- Kellogg Company’s venture capital fund, eighteen94 capital, led a $4.25 million Series A funding of Kuli Kuli, which manufactures and distributes moringa-based products, according to a company release. InvestEco and S2G Ventures were also institutional investors in the funding round.
- Kellogg first launched the fund last June with a focus on investing primarily in companies pursuing next-generation innovation, helping the company gain access to innovative ideas and trends through start-up businesses experimenting with new ingredients, foods, packaging and more.
- Moringa is a complete plant protein that is produced by trees grown in semiarid and tropical areas.The leaves, pods and oil of the plant are known to provide a good source of nutrients, including iron, calcium and vitamin A.
Nutritionists have hailed the moringa plant as a "superfood" because of its nutrition profile and powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and tissue-protective properties. The plant is native to the sub-Himalayan areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and is also found in the tropics.
A study published in Food Chem Toxicol revealed moringa leaf extracts contain higher antioxidant activity and more inhibition of lipid, protein and DNA oxidation than flowers and seeds.
Kellogg first invested $100 million into startups this past summer. At the time, Vice Chairman Gary Pilnick said, “By investing directly in the most promising entrepreneurs and ventures, we can increase greatly our access to game-changing ideas and trends that could become significant sources of growth for us.”
Kuli Kuli has been on investors' radars for a number of years, and Kellogg's funding of the company highlights not only this new company strategy, but may also foreshadow the rise of mainstream moringa-based products.