Wholsum Foods, which owns healthy snack brand Slurrp Farm, secured funding worth $7 million from the Investment Corporation of Dubai, the sovereign wealth fund of the government of Dubai, and India-based investment fund Fireside Ventures.
The funds will be used to increase the brand's global footprint, boost its marketing and support product innovation, Wholsum Foods said on Wednesday.
They will also help the company advance its “core purpose of developing millet-based products with zero junk ingredients” while boosting demand for millet and other grains.
“We are growing steadily and currently clocking in over Dh25m [$6.8m] of revenue run rate, with an aim to reach Dh250m in revenue by 2025,” said founders and co-chief executives Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik.
“The funds raised will enable us to build a global FMCG [fast moving consumer goods] brand and take millets to the world.”
Ms Narayan and Ms Malik, former executives at McKinsey & Co and JP Morgan, respectively, founded Slurrp Farm in 2016 after noticing a gap in the market for healthy snacks for children.
They formed Wholsum Foods by reworking recipes used in their own homes and developed them into commercial products.
The global healthy snacks market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 4.2 per cent from 2019 to $108.1 billion by 2027, according to Fortune Business Insights.
The Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the shift to healthy food, Wholsum Foods said, with Slurrp Farm growing tenfold growth between June 2020 and December 2021.
Slurrp Farm, based in India, entered the UAE market in 2021, and is looking to grow its offline and online presence in the region by 40 per cent in the next 12 months, the company said.
It also started retail operations in the UK and the US last year.
“The Slurrp Farm brand is backed by the goodness of superfood ingredients like millets and has built enormous appeal for itself since inception,” Nader Bekhouche, principal for investment (growth equity) at ICD, said.
“We seek to partner with companies like Wholsum Foods that are building innovative digital-first brands that focus on good for consumers and good for the world while also enjoying a large shareholder value creation opportunity. We believe that Wholsum Foods … is poised to achieve significant scale.”
Wholsum Foods previously raised $2m from Fireside Ventures in 2020 and $1m from more than 20 angel investors, including Reckitt Benckiser's former chief executive Rakesh Kapoor, Info Edge founder and executive chairman Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Aditya Ghosh, board member at Akasa, Fab India and Oyo, and Yasemin Lamy, deputy chief investment officer of impact investment group CDC.