Huellthe European food supplier, has sold more than 270 million meals worldwide since Julian Hearn launched the company in 2015. Now with $24 million in fresh capital, it plans to do even more.
It’s been a while since we’ve looked at Huel, which originally launched in the UK in 2017 with a low-sugar, plant-based, low-carbon protein powder and has since expanded into ready-to-drink, snack bar and hot options lunch.
In 2019, we reported on them when they launched their food bars in the US At the time, the company was backed by a $20 million venture round led by Highland Europe, at a valuation of $260 million raised in 2018. There was even there is talk of Huell going public in 2021
Today, much of the company’s sales are outside of the UK, with American “Hueligans,” the company’s loyal fans, representing Huel’s second-largest market, behind Germany and Japan, CEO James McMaster told TechCrunch.
The company has now grown to 250 people, including a small office in New York. Year-over-year revenue growth was 40% to $170 million, which McMaster attributed to this strong growth in new customers, the launch of ready-to-eat hot lunch products (among others) and the company’s transition from direct-to-consumer to also trade stores retail.
“We’re at a stage where having this second round of funding allows us to continue to focus on that growth,” he said. “We will continue to innovate with new products and we are really proud of where we are headed. We are now the business we hope to be a truly global brand.”
Highland Europe returns to lead this new $24 million infusion, which now values Huel at $560 million. This time the venture fund is joined by a star-studded group of new investors, including actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina Doure Elba, also a UN Goodwill Ambassador, TV host Jonathan Ross and the brand’s CEO for sustainable activewear TALA Grace Beverly .
“I’ve been a Hueligan for several years, starting my journey while preparing for my role in Thor, so joining Huel was an easy decision,” Idris Elba said in a written statement. “I believe in their mission to deliver wholesome food in a sustainable way. We have exciting projects coming up and I look forward to spreading the word and raising awareness of healthy low-carb food.”
Meanwhile, the new funding will also be deployed in continued international expansion, with a focus on the US. The investment will also support new product innovation and continued expansion online and in retail stores.
As part of Elbas’ investment, one of the new projects will involve Huel working with them on their climate change initiative to help people eat at 1.5 degrees Celsius, which limits global warming The Paris Climate Agreement trying to reach.
Huel meals fit into a diet tailored to support this reduction, and the company “is excited to work with Idris and Sabrina as we also try to be a force for good in the world,” McMaster added.