Kuli Kuli raises $4.25 million to make moringa a mainstay in the US diet

Oakland-based meat startup Kuli Kuli has raised $4.25 million in a Series A round of funding to bring moringa, a high-protein plant, to more kitchens in the U.S ., according to CEO and co-founder Lisa Curtis.

During her time are present in Niger for the Peace Corps, Curtis got a appreciation for the moringa plant, which grows pervasively in tropical climates and was highest in iron, calcium and protein than other leafy light-greens, even kale. But on her stateside yield, she couldnt find moringa in groceries. She co-founded the company in 2011 with a dual mission to construct moringa popular back home and support women farmers around the world.

Kuli Kuli connects with women who are farmers in Western africa, South America and the Caribbean, purchasing their moringa reaps at a fair cost and sometimes furnishing additional supporting, through select projects, which help the farmers and their communities plant moringa trees, and learn about nutrition. To date, the company reports that it has supported 800 wives farmers and enabled to plant 200,000 moringa trees.

The Kellogg Companys brand-new venture limb, Eighteen9 4 Capital , conducted the Series A round in the for-profit for-good startup Kuli Kuli. The money was to participate in meat and environment-minded investors S2G Ventures and InvestEco, along with individual angels. The deal represent the firstly for Kelloggs brand-new money, which it formed with Touchdown Ventures in June last year.

Eighteen9 4 Capital Managing Director Simon Burton told while Kelloggs doesnt develop any food items that use moringa as an ingredient, the company will help Kuli Kuli Foods figure out how to steer through its next stage of rise. He told, Theres a lot of potential here, whether its the nutrition or the super meat slant, for moringa and Kuli Kuli to scale. Were watching investigation trends that look like the trend lines around something like quinoa ten years ago.

Since its earliest days, Kuli Kuli has utilized technology in fundraising, debuting its products on Indiegogo, connecting with angel investors through AgFunder and raising a loan through Kiva. The startup also employs proprietary technology in processing the moringa plant, a so-called superfood, into barrooms, powders, tea and energy shots.

It has also lead recipe competitors online, including information judged by nobility chef Jos Andrs, to drum up interest in cook with moringa. Wins got a trip-up to dine with the chef at his China Chilcano restaurant in Washington , D.C.

Kuli Kuli also has brand-new products in the works for liberation in 2017, Curtis said. The corporation will likely sell those direct to customers online firstly, before rolling them out nationally to brick and mortar groceries. But funds will mainly be used forgetting Kuli Kulis moringa products into more patrons hands.

Our goal with this capital is to really expand our distribution. We are in 3,000 storages already including lots of natural food stores, Whole Foods and others. But there are more regions marriage like to be, including conventional retailers. We have a firstly to market advantage and high winds is at our backs right now, the CEO said.

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