Danone calls the shots in €2.9m funding of functional drinks firm MOJU

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Moju's Co-founders Paul Chifflet (L) and Charlie Leet-Cook (R). ©MOJU
Moju's Co-founders Paul Chifflet (L) and Charlie Leet-Cook (R). ©MOJU

Related tags: Danone, Moju, shots

Functional shots firm MOJU has become Danone Manifesto Ventures’ (DMV) first UK-based investment as the private equity group commits to €2.9m (£2.5m) a part of a fundraising round.

Led by DMV, the financing has also committed professional footballer Hector Bellerin, and the ex-COOs of Graze and Hello Fresh, Tom Carroll and Roger Hassan into investing in the start-up, which plans to use the money to further grow its functional shots platform.

“We have built Moju from a kitchen table to trail blazing the insurgent functional shots category that’s been in high double-digit growth year on year since 2016,”​ says Rich Goldsmith and Charlie Leet-Cook, MOJU’s Co-founders.

“We offer our products through a harmonized channel approach, using retail and subscription Direct to Consumer to meet the ever-evolving needs of consumers seeking to optimise their health, wellbeing and performance.

“Danone Manifesto Ventures’ values closely align with ours and it is clear that they are the right partners to help us continue to break new ground and fearlessly deliver on the vision and mission of the company.”

Prebiotic launch

Founded in 2015, London-based MOJU offers a range of drink and shots made from such ingredients as ginger root, seaweed and turmeric root.

Available in 60 millilitre (ml) and 500ml bottle sizes, the products are marketed as supporters of the immune system as well as an aid in sports recovery.

MOJU has also recently made available a prebiotic blend containing chicory root inulin, green banana powder, golden kiwi powder and Baobab powder.

Meanwhile DMV, which are based in New York and Paris, and whose nutrition-based investments already include French infant food start-up Yooji and German healthy water firm Mitte, sees much potential in the UK market with the country’s prebiotics sector predicted to reach €390m (£340m) by 2026.

“MOJU is a thriving omni-channel business with a smart and strong team that are addressing the fast-emerging consumer needs for natural functional and experiential products,”​ adds Paul Chifflet, DMV’s European head. “We are excited to be partnering with the team on their next phase of growth.”  

Forest Green and Butternut Box

This latest funding round also welcomed existing and new investors that also included shareholders of Forest Green Rovers Football Club and Dave Nolan and Kevin Glynn, founders of the Butternut Box brand.

Goldsmith added, “The past year has been incredibly tough for the UK, its people and its businesses. We feel privileged to be in a position where, with the support of a new group of investor partners, we can invest across every channel of the business, to increase brand awareness, drive innovation and enhance sustainable sourcing.

“We’re building on the momentum our awesome team generated in 2020, and we’re super excited to accelerate out of the other side of the pandemic where we can help people from all walks of life to optimise their health and daily performance through better nutrition, all whilst reducing our footprint through more sustainable ways of doing business.”

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