Idris and Sabrina Elba join forces with Huel in latest $24m funding round
Huel has closed a $24 million funding round led by Highland Europe, welcoming SAG-winning actor, musician, filmmaker and philanthropist and UN Goodwill Ambassador Idris Elba OBE to the team, alongside a star-studded line-up of new investors.
Idris and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, also a UN Goodwill Ambassador, are joined in the latest round by award-winning TV presenter, Jonathan Ross and sustainable activewear brand TALA’s CEO, Grace Beverley.
The latest round bolsters another strong year for the plant-based food brand. Revenue for the year to the end of July 2022 was $170m, a 40% year-on-year rise. Growth was driven by new customer acquisition, product launches and expansion into retail stores.
The brand has sold over 270 million meals worldwide since its inception in 2015, with 50% of sales now outside the UK, building an army of loyal ‘Hueligans’ across the globe.
The funding round values the company at $560m, just seven years after the brand was first launched. The latest valuation builds on the $260m valuation secured in 2018 at the company’s previous funding round.
The new funding will be deployed to support global expansion, with a particular focus on the US. Since its market launch in 2017, the US has become the brand's second-biggest market. The investment will also support new product innovation, and continued expansion into retail stores in addition to the core online channel.
The investment will also fuel Huel’s mission to make a difference in the world. Idris and Sabrina Elba will partner with Huel to bolster the brand's existing commitment to tackling poor nutrition and sustainable farming. Paired with this mission, Idris and Sabrina are working with Huel on their climate change initiative - eat for 1.5 degrees. Huel meals fit within a diet aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, and Huel believes that raising awareness of our diets is one of the simplest and most effective actions people can take to tackle climate change. Huel will work with Idris and Sabrina to inspire and motivate people to raise awareness of the benefits of changing diets and supporting the environment, which is a vital component of food sustainability.
Idris Elba comments, “I’ve been a Hueligan for several years now, starting my journey while preparing for my role in Thor, so to come on board with Huel was an easy decision. I believe in their mission to deliver nutritionally complete food, sustainably. We have some exciting projects coming up and I look forward to spreading the message and raising awareness around healthy, low carbon food.”
Grace Beverley adds; "My passion for fitness and sustainability goes hand-in-hand with Huel’s mission, making it an easy decision to come on board. I look forward to seeing their next stage of growth and development as we move into 2023."
Commenting on the fundraising, James McMaster, CEO said, “Highland Europe have been a strong backer for our business in the last four years and we’re delighted about the extra support from Idris, Sabrina, Grace and Jonathan. Our investors have all expressed their belief for what we are trying to achieve at Huel – making nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food, with minimal impact on animals and the environment.”
James continues “We are trying to change the way the world thinks about food and Huel offers a solution to help people make easy changes to their food choices. We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with Idris and Sabrina to raise awareness of the role of food in climate change, and to encourage individuals and the industry in general to move towards a food system based on sustainable nutrition”
Highland Europe adds: “We partnered with Huel when it was just 3 years old and predominantly an online business in the UK. It has since expanded incredibly well across geographies, channels and products. We remain a committed partner and look forward to the next chapter in the journey”