LONDON — Plant-based nutrition brand Huel has closed a $24 million funding round, valuing the business at $560 million. The capital will be used to support product innovation and continued expansion around the world and particularly in the United States, according to the company.
Founded in 2015, Huel markets an assortment of ready-to-drink meal replacement beverages, heat-and-eat meals, protein powders and snack bars formulated with plant-based ingredients such as oats, peas, rice, flaxseed, coconut and sunflower. The products deliver a complete balance of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, essential fats and phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, according to the company.
Huel has sold more than 270 million meals to date, with half of sales outside the United Kingdom. As of July, the brand had annual revenues of $170 million, growing 40% over the prior year, driven by new customer acquisition, product launches and expansion into retail stores.
The funding round was led by existing investor Highland Europe, with participation by actor Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, both United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors who will partner with the brand to boost its commitment to tackling poor nutrition and climate change.
“I’ve been a Hueligan for several years now, starting my journey while preparing for my role in ‘Thor,’ so to come on board with Huel was an easy decision,” Mr. Elba said. “I believe in their mission to deliver nutritionally complete food, sustainably. We have some exciting projects coming up, and I look forward to spreading the message and raising awareness around healthy, low-carbon food.”
Additional investors include television presenter Jonathan Ross and fitness entrepreneur Grace Beverley.
“Highland Europe have been a strong backer for our business in the last four years, and we’re delighted about the extra support from Idris, Sabrina, Grace and Jonathan,” said James McMaster, chief executive officer of Huel. “Our investors have all expressed their belief for what we are trying to achieve at Huel — making nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food, with minimal impact on animals and the environment.“We are trying to change the way the world thinks about food, and Huel offers a solution to help people make easy changes to their food choices. We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with Idris and Sabrina to raise awareness of the role of food in climate change, and to encourage individuals and the industry in general to move towards a food system based on sustainable nutrition.”