Huelthe European food products supplier, has sold more than 270 million meals worldwide since Julian Hearn founded the company in 2015. Now with $24 million in fresh capital, it plans to do even more.
It’s been a while since we covered Huel, which originally launched in the UK in 2017 with a low-sugar, plant-based and low-carbon protein powder product and has since expanded into ready-to-drink, snack bars and hot lunch options.
In 2019, we reported on them when they launched their nutrition bars in the US. At the time, the company was backed by a $20 million Highland Europe-led investment round against a $260 million valuation raised in 2018. There was even there is talk of an IPO of Huel in 2021.
Today, much of the company’s sales take place outside the UK, with American “Hueligans,” the company’s loyal fans, representing Huel’s second-largest market, followed by Germany and Japan, CEO James McMaster said. to businessroundups.org.
The company has now grown to 250 people, including a small office in New York. Year-over-year sales growth is 40%, to $170 million, which McMaster attributes to that strong new customer growth, the launch of ready-to-eat hot lunch products (among others), and the company’s transition from direct-to-consumer only to also stores.
“We are at the stage where we can continue to focus on that growth with this second round of funding,” he said. “We continue to innovate with new products and are very proud of where we are going. We are now the company that we hope can become a truly global brand.”
Highland Europe is back to lead that new $24 million infusion, which now values Huel at $560 million. This time, the venture capital fund joins a star-studded group of new investors, including actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, also a UN Goodwill Ambassador, television host Jonathan Ross and Grace Beverley, CEO of sustainable activewear brand TALA. .
“I’ve been a Hueligan for several years now and started my journey while preparing for my role in ‘Thor’ so coming on board with Huel was an easy decision,” Idris Elba said in a written statement. “I believe in their mission to provide whole foods in a sustainable way. There are some exciting projects coming up and I look forward to spreading the word and raising awareness about healthy, low-carbon food.”
Meanwhile, the new financing will also be used for further international expansion, with a focus on the US. The investment will also support new product innovation and continued expansion online and in stores.
As part of Elbas’ investment, one of the new projects will see Huel partnering with them on their climate change initiative to help people eat at 1.5 degrees Celsius, the global warming limit. Paris Climate Agreement trying to reach.
Huel meals fit within a diet tailored to support that reduction, and the company “is delighted to partner with Idris and Sabrina as we try as much as we can to be a force for good in the world,” added McMaster to it.