Cocoa-free chocolate manufacturer, WNWN, has announced that it has raised $5.6 million to scale up manufacturing and prepare for its UK retail launch.
The round was led by PeakBridge, a food tech venture capital (VC) firm that invests in “innovative, scalable, climate- and health-focused companies,” in order to have a lasting impact on food systems. It also included participation from FoodLabs, Martin Braun-Gruppe, Mustard Seed Maze, PINC, Investbridge AgriTech and HackCapital.
WNWN’s CEO, Ahrum Pak, said: “This blend of VCs gives us deep and strategic food tech experience to make a significant positive impact, and with PeakBridge’s partnership and team, we are well on our way to creating a tastier, more ethical future of food. This investment is also very timely given the new European ban on cocoa linked to deforestation, as WNWN can reduce the cocoa supply chain’s strain on the planet and on cocoa farmers entrenched in poverty.”
WNWN uses a proprietary fermentation process to transform plant-based ingredients like cereals and legumes into a cocoa-free product that, according to the company, “tastes, melts, snaps and bakes just like chocolate”. WNWN also states that its vegan, caffeine-free, gluten-free, palm oil-free innovations “produce 80% less carbon emissions than conventional chocolates, based on an internal lifecycle analysis”.
Erich Sieber, founding partner at PeakBridge, said: “Not only does WNWN’s product have the potential to offer health benefits and address sustainability concerns, but it also opens up a world of exciting flavour possibilities. We are confident that WNWN will lead the charge in this category and are proud to be part of this journey.”
WNWN’s CTO, Johnny Drain, added: “This funding is a validation of our science and our ability to scale”.
The raise comes after WNWN announced the expansion of its Hackney, London, manufacturing facility in November last year.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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