Kind Kones, a Singapore-based vegan ice cream startup, has scooped up S$1 million (US$753,900) in its first external capital raise. The company, which currently operates in Singapore and Malaysia, says that the funds will be used to expand its distribution network and build its global presence amid the rising appetite for healthier dairy-free alternatives.
Announced on Wednesday (January 13), Kind Kones has secured S$1 million (US$753,900) in fresh capital in its first fundraising round led by Singapore-based venture capital firm DSG Consumer Partners. The round also saw participation from Sabre Ventures, alongside other undisclosed investors.
This funding is a great stepping stone for us to work towards building global brand presence and develop new distribution channels.Ishpal Bajaj, Co-Founder & CEO, Kind Kones
The Singapore-headquartered startup, which currently has operations in the city and in Malaysia, says that the funding will go towards expanding the brand internationally and forging new distribution partnerships to grow its presence. As of now, the company has six outlets and is also available on two e-commerce platforms.
“This funding is a great stepping stone for us to work towards building global brand presence and develop new distribution channels. We are excited to have DSG together with us on this journey,” said Ishpal Bajaj, CEO and co-founder of Kind Kones.
Our goal was to develop a nice cream that was better-for-you and the planet than the conventional options available, and to prove that the vegan label or a healthier option does not mean you have to compromise on taste.Kind Kones
Bajaj co-founded Kind Kones in 2017 with Serina Singhsachathet, after experimenting with different plant-based ice cream recipes in a home kitchen. Their line of products, all handcrafted in small batches, are free from dairy, soy, eggs, preservatives and additives, and are made from 100% plant-based ingredients like coconut, cashews and almonds. Kind Kones also offers flourless gluten-free and vegan cones across its ice cream outlets.
“Our goal was to develop a nice cream that was better-for-you and the planet than the conventional options available, and to prove that the vegan label or a healthier option does not mean you have to compromise on taste,” said the duo on the brand’s website.
Commenting on their decision to back Kind Kones, Deepak Shahdadpuri, managing partner at DSG Consumer Partners, said that it believes the early-stage company is led by a “team that you believe can adapt” in the fast-growing plant-based segment.
Demand for dairy-free alternatives have grown significantly over the past years from changing consumer tastes for more sustainable options, but the sector has seen a major surge in recent months since the coronavirus pandemic, driving what experts say is a long-term trend dealing a huge blow to the dairy industry.
Amid bullish forecasts for plant-based dairy alternatives in the coming years, investors have been pouring money into a number of vegan ice cream startups, including Eclipse Foods in a star-studded US$12 million Series A and Madrid-based food tech Pink Albatross, who boasts a group of ex-Nestlé directors among its core backers.
All images courtesy of Kind Kones.