Funding

[Funding alert] Guildford-based Nukoko Raises over €1.3 Million in Seed Funding

Mar 22, 2024 | By Startup Rise EU

  • NuKoKo represents the next generation of bean-to-bar production.
  • NuKoKo secures €1.3 million in seed funding
  • With the seed funding, Nukoko will be able to increase the number of researchers and developers in order to better enhance their capacity to match different cocoa flavour profiles
UK food startup Nukoko secure funding to scale up cocoa-free-chocolate

Nukoko, a Uk startup, the world’s first ‘bean-to-bar’ cocoa-free chocolate maker, raises over €1.3 million in seed funding.

With investment from SOSV, The Mills Fabrica, and an Innovate UK grant to scale their groundbreaking technology, Oyster Bay Venture Capital led this round.

Three specialists in the cocoa industry have joined forces to save the chocolate industry, as the price of cocoa is at an all-time high and a 25% supply drop is projected by 2033. The domestic fava bean can now be used to make chocolate thanks to Nukoko's technology.

Fava beans are a nitrogen-fixing plant that is frequently grown as a rotating crop in agriculture. This helps Nukoko's chocolate substitute emit up to 90% less CO2 than conventional chocolate.

This is accomplished without the need for more deforestation or any associated problems with child labour. Their "bean-to-bar" chocolate has 40% less sugar and all the healthy nutritional advantages of fava beans, including high protein, fibre, and antioxidants.

Since earning a spot in the esteemed biotech programme IndieBio in New York (2023), making the Foodtech 500 (2024), and obtaining development agreements with the Coop group—a well-known Swiss food firm with more than 2,500 retail locations—Nukoko has garnered significant traction.

Co-founder Ross Newton said: “We have worked in the cocoa industry for over 10 years, and we love it but the chocolate industry as we know it is in trouble. We’re on the back of a 3-year supply deficit resulting in a cocoa price that is crippling the manufacturers and impacting consumers.”

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Prof. David Salt stated: “At Nukoko we want to provide a viable alternative to chocolate, that is from a trusted ingredient with a natural and planet-positive production process. We believe that being a true and authentic ‘bean-to-bar’ manufacturer, that uses fava beans, not cocoa beans to make our chocolate alternative, sets us apart and resonates with consumers”

Co-founder Kit Tomlinson said: “Nukoko’s ability to provide a 1:1 replacement for cocoa and chocolate to the manufacturing market with a natural, plant-based product that is more sustainable, cost-effective and healthier than chocolate is transformative. We are on a mission to make a profound difference and drastically reduce the impact of the chocolate industry on the planet.”

With the financing, Nukoko will be able to increase the number of researchers and developers in order to better enhance their capacity to match different cocoa flavour profiles, as well as scale up their technique to industrial scale manufacturing prior to market launch.

In order to help some of the largest food manufacturers startup make the transition to a more sustainable but equally delicious future, Nukoko's commercial approach combines important retail and B2B alliances.

About Nukoko

Nukoko was established in 2022 by seasoned chocolate entrepreneurs Ross Newton and Kit Tomlinson, in collaboration with Professor David Salt, a specialist in cocoa research. The company's fermentation method is remarkably similar to that of conventional cocoa fermentation.

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