Planet A Foods Raises $15.4 Million Funding to Expand Global Presence of Its Cocoa-Free Chocolate Brand
By Jace Dela Cruz
Feb 02, 2024 01:00 AM EST
Feb 02, 2024 01:00 AM EST
B2B sustainable ingredients firm Planet A Foods has raised $15.4 million in Series A funding to expand the global presence of its sustainable cocoa-free chocolate brand.
Co-founded by siblings Drs. Max and Sara Marquart in 2021, the Munich-based company initially operated under the name QOA.
Max Marquart told TechCrunch that the move to change the name to Planet A Foods was that "there is no Planet B" because of climate change and other environmental threats to the cocoa-producing industry.
Reflecting the founders' commitment to addressing global warming, Max emphasized the urgency and the "need to pay attention" to environmental degradation to make sure "Earth survives."
According to TechCrunch, the chocolate industry has faced challenges due to climate-related issues, leading to a 45-year high in chocolate prices in 2023.
Cocoa bean futures trading last year reached $4,362 per tonne, marking an 84% increase from 2022. Despite these challenges, the global chocolate confectionery industry is projected to increase 5.6% annually through 2028.
Planet A Foods distinguished itself by using fermentation technology to transform locally sourced, all-natural ingredients, such as oats and sunflower seeds, into its cocoa-free chocolate, ChoViva, which can be used for baking or making ice cream.
It reportedly contains up to 30% less sugar than traditional chocolate and has a low carbon footprint due to using local ingredients and having short supply chains.
Planet A Foods is expecting to have an eight-figure revenue by the end of this year as the company plans to expand globally, beginning with the United Kingdom, followed by other European markets, the United States, and Asia.
The company will reportedly use the capital to make strategic hires, fuel mass-market expansion, and drive down costs for its chocolate brand, ChoViva.
"Fuelled by the funding, we not only broadened our product portfolio but also enhanced taste and texture, solidifying our position as the leading force in the alternative cocoa and chocolate sector," Sara Marquart said in a statement.
"The Series A additionally expedited the advancement of our technology platform, allowing us to hire top-tier experts in the realms of lipids, chocolate, and synbio," she added."
World Fund reportedly led the Series A round with participation from an investor group that included Omnes Capital, Mudcake, Cherry Ventures, Feast Ventures, Nucleus Capital, and Triple Point Capital.
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