Products of the chickpea snacks brand are sold in 50,000 stores across the US and the UK
Photo as seen on Hippeas’ Facebook page

Consumer-focused venture capital fund The Craftory has invested $50 million in Hippeas, a California-based brand making organic chickpea snacks. Its products are sold in the US and the UK. The company intends to use the funds to boost innovation, expand production, increase distribution, and amplify its positive impact.

The financing consisted of direct investment and secondary purchases of shares from existing Hippeas shareholders, including CAVU Venture Partners.

Elio Leoni Sceti, co-founder and chief crafter at The Craftory, said: “I am delighted to add Hippeas to the Craftory’s great portfolio of cause-driven brands. If ever a category has been left behind by the zeitgeist it’s this one. The consumer agenda in snacking has fundamentally changed, and Hippeas stands out as a clear leader.”

Leoni Sceti argued that Hippeas offers zero compromise of flavour and texture, no need to change consumer habits nor expectations, while also being healthier and more sustainable than the more traditional alternatives. “That’s a great proposition and a proven recipe for success. We are happy to welcome Livio and the Hippeas team to the Craftory family.”

Iconic brand

Hippeas is known for its iconic yellow bag with a chickpea smile. The brand debuted in Q2 of 2016 in the US and the UK, with its Organic Chickpea Puffs.

In 2019, the brand launched Organic Tortilla Chips, and both lines are USDA Organic, certified gluten-free and vegan.

The company has secured shelf-space at 50,000 stores, including Starbucks, Whole Foods, Target, CVS, Wegmans, Stop & Shop, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Thrive Market and on Amazon.com.

“Hippeas has grown from a disruptive start-up to a true challenger brand in very competitive snack categories with innovative products, delicious flavours and nutritional offerings that consumers want,” said Livio Bisterzo, Hippeas founder and chief executive. “The brand has the potential to become a household name with its loyal millennial fanbase.”

Bisterzo noted the Covid-19 pandemic has been very difficult for many brands, but Hippeas has been fortunate to have seen strong growth. “We are delighted to have partnered with The Craftory as we head into 2021.”

Key appointments

Hippeas announced the appointment of Greg Buscher as chief financial officer. He is an entrepreneurial executive with 25 years’ C-suite leadership experience.

César Melo has also joined the board of directors. He holds vast global operating experience having held senior leadership roles at Colgate-Palmolive, Mondelez and PepsiCo. Melo currently focuses on investing in and advising early-stage companies in the areas of better-food, better-planet, and better-technology.

Hippeas has raised a total of $22 million in funding over four rounds. Its latest funding was announced in December 2018 when the company raised $8 million with participation of Cavu and individual investor Scott Semel.

Date published: 27 January 2021

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