WNWN Raises a $5.6 Million Series A for Its Cacao-Free Chocolate and a ‘More Ethical Future of Food’
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WNWN Food Labs, the world’s first producer of sustainable, cocoa-free chocolate, has raised $5.6 million in a Series A financing round that it says will help the company scale up its manufacturing for a retail launch later this year.
WNWN’s raise was led by the food tech VC, PeakBridge with participation from FoodLabs (formerly Atlantic Food Labs), Geschwister Oetker Beteiligungen Group’ subsidiary, Martin Braun-Gruppe, as well as Mustard Seed Maze, PINC, Investbridge AgriTech, and HackCapital.
‘More ethical future of food’
“This blend of VCs gives us deep and strategic food tech experience to make a significant positive impact, and with PeakBridge’s partnership and team, we are well on our way to create a tastier, more ethical future of food,” WNWN CEO Ahrum Pak said in a statement. “This investment is also very timely given the new European ban on cocoa linked to deforestation, as WNWN can reduce the cocoa supply chain’s strain on the planet and on cocoa farmers entrenched in poverty.”
WNWN is making a cacao-free product that looks, tastes, melts, snaps, and bakes like conventional chocolate but its product is free from palm oil — an unsustainable ingredient common in chocolate bars. WNWN says its products are also lower in sugar than conventional chocolate, contain no gluten, and are free of caffeine, which naturally occurs in conventional chocolate in small amounts.
But the main upsell WNWN is focused on is the reduced carbon footprint of its chocolate. Made from plant-based ingredients including cereals and legumes, WNWN says its cacao-free chocolate products produce 80 percent fewer carbon emissions than conventional chocolate based on ints own lifecycle analysis.
‘Conventional supply chains can’t keep up’
WNWN has launched several limited-run products in the last year that sold out within hours of launching — the first was dark choc thins and the second, dubbed ‘Waim! bar’, was a spin on the classic Daim bar. The company says with the new funding, it can scale and bring more products to market.
“Ingredient innovations like WNWN’s are key to building a more resilient, equitable, sustainable food system, and this in turn opens the doors to other goals like responsible production and consumption,” said Erich Sieber, Founding Partner at PeakBridge. “Not only does WNWN’s product have the potential to offer health benefits and address sustainability concerns, but it also opens up a world of exciting flavor possibilities. We are confident that WNWN will lead the charge in this category and are proud to be part of this journey.”
WNWN CTO Dr. Johnny Drain says the funding is “validation of our science” and the company’s ability to scale. “With demand for chocolate said to be increasing year over year, conventional supply chains can’t keep up, at least not at the expense of the planet and human dignity.”