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US-based cocoa-free chocolate maker Voyage Foods gobbles $52M to launch new products

Voyage Foods founders
Picture credits: Voyage Foods

California-based Voyage Foods, which says it makes sustainable chocolate, has closed a $52 million Series A+ investment round. With this, the total funding raised by the company accounts for $94 million. 

The latest financing round was led by Level One Fund and Horizons Ventures, with SOSV (backed BioFluff and Samphire Neuroscience), Nimble Partners, and Collaborative Fund. also participating. 

Voyage Foods plans to use the funding to scale up manufacturing and launch new products to the market. It’s already building a 300,000 sq ft facility in the midwest, and its collaboration with Cargill will only help accelerate the same. 

Partnership with Cargill

Last month, Voyage Foods announced that Cargill would become its exclusive global B2B distributor. Cargill is a major player in the confectionery business, with its portfolio including chocolate, coatings and fillings, starches and sweeteners, and oils and fats for bakery, ice cream, and chocolate categories. Through the partnership, manufacturers can access a range of chocolate alternatives and nut-flavour spreads for recipe formulation. 

The announcement comes as cocoa prices continue to rise, with raw material costs up 30-40% and retail prices up 15%, due to climate change and seasonal flooding in cocoa-producing countries. 

Allergen-free food products

In early 2021, colleagues Adam Maxwell and Kelsey Tenney found themselves with a shared hunger to transform what and how we eat and ensure we can all continue to enjoy our favourite foods forever. With extensive backgrounds across the food industry, the duo came together to form Voyage Foods. Alongside a team of talented food scientists and CPG experts, they developed and launched one-of-a-kind foods, including Nut-Free Spreads, Cocoa-Free Chocolate, and Bean-Free Coffee.

Voyage Foods is working to recreate popular products and flavors without the top nine allergens. The company has already developed peanut-free and hazelnut-free spreads, both made using roasted seeds. 

The company is also addressing issues such as climate change and deforestation by creating alternatives to foods with a large environmental impact. These include bean-free coffee made from roasted chickpeas and rice hulls, along with cocoa-free chocolate made from vegetable oils and grape seeds.

Level One’s founding partner James Stewart said Voyage’s technology “has set a new standard for commercialization in the food tech space by producing replicas of essential food products and ingredients that are both extremely cost competitive against, and more sustainable than, incumbent products. As the only company in the world with the validated ability to make these replicas at scale, Voyage’s newly announced partnership with Cargill makes these products available to the world’s major food companies as an immediate solution to fluctuating commodity prices and supply chain disruptions. Level One Fund is proud to co-lead this round with Horizons Ventures and provide the capital necessary for Voyage to scale up production and yield an immediate and meaningful impact on the world.”

“Cargill is proud to partner with Voyage Foods…this partnership is just one of the many ways that we are future-proofing our portfolio and meeting consumer demands and market regulations around sustainability and health,” said Inge Demeyere, Managing Director of Indulgence Europe at Cargill.

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