Functional food start-up uses carbon negative microalgae to help offset climate change and offer superfood soft drink alternative
Health-drink start-up FUL Foods is preparing to launch its soft drink range in the UK retail market as it moves towards closing a €1.25 million Pre-seed round.
Speaking to NutritionInvestor, FUL Foods co-founder Julia Streuli said the company raised the convertibles round throughout 2020 and 2021 during which time it scaled its in-house production technology and commercialised the first product offering.
The round was led by Netherlands-based sustainability tech VC SHIFT Investment along with a number of business angels and a family office.
FUL’s beverages are made with the microalgae spirulina which converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, proteins and minerals and assists with reversing climate change.
FUL is seeking value-added investors to participate in a Seed round in Q3 2022 to support the launches in the US and APAC.
“We’ve seen interest from players in Australia and we see it as a way to enter APAC. There is quite a big opportunity in certain Asian markets so the idea would be to establish our distribution partners there and lay the foundation for getting production up and running,” Streuli told NutritionInvestor.
The capital will also support the hiring of a CMO to drive marketing and branding efforts amid the start-up’s global expansion.
“That will be a priced round and the idea is to bring in value-added investors on the distribution and branding side,” Streuli said.
FUL has worked with creative design and branding agency Pearl Fisher and production house The Clerkenwell Brothers on establishing its digital presence.
On FUL’s imminent UK launch, Streuli said: “The first step was to get the DTC business up and running the UK. We’ve just signed a distributor partner and we’ll be launching in early 2022.”
The company sources its own spirulina as Streuli noted many commercially available options were not viable for the company’s products.
“We realised for our purpose it was going to be very tricky from an organoleptic perspective, meaning the way it tastes, smells and integrates in food.
“To produce a product that can be consumed and distributed globally, and has a shelf-life of a year, you need to focus on building out some of those capabilities for the ingredients,” Streuli added.
Date published: 17 December 2021