Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio is among the investors to back Hippeas, the US brand of snack chickpea puffs.
DiCaprio joins Strand Equity Partners – the growth equity fund that also has interests in Revive kombucha, Popchips and Wtrmln Wtr – as one of the most recent backers behind the brand. Joe Serventi, general manager of Hippeas, has also invested in the brand.
DiCaprio is no stranger to investing in food and drink brands: last May, he supported organic guayusa leaf tea brand Runa.
After buying a stake, he committed to donating his shares to indigenous farming communities in the Amazon, where Runa sources the guayusa leaf used in its teas and energy drinks.
Hippeas CEO and co-Founder Livio Bisterzo said: “I’m truly excited that Strand Equity Partners and Leonardo have joined the Hippeas family. As the brand continues to grow with such momentum in the marketplace, it’s incredible to bring on board partners who align with our vision and values as a company. We are very enthusiastic to be sharing in this journey with them.”
“Hippeas is a high-growth and differentiated brand that has been created in a short amount of time,” said Seth Rodsky, managing partner of Strand Equity Partners. “The unprecedented traction the brand has achieved is a testament to its unique offering that combines nutrition with a creative flavour profile. We look forward to partnering with Livio, and the talented management team at Hippeas, to lead the next evolution of ‘better-for-you’ snacking.”
The range of chickpea snacks is currently sold in over 20,000 stores in the US and UK with customers including Starbucks, Whole Foods and Waitrose.
Hippeas are described as ‘light and crunchy’, with 3g of fibre and 4g of protein in every serving. The snacks are low in calories and packed in one-the-go 1oz bags.
The brand also has a conscious side: Hippeas believes that ‘tasting good’ and ‘doing good’ are philosophies that go hand in hand, and has partnered with the charity Farm Africa to help end hunger and bring wealth to rural East Africa.
For each pack sold, the brand will donate a portion of sales to support farmers in the region to grow themselves out of poverty, helping them build a more prosperous life for themselves and their families.
It joins the likes of Wtrmln Wtr, which has received investment from Beyoncé, as an upstart backed by a celebrity investor.
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