VenturesOne Announces Investment in On-demand Coffee Supplier, Wakuli
The Hague, April 29 2020. VenturesOne is delighted to announce its investment in Wakuli, alongside informal investors (including impact entrepreneur Arnoud Aalbersberg (Travel Health Group, known by brand ‘Care Plus’) in a seed round totaling €500,000. Wakuli is an on-demand supplier of freshly roasted specialty coffee from around the world that are reimagining the coffee supply chain by eliminating traditional retail middlemen.
Wakuli’s roots lie in Tanzania where Yorick Bruins was an agri-consultant for over three years working closely together with coffee farmers all over East Africa. Partnering with Lukas Grosfeld, he started Wakuli to right the wrongs he saw in the coffee value chain. The now-Amsterdam-based scale-up has an ambitious goal of reaching one million subscribers in the next five years as they create a positive social and environmental impact.
By directly sourcing coffee from farmers, Wakuli (‘wakulima’ means farmers in Swahili) is able to give farmers a fair price, paying them over 2–3 x more than typical supermarket brand coffee brands – Wakuli pays farmers an average of € 3.80 per kilo of coffee beans, close to double the worldwide market price of € 2.20.
By offering a lighter roast and shipping their coffee on demand through their innovative my.wakuli platform, Wakuli ensures their products are significantly fresher tasting than store bought competitors. Both grounded beans, whole beans as bio-compostable pods are now available. Wakuli’s credo is ‘creating shared value’: this means value for both coffee drinkers and farmers, rather than focusing on only one.
Lukas Grosfeld, Co-Founder of Wakuli, commented: “In VenturesOne we found a partner that shares both our idealistic belief that entrepreneurship can change society for the better, as our ambitious belief that our model can scale nationally and internationally to become a new force to be reckoned with in the coffee sector”. On plans for the future, he added “2019 was a year of piloting and testing our model and from now on we are in full scaling mode. This means growing to at least 15,000 subscribers in 2020 and launching new coffee products every couple of months.”
Vanessa Onnes, Director at VenturesOne Europe said: “VenturesOne’s investment in Wakuli is consistent with our strategy of partnering with promising start and scale-ups that are challenging conventional status-quos in their industries and are building sustainable ventures. Lukas Grosfeld and Yorick Bruins are doing exactly that by bringing freshly roasted specialty coffee direct from the farmers through your letterbox. Each box lets you discover the origin and story behind your cup of coffee and shows a breakdown of the fair price they pay to farmers, thus creating ‘shared value’.”
She adds: “Wakuli also aim to reduce plastic waste in this sector and have recently introduced bio-compostable coffee pods which are compatible with Nespresso® machines. With remote working on the increase for the foreseeable future quality coffee at home is a must-have. We very much look forward to support Wakuli’s mission and scaling up efforts throughout the Netherlands and the EU.”
Wakuli Business Insider Feature Article.
ASN Bank Sustainable Coffee Overview – Wakuli adjudged a Top 5 Most Sustainable Coffee.
More information on Wakuli can be found on their website.