This week, we've spotted a virtual bakery selling blondies and layer cakes online, a smart bird feeder, and a pre-launch ...
Milk is a staple, but current options aren't great
Dairy is a dietary staple. But it can be tough on our bodies and our planet. Two-thirds of people are lactose-intolerant and cows contribute nearly 10% of annual global greenhouse gases.
Plant-based milks exist, but they force trade-offs. Alternatives often lack key nutrients, contain allergens, and take a toll on the environment (just 1 cup of almond milk takes 90 liters of water!).
Upright: oatmilk as nutritious as dairy (without the cow)
Meet Upright, the good for you go-to. Our first product is a category-defining high-protein, allergen-free instant oatmilk in three creamy, delicious flavors: original, vanilla, and chocolate.
Each tasty cup of Upright oatmilk packs the same key nutrients as dairy, without the unwanted allergens or environmental impact. Ready whenever and wherever you want it: just add water!
Plant-based milk backed by pediatricians
Each cup of Upright packs 8g of oat protein, 25% calcium, 15% vitamins A, B12, D, and 2g of prebiotic oat fibre to support whole-body health. Deliciously mild and creamy, Upright appeals to omnivores, vegans, those with allergies, and picky-eaters alike.
Made with just oats and a blend of key vitamins and minerals, our oatmilk is naturally gluten-free and hypoallergenic. We use natural processes and avoid allergens and additives like lactose, nuts, seeds, soy, oil, gums, and anything artificial.
Drinking Upright also makes an impact. Just one cup saves 39 gallons of water, 1.2 pounds of greenhouse gases, and 19 square feet of land compared to dairy milk. Our Instant Oatmilk is even more eco-friendly, since we're not shipping water.
Shelf-stable and convenient, Upright oatmilk will be available in family-size and lunchbox-friendly single-serving portions in conventional fluid and instant powder forms (just add water!).
Perfect for using at home, in the lunchbox, or on-the-go. It can also be added directly to beverages like tea, coffee, smoothies, or into cooking and baking recipes for an added boost of nutrition.
Developed with experts and kids, coming to 300+ stores
Our recipes were developed for taste and functionality with chefs, baristas, and our toughest critics: kids (their parents helped too!). To ensure each cup packs a full nutritional punch, we've worked with food science and pediatric experts from top organizations like Yale, Harvard, Cornell, and Ohio State, among others.
We know there's demand because we heard it loud and clear: you want instant and you want it online. From over 2000 surveys and interviews, 79% told us they'd buy our Instant Oatmilk online.
We achieved Certified B Corps pending status in 2019, and are on track for full certification once we start production. We're conscious of our impact and are always looking to improve social outcomes through our operations.
Sustainability is at the core of what drives us, and we’re tackling multiple UN sustainable development goals through every facet of our business. Our oats are cultivated by US and Canadian growers and Swedish farmer-owned cooperatives. Profits go back to their farms to be reinvested in a thriving countryside. We're working to localize our suppliers and encourage organic and regenerative practices. One of our partner mills is currently carbon neutral, using oat husks as fuel to power operations as well as 1,500 households in the nearby area. Our NJ and CT manufacturing partners are committed to food safety and quality, and we are proud to work with one that employs and trains refugees.
We’re committed to using only biodegradable or recyclable packaging to preserve the quality and shelf life of our products. We're launching direct-to-consumer to reduce waste and using QR codes that make reordering simple. To bring our products to shelves and families, we've partnered with a warehousing and distribution partner in NJ as well as a women-owned national distributor serving 300+ stores.
For 124M US parents, Upright is the good for you go-to
Upright was created with the Millennial and Gen X parent in mind. Our customers are health conscious and research high-nutrient clean label options. Each is values-driven and aims to live them through every family meal. They seek transparency in ingredients and across supply chains. They're open to exploring new brands and products across channels, and are quality committed and willing to spend a little extra for their family.
There are 124M US parents, and Upright is committed to being the good for you go-to that keeps their family and planet healthy. We’re building a community of conscious consumers. Our products have been co-created with direct feedback from users to reflect their needs and passions. Already, we've seen massive market interest and outreach pre-launch.
Get it online, in stores, and where families learn, work, and play
Upright is launching as a digitally-native, vertical brand with an omnichannel strategy. We'll start online direct-to-consumer to own our customer relationships. Mobile reorders will be made easy through QR codes on our packaging.
We'll collect feedback and refine as needed before expanding to other online markets and retail store shelves. We've already secured Pod Foods as a national distribution partner, which serves 300+ retail stores. We plan to then scale through B2B programs with hospitality, school, and corporate campuses.
Our supply chain is in place and at scale we'll capture 60% gross margins. We plan to price each retail unit of our instant oatmilk at $12 (which makes 16 servings!), and our original oatmilk at $4.
Get in on the ground as we go after a $42B+ market
Demand has never been higher for non-perishable dairy alternatives. As a plant-based dairy analog, Upright is targeting the $42B+ U.S. dairy and alternatives market, with plans for international expansion as plant-based dietary trends accelerate.
Oatmilk is just the start. With a category-defining product, trade secret IP, and omnichannel sales strategy, we project an ARR of $44M by EOY 2024 as we grow our product line and geographies.
Join us to be a part of our rapid early growth. Your investment will enable us to fill initial orders and begin national expansion.
Oatmilk on demand with 2x the protein and 0 allergens
Scanning the shelf, Upright is the obvious choice. We're the only allergen-free instant oatmilk with 8g of oat protein (that's double or more what others offer!) developed with pediatricians.
Our grab-and-go instant sachets offer game-changing convenience. No worrying about refrigeration, messy spills, or lugging bulky cartons when out and about, traveling, or hiking.
We stand for better - for our bodies, communities, and planet
Upright is more than just an oatmilk. We exist to make delicious food that's better for people, and our planet.
We believe that small changes can add up to a big difference. To do this, we're building a portfolio of better foods and beverages that make progress towards our vision of a healthier world.
Bootstrapped with backing from Yale CBEY and Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking
We've bootstrapped our progress with $56K in non-dilutive grants and awards along the way from organizations including the Yale Center for Business and the Environment and Tsai CITY.
We've been efficient with our capital and are now at an inflection point. Your investment will enable us to launch commercial production and begin the next stage of our growth.
Experienced visionaries and operators
Betty and Thu Ra started building Upright after meeting in business school and discovering that they were both passionate about improving our food systems and environment (and both lactose-intolerant!). Together, they've built Upright by pairing their complementary skills and experiences.
Betty grew up in Vancouver, Canada, where she grew interested in wellness and sustainability. Her experience spans strategy, operations, human capital, and digital transformation as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and Kearney advising leaders across industries including consumer goods, manufacturing, agriculture, media, and tech. She is a Yale School of Management MBA candidate specialized in Management Science and holds a BCom in Accounting & Sustainability from the University of British Columbia, and Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell’s T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
Thu Ra was born in Burma and brings a passion for sustainability as well as deep supply chain and manufacturing expertise. He has led manufacturing facilities at leading consumer packaged goods companies including Quaker Oats, PepsiCo, and L’Oreal. He has also successfully launched a logistics startup, Cure Logistics, that continues to grow. He holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, BA in Business & Economics and Psychology from Cornell College, and Masters in Operations Research & Supply Chain from Case Western Reserve University.