US moringa superfood brand Kuli Kuli has raised $5m in a Series B financing round, co-led by product development company Griffith Foods and previous investor eighteen94 capital, a venture capital arm of Kellogg Company.

Other institutional investors that participated in the financing round include InvestEco, S2G Ventures, Authentic Ventures, VilCap Investments and Rocana Venture Partners, as well as women-focused groups such as Portfolia, Astia Angels, Next Wave Impact and individuals from Golden Seeds.

Kuli Kuli will use the investment to launch its moringa ingredient business while continuing to scale its moringa powder, bars and shots business.

Moringa is an ingredient, which is said to offer an array of vitamins and health benefits in commercial applications for producing nutritious and highly functional foods.

“Our strategic partnership with Kuli Kuli will help both companies elevate moringa as an exciting new ingredient.”

Griffith Foods executive chairman Brian Griffith said: “Griffith Foods’ purpose, that ‘we blend care and creativity to nourish the world,’ calls us to find innovative solutions to changing needs. We also know that Griffith Foods cannot do this alone.

“Our strategic partnership with Kuli Kuli will help both companies elevate moringa as an exciting new ingredient, and we look forward to bringing this sustainable and healthy offering to the food sector.”

Additionally, Griffith Foods is planning to include moringa in its range of ingredient offerings for the company’s foodservice customers, processors, retailers and distributors across 30 countries.

Over the past five years, Kuli Kuli has been building a sustainable supply chain of small moringa farmers and selling moringa products in 7,000 stores.

Kuli Kuli founder and CEO Lisa Curtis said: “After eighteen94 capital led Kuli Kuli’s Series A financing in 2017, Kuli Kuli’s retail business tripled. We’re thrilled to continue to partner with Kellogg to grow our retail business while partnering with Griffith Foods to expand into the foodservice and ingredient space.”

Similar to the rise of matcha and turmeric, Kuli Kuli anticipates that moringa will soon be found in many products from beverages to desserts.

In June 2016, Kellogg established eighteen94 (1894) to make minority investments in organisations pursuing next-generation innovation.

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