US moringa brand Kuli Kuli has received $5 million in a series B funding round, including investment from Eighteen94 Capital, Kellogg’s venture capital arm, and product development company Griffith Foods.
The investment will help Kuli Kuli launch its new moringa ingredient business while continuing to boost output of its moringa powder, bars, and shots.
Similar in taste to matcha, moringa is said to be a versatile ingredient that adds a “complete protein” and an array of vitamins and health benefits for various applications.
Following the rise of matcha and turmeric, Kuli Kuli believes that moringa will soon be found in many products, from beverages to desserts.
Over the past five years, the brand has looked to pioneer moringa in the US, building a sustainable supply chain of small moringa farmers while selling moringa-based products in 7,000 stores.
Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli founder and CEO, said: “After Eighteen94 Capital led Kuli Kuli’s Series A financing in 2017, Kuli Kuli’s retail business tripled. We’re thrilled to continue to partner with Kellogg to grow our retail business while partnering with Griffith Foods to expand into the foodservice and ingredient space.
Simon Burton, managing director of Eighteen94 Capital, said: “Kuli Kuli was Eighteen94’s first investment and has served as a model for how large food companies can partner with start-ups to the benefit of both. We’re thrilled to grow and strengthen our partnership with Kuli Kuli.”
Griffith Foods plans to include moringa in its range of ingredient offerings for its foodservice customers, processors, retailers and distributors across 30 countries.
Brian Griffith, the company’s executive chairman, said: “Griffith Foods’ purpose, that ‘we blend care and creativity to nourish the world’, calls us to find innovative solutions to changing needs. We also know that Griffith Foods cannot do this alone.
“Our strategic partnership with Kuli Kuli will help both companies elevate moringa as an exciting new ingredient, and we look forward to bringing this sustainable and healthy offering to the food sector.”
Other investors in the round included InvestEco, S2G Ventures, Authentic Ventures, VilCap Investments and Rocana Venture Partners.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019