Los Angeles-based Koia, a manufacturer of plant-based protein beverages, announced that it has closed on $7.5 million of Series Seed capital in a funding round led by KarpReilly, alongside existing institutional investor AccelFoods.
The company produces refrigerated, ready-to-drink, plant-based protein beverages that are soy free, dairy free, gluten free and non-GMO. A proprietary blend of brown rice, hemp and pea proteins are the base of Koia's recipe, creating a beverage that boasts a five-to-one ratio of plant protein to sugar content, the company says.
This round of funding will be used to expand Koia's team, support the brand's rapid retail expansion and launch a multi-region field marketing campaign, it says. As part of this Series Seed round, Bill Moses, the founder of KeVita, which was sold to PepsiCo in 2016, will join Koia's board of directors.
"We are honored and fortunate to have partners like KarpReilly, AccelFoods and Bill Moses support our company so early in its life cycle. Their support, alongside the powerful consumer response that we've witnessed during our nationwide rollout at Whole Foods Market and with retailers like Wegmans is validating," said Chris Hunter, chief executive officer of Koia, in a statement. "It is a testament to how strongly people value simple, natural, transparent products that don't force them to compromise on flavor. We are excited to continue to innovate and expand on our mission to power people through plants."
Allan Karp, co-founder of KarpReilly, added: "We are incredibly excited to partner with Chris and the rest of the Koia team. We rarely encounter a business that so early on has so clearly resonated with both retailers and consumers alike. Combined with an experienced and talented group of management, advisors and co-investors, we are confident that Koia is well positioned to become a category leader."
Additionally, Jordan Gaspar, AccelFoods co-founder and managing partner, said: "We are thrilled to further invest in Koia and the company's vision of a plant-based future. Chris Hunter is a proven leader capable of building a world-class management team to grow this innovative next-generation brand. The consumer appetite for plant-based protein is only beginning. We could not be prouder to have partnered with Koia, Bill Moses and KarpReilly, partners with proven track records of building innovative beverage platforms."