food safe, traceable sourcing and effective processing of bread to the efficient use of bread in the brewhouse. Toast has overcome these challenges over the past seven years, and we want to better support the industry.
To date we have upcycled 2.9 million slices of surplus bread, working with a small number of bakeries and sandwich manufacturers in the UK. The investment will enable us to significantly scale our impact, towards our Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal of rescuing 1 billion slices of surplus bread.
Many investors from our first fundraise in 2018 have reinvested in the business. We’re hugely grateful to them for their continued support. One of those investors is the National Geographic Society and Crystal Brown (Chief Communications, Marketing, and Brand Officer) has also joined the Toast board.
We’ve also welcomed a number of new investors, including impact funds and individuals including Paul Polman.
Heineken International has taken a small stake in Toast so that we can collaborate as part of Heineken’s net zero strategy. Heineken has a target to reach net zero carbon emissions in their production by 2030 and their full value chain by 2040. Like Toast, their ambition is to maximise the circularity of their products, moving from take-make-waste to reduce-reuse-recycle.
Michael Gillane, Marketing Director at Heineken, has also joined our Board alongside Crystal. The other Board members are Helen Jones, Paul Lindley, Serge Kremer, Tristram Stuart, Rob Wilson (Toast’s CEO) and Louisa Ziane (Toast’s COO).
We are a small team (six employees!) with a big mission that guides everything we do. We’re excited to continue to build Toast, brewing great beers and spreading big ideas that can change the world.
We’ll update with news about exciting developments in the Spring of 2023. Watch this space.