SAN FRANCISCO, June 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- CircleUp, a platform providing capital and resources to innovative, early-stage consumer brands, announces the funding of GrainfulTM, an Ithaca, New York based company that is transforming the frozen food and meal kit category with a new take on oats. The funding round closed at $3.3 million, with strategic financing coming from lead investors Advantage Capital and Rand Capital.
"We are excited to announce our newest partnership with Grainful and look forward to building upon a great foundation set by the team," said Reid Hutchins, Advantage Capital Partners. "The opportunity to bring products to millions of consumers both in the U.S.A. and abroad through novel category extensions is enormous."
Ben Lee, Managing Director of CircleUp Funds added: "We are excited to partner with the Grainful team, both in helping them raise institutional capital on our platform, and contributing from our own internally managed fund. Grainful's uncompromised commitment to great product quality and customer experience, and sophisticated team, gives the brand a fantastic opportunity to uniquely grow its products at affordable pricing."
"We are committed to having the very best be part of the Grainful team – we will continue assembling great investors, teammates, supply chain partners, and retailers to bring oats to the consumer in delicious ways they never imagined," said Jan Pajerski, Grainful's co- founder and president. "The nutritional power of oats needs to be showcased and Grainful is moving them beyond the safety of "me-too" breakfast recipes to eating occasions throughout the day."
As highlighted in Dr. Oz The Good Life May 2017 issue, Grainful is delivering "better ingredients, real nutrition and more global flavors." The globally-inspired, bold tasting meals are priced affordably – Grainful believes all people should be able to eat well. Grainful came to realize that oats are a great platform to achieve this mission and can be used in unexpected ways providing, according to our customers, "frozen dinners I can get excited about."
Grainful launched around a line of savory oat-based frozen entrees including Vegetarian Chili, Unstuffed Pepper, Porcini Mushroom Chicken, and Tuscan Bean & Kale among others. In 2016, Grainful added a shelf-stable meal kit product line for the speed-scratch market (30 minutes or less) that was asking for efficiency yet providing room for cooking creativity.
Grainful is on a mission to bring globally-inspired, bold tasting foods to all consumers at an affordable price and in an honest way, with oats serving as a great lead culinary platform. With an increasing awareness about the value of nutrient-dense real foods for both the individual and the planet, Grainful is leading the way with healthier for you meal solutions for the busy consumer centered on high-protein grains and clean ingredients. Met with enthusiasm and support from nutritionists, bloggers, journalists and hundreds and hundreds of college students who served as taste testers, Grainful launched in 2013. Co-founders Jan, Jeannine, Tony and Tony saw the untapped potential in oats – a widely available, under-utilized, inexpensive grain that served as a blank canvas, ready to accept the bold flavors of peoples and cultures from around the world. This potential coupled with the broad awareness of the health benefits of oats, served as the simple cornerstone for Grainful's 7 days a week – 365 days a year obsession. To learn more about Grainful, please visit grainful.com and become a fan on Facebook or Twitter, or get recipe inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.