Banking & Finance, Food Service & Agriculture, and Manufacturing

Food maker's VC fund leads $4.2M investment in 'superfood' startup

February 3, 2017
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Lisa Curtis
Lisa Curtis. Photo via fb.com

A food maker’s recently announced venture capital fund has made its first investment.

Eighteen94 capital, the VC fund of Battle Creek-based Kellogg Company, said last month it led a $4.25-million Series A funding of Kuli Kuli, an Oakland, California-based maker of moringa-based products.

Other institutional investors in the round were InvestEco and S2G Ventures.

Moringa is a complete plant protein produced by trees grown in semi-arid and tropical areas. Its leaves, pods and oil can provide a good source of iron, calcium, vitamin A and other nutrients.

Kuli Kuli products include Moringa Superfood Bars, Pure Moringa Powder and Moringa Green Energy Shots.

Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli founder and CEO, said Kuli Kuli sources high-quality moringa from women's cooperatives across west Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

"We continue to grow our moringa supply chain by providing fair, sustainable wages to farmers and women-led co-operatives around the world,” Curtis said.

Simon Burton, managing director of eighteen94 capital and now a member of the Kuli Kuli board of directors, said the fund sees potential for “ongoing high growth” in backing a “new superfood category.”

Eighteen94 capital was launched last June to invest primarily in companies pursuing “next-generation innovation, bolstering Kellogg Company's access to cutting-edge ideas and trends.” 

The investment mandate includes a focus on startups pioneering new ingredients, foods, packaging and enabling technology.

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