Imi It is plant-based and adds a healthy spin to instant noodles by providing a bolder taste. The company announced on Tuesday that it has raised $ 3.8 million in seed funding.
Co-founders Kevin Lee and Kevin Chanthasiriphan met 10 years ago, growing up in Taiwanese and Thai food families, respectively, and working for the same technology company. They united by getting noodles every day.
Fast forwarding today, they both saw their families suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure and began to think about what a better food and beverage brand would be for you.
They loved the Asian food they grew up with and wanted to develop one of those brands for the United States.
“We immediately agreed to instant noodles,” Chanthasiriphan told TechCrunch. “My dad still eats instant noodles every night. It’s a huge market. 4 billion packets are sold annually, but they have been dominated by the same three incumbents for years. It is also a product. “
NS Global instant noodle space It is projected to be a $ 32 billion industry by 2027 and is worth $ 7.7 billion in the United States. However, ramen purchased at grocery stores contains noodles made from refined carbohydrates that are cooked in oil, and soup packets are high in sodium. Preservative, he said.
Their view is Immi, which is plant-based, low-carb, low-sodium, high-fiber, with an average of 22 grams of protein. There are three types: black garlic “chicken”, tom yum kung “shrimp”, and spicy “beef”.
The pair joined the company full-time in 2019 and have spent most of the last few years doing research and development, but the finished product has never been so easy. In fact, when talking to people in the industry, they were told that making a healthier version of ramen was “a kind of impossible”, Lee said. They had to start from scratch, make their own, and make their first recipe in their kitchen.
Financing will take place this year when Immi releases a re-prescription of a product aimed at replicating traditional instant noodles with the taste, mouthfeel, texture and suppleness of broth.
Siddhi Capital leads the round, with individual groups such as Palm Tree Crew, Constellation Capital, Animal Capital, Pear Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Kat Cole, Nik Sharma, and Thrive Market, Caviar, Daring Foods, Madhappy, Twitch, Kettle & Fire, MUD WTR, Native, Amity Supply, Visionary Music Group, Italic, Tatcha, Casper.
Melissa Faccina, co-founder and general partner of Siddhi Capital, said her company invests in food and beverage brands, the investment division of which is the mentor of the Immi team.
“We were overwhelmed by them,” she said. “It costs a lot to innovate in this industry. It’s exciting for me and my family to get what we can get. The launch of the second version is It looks exactly like a traditional brick pack and now has an adult taste that can be attached to another cooking pallet. “
According to Fakkina, the natural food industry or the better food industry has changed “dramatically” over the last decade. Most of it is driven by consumers seeking supply chain transparency, cleaner ingredients and genuine brands.
Consumer goods brands that are reinventing themselves already have a successful product line, but brands like cereals that are considering a particular category, she said, are ripe for reinvention. Almost none. Her company is an investor in Magic Spoon, and when she saw Immi reinventing ramen and Asian cuisine, “Kevin as a founder group is very moldable, highly accomplished and best in class. I want to be surrounded by people. “
Meanwhile, the new funding will be split into R & D, employment and marketing, Lee said. The company is incorporating customer feedback to enhance its flavors and wants to optimize its supply chain, hire key executive roles and spend on testing new marketing channels. Immi sells its products through its online store, but wants to expand to wholesale channels and online grocery stores.
Immi’s products went on sale in January and were sold out in the first month. Since then, they have sold over 10,000 orders nationwide and are also aiming for internationalization.
In the future, we will proceed with two initiatives. The first is to increase the variety of flavors and noodles, and to develop an infrastructure to expand products so that new flavors can be launched every few months. Lee and Chanthasiriphan are also aiming to develop additional Asian dishes using cleaner ingredients such as snacks and sweets that they loved to eat as a kid.
The second is marketing and distribution. The company has gathered a community of 4,000 members to help Immi with rapid taste testing.
“We are thinking of ways to deliver our products to more mainstream audiences, especially those who may not follow a particular diet but want to bring in healthier foods and drinks,” Lee said. Said. “We also invited cultural taste makers, celebrities and influencers from TikTok to broaden consumer interest and bring Immi into the mainstream cluster.”
Immi takes in $3.8M to cook up plant-based instant ramen – TechCrunch Source link Immi takes in $3.8M to cook up plant-based instant ramen – TechCrunch