NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Less than three months after completing the AccelFoods accelerator program, cricket protein bar startup, Exo, announced it has secured $1.2 million in the next round of financing with seed funding from investors including Collaborative Fund, Start Garden, and Tim Ferriss. New York-based Exo, one of the four innovative food startups selected for the AccelFoods inaugural class, is the brainchild of two recent Brown University graduates, Greg Sewitz and Gabi Lewis. Exo seeks to normalize insect consumption as a sustainable food source with its all-natural protein bars made from cricket flour. The investment will be used to scale production, make key hires, and expand its product line.
During the six-month period they spent in the AccelFoods program, Exo co-founders received engaged support from mentors in both the food and capital industry. AccelFoods provides forward-thinking packaged food startups with resources and an initial investment of up to $40,000; the brands are also eligible for an additional investment of up to $100,000. Overall, Exo received a six-figure investment from the AccelFoods dedicated investment fund, as well as investments from many of its limited partners. In addition, several influencers joined the Exo team as a result of participation in the AccelFoods program. Exo is the first brand from the program to raise money after its June 3rd Demo Day. This is a major announcement for both companies, as both AccelFoods and Exo launched only last year.
Lewis added about Exo's experience in the AccelFoods platform, "AccelFoods believed in our vision to take insect protein mainstream from the beginning. And in just a few months, we've gone from making our very first product to raising a seed round from world class investors; without AccelFoods guiding us along that path, it would have taken far, far longer."
Exo's largest investor to date is Collaborative Fund, a firm that provides seed funding to "entrepreneurs changing the world". Other investors in this round include Start Garden, a Michigan-based fund with a dynamic portfolio of innovative companies, and Tim Ferriss, bestselling author and SF-based investor recently ranked as #6 out of 2,000 notable angels.
AccelFoods co-founders Lauren Jupiter and Jordan Gaspar proudly stated, "We believe in the Exo team's vision of edible insects as a sustainable protein source and are thrilled to continue supporting them in their next phase of growth."
AccelFoods is a national packaged food and beverage accelerator with a dedicated investment fund. It offers entrepreneurs funding, engaged support from an operating team, experienced mentors and corporate partners for a period of five months. For a full list of AccelFoods' mentors and strategic partners, and to keep track of its portfolio companies, visit the AccelFoods website at http://www.accelfoods.com.
Exo makes healthy and delicious food products using insect protein, a revolutionary and sustainable alternative they aim to make mainstream. The New York-based company was launched in 2014 by co-founders Greg Sewitz and Gabi Lewis. Exo currently offers four delicious flavors: Cocoa Nut, PB&J, Apple Cinnamon, and Blueberry Vanilla. For more information, please visit Exo at http://www.exoprotein.com.