[Funding alert] Munich-based Planet A Foods Secures €14.2 Million in Series A Round Funding

Thursday 1, 2024 | By Startup Rise EU

Munich-based Planet A Foods secures €14.2 million in series A round funding. The money will be used to support mass-market growth after a historic FMCG alliance was revealed in 2023 and to lower the cost of ChoViva, a B2B foodtech business that makes chocolate substitutes, even more.

Munich-based Planet A Foods secures €14.2 million in series A round funding. The money will be used to support mass-market growth after a historic FMCG alliance was revealed in 2023 and to lower the cost of ChoViva, a B2B foodtech business that makes chocolate substitutes, even more.

World Fund, one of the top climate venture funds in Europe, led the round. Omnes Capital, Cherry Ventures, Mudcake, Nucleus Capital, TriplePoint Capital, Feast Ventures, and many more investors also participated.

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Following the round's closure in 2023, Planet A Foods launched a number of items with REWE, a top European retailer, and is currently getting ready to launch further products with REWE as well as other German and UK shops.

In addition to retailers, Griesson - de Beukelaer, Peter Kölln, Spitz, Hans Freitag & Lufthansa are among Planet A Foods' most important relationships. Recently, Lindt introduced a vegan chocolate confection that includes ChoViva.

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With the help of the funds, the Planet A Foods team has already increased output at its factory, enabling it to create 750 kg of ChoViva each hour in a highly efficient and IFS-certified environment.

Using patented technology, the company's fermentation process transforms locally available, organic ingredients—like oats and sunflower seeds—into ChoViva, a blend of cocoa butter and mass that has a rich, chocolatey flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

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The product can be used as a complete substitute or in a hybrid setting with traditional chocolate. Because local ingredients and short supply chains are used, it has a very low CO2 footprint and up to 30% less sugar.

Dr. Max Marquart, Planet A Foods co-founder and CEO, said: “In the future, chocolate will become more expensive than caviar unless new steps are taken. We are working every day to be part of the solution with ChoViva, through building a second pillar next to chocolate to take some load off the cocoa supply chain. This Series A round has already enabled us to deliver large-scale production and continuously supply our customers with ChoViva. We have become a reliable, trusted industry partner for the German confectionery industry, and demonstrated that we can deliver at price parity with traditional chocolate providers. Now we are gearing up for our international expansion in 2024 and beyond, and are looking for the next Willy Wonkas to help us scale and enter new markets!”

Dr. Sara Marquart, Planet A Foods co-founder and CTO, commented: “Fueled by the funding, we not only broadened our product portfolio but also enhanced taste and texture, solidifying our position as the leading force in the alternative cocoa and chocolate sector. The Series A additionally expedited the advancement of our technology platform, allowing us to hire top-tier experts in the realms of lipids, chocolate, and synbio. We have now scaled up the production of our cocoa butter and palm oil alternatives to an industrial level, and are positioned for exciting new product launches.”

The money raised will go toward improving their production system and executing a debut into the UK this year. Additionally, the siblings are kicking up plans for worldwide development by having meaningful conversations with important distribution partners in the US, Asia, and other European countries.

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Daria Saharova, Managing Partner at World Fund, added: “Sara, Max, and the team have created the right product to tackle cocoa’s expansive climate impact, at the right time – as chocolate prices jump to record highs. Since we invested in the company in 2021, we’ve been proud of their fantastic development. Within three years they have turned a proof-of-concept into an industry-ready product on shelves, and established partnerships with global giants. The fact that this Series A funding round was oversubscribed despite a wider downturn in foodtech investment is a testament to their success. We are thrilled to have led this round for Planet A Foods, and can’t wait to help the team deliver on their ambitious global expansion plans in 2024 and beyond.”

About Planet A Foods

Drs. Max and Sara Marquart, who are twins, founded Planet A Foods in 2021 with the goal of providing chocolate lovers worldwide with a sustainable cocoa substitute. Worldwide demand for chocolate is rising, but expanding traditional manufacturing is becoming more difficult and expensive.

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