Luther star Idris Elba and Jonathan Ross invest in plant-based meal replacement company Huel
- Huel was founded by Julian Hearn and former NHS dietitian Dr James Collier
- More than 270 million of their meals have been purchased by customers since their introduction
- The brand is now worth around $560 million after the Series B funding round
An alternative nutrition brand has received backing from Hollywood star Idris Elba and TV presenter Jonathan Ross in its latest funding round.
Huel said it has raised £20 million from investors to develop products and expand its presence in retail stores and overseas, particularly in the United States, its second largest market by sales.
Founded in 2015 by former marketing manager Julian Hearn and NHS dietician Dr James Collier, Huel – a portmanteau of people and fuel – offers plant-based products designed to replace traditional breakfast meals. breakfast and lunch.
Investors: Actor Idris Elba and chat show host Jonathan Ross are among the celebrity ‘Hueligans’ who funded Huel’s latest funding round
These include powders in vanilla, banana and salted caramel flavors, low-sugar protein bars and hot vegan meals containing quinoa, rice and vegetables.
More than 270 million of its meals have been purchased by customers, many of whom are health-conscious millennials, commuters or those too busy to cook or eat a full meal.
Actor Idris Elba, famous for playing Detective John Luther on the BBC’s Luther show, his wife Sabrina and chat show host Jonathan Ross are among the celebrity ‘Hueligans’ who have funded the latest business financing cycle.
The investment also came from Grace Beverley, a social media influencer who launched direct-to-consumer fitness brands TALA and Shreddy.
The process was led by venture capital group Highland Europe, one of Huel’s largest investors, which injected a similar amount into the startup four years ago.
Its initial investment valued Huel at $260 million, but following the Series B funding round, the Buckinghamshire-based brand is now worth around $560 million.
Range: Founded in 2015 by Julian Hearn and former NHS dietician Dr James Collier, Huel offers plant-based products designed to replace traditional breakfast and lunch meals.
Huel Managing Director James McMaster said: “Highland Europe has been a huge support to our business over the past four years, and we are delighted with the additional support from Idris, Sabrina, Grace and Jonathan.
“Our investors have all expressed their belief in what we are trying to achieve in Huel: to produce nutritionally complete, convenient and affordable food with minimal impact on animals and the environment.”
The company will also work with Elbas on a climate change program to encourage people to change their diets so that global warming is limited to 1.5°C, in line with the Paris Agreement.
Food production contributes more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study published in Nature Food last year, most of which is linked to the production of animal-based foods.
Since Huel’s product line is entirely vegan, this offers the group significant potential to benefit financially from the growing popularity of environmentally friendly food and drink.
Its revenue has grown tremendously since its inception, climbing 40% year-on-year in the 12 months to July, which it attributes to product launches, growth in new customers and the move into outlets. of sale.