• Target: Exponentially accelerate KoRo's growth and internationalisation
• Dr. Georg Kofler becomes Chairman of the newly established KoRo Advisory Board
Berlin, 15 March 2022. Europe's leading venture capital investor HV Capital invests in KoRo Handels GmbH together with the foodtech specialist Five Seasons and the Paris-headquartered Partech. KoRo offers high-quality, long-life food products to a broad customer base via its own online shops and retailers. Its most successful products include superfoods and snacks.
With the substantial multi-million funding round, the scaling and foodtech know-how and the broad network of old and new investors, KoRo is winning significant support for its planned exponential growth and further internationalisation.
In the current VC round, which is financed exclusively by the new shareholders, the current KoRo shareholders, as well as the new investors HV Capital, Five Seasons and Partech, are joining forces in a strategic partnership. Together they want to lift KoRo into the next growth phase financed by venture capital. In addition, a number of well-known tech entrepreneurs (including Delivery Hero, HelloFresh, ex-Flaschenpost and OMR) as well as successful athletes are joining the fast-growing brand.
The common goal: KoRo is to become Europe's leading brand for high-quality natural food with transparent supply chains.
Foodtech – KoRo's market potential is enormous
Foodtech is an attractive growth market that had a record year in 2021. The value of foodtech companies worldwide grew by 57 percent within one year to about 1.2 trillion US dollars (at the end of 2021). The market potential of the online food sector is expected to reach a volume of 550 billion US dollars worldwide. This corresponds to a CAGR of 15.7 percent worldwide and 20 percent in Europe alone.
Globally, 42 billion US dollars were invested in foodtech in 2021, around ten billion US dollars in Europe alone (in 2020: three billion US dollars).
KoRo Handels GmbH primarily sells vegetarian and vegan long-life, natural and processed foods to a broad customer base through its own online shops and through listings with retail partners. The most successful products include superfoods and snacks. As a young brand, KoRo stands for high-quality and innovative products at a fair price. By bypassing trade channels, efficient processes and bulk packaging simply designed, which also saves packaging waste, very competitive prices are achievable.
Consumers are enthusiastic about the attractive brand, tripling KoRo's sales to 62 million euros in 2021 in ten additional new online shops in the EU and in retailers. As a result, the product range was extended to over 1,250 products and listings in around 4,500 retail outlets with partners such as dm, Rewe, Alnatura, Budni, tegut and others. KoRo currently exports its products to 16 EU countries.
KoRo defines the framework for a future vision
For KoRo, venture capital financing offers the potential for growth and operational support from experienced start-up and highly specialised foodtech investors. The new shareholder structure was expressly requested by KoRo’s founders in order to place the joint vision for the future of KoRo on a strong, broad foundation. "Without Social Chain AG, we would never be at this point, which will enable us to achieve the next level of growth. We are very grateful for this," says Constantinos Calios, co-founder of KoRo.
Dr. Georg Kofler, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Social Chain AG (WKN: A1YC99), remains involved with KoRo and becomes Chairman of KoRo's new Advisory Board. "When I started to support and invest in the two founders of KoRo, Constantinos Calios and Piran Asci, more than five years ago as a mentor and early-stage investor, KoRo's revenue was in the region of one and a half million euros. In 2022, KoRo plans to generate a revenue of over 100 million euros. What an extraordinary success story!" says a delighted Dr. Georg Kofler. "I am thrilled at how much imagination, energy and strategic vision these young founders have used to build their brand and their company and am honoured to continue to support KoRo!"
The potential of the partnership extends to Social Chain brands
Social Chain AG participates in the strong growth of KoRo realised so far and further participates in the enormous value enhancement potential expected. "We are looking forward to working with the proven multi-stage venture capital experts at HV Capital, who have an impressive track record with Delivery Hero, HelloFresh and Zalando and offer great potential for KoRo," summarises Social Chain CEO Wanja S. Oberhof. "This is a win-win situation for all parties involved and the first milestone of a strategic partnership between Social Chain AG and HV Capital, with many more opportunities for our other Social Commerce Brands."
Achieving scalability and synergies in the European foodtech market
The future cooperation has groundbreaking potential for the European foodtech market: "KoRo is a truly impressive case from the house of Social Chain. Now, with all of our support, we need to further sharpen and expand KoRo's exponential and pan-European growth potential," emphasises Alexander Joel-Carbonell, Partner and Co-Head of HV Capital's Growth Fund. "Together with Social Chain AG, as well as our co-investors Five Seasons and Partech, we look forward to the levers we will all jointly provide KoRo."
Photos: KoRo Handels GmbH, The Social Chain AG
KoRo reinvents retail. By bypassing trade levels, efficient processes and bulk packaging simply designed, the brand makes high-quality food available to everyone at fair prices. The range includes a wide variety of long-life, natural and processed foods as well as kitchen utensils, cooking accessories and hygiene products.
KoRo's vision is to become Europe's leading supplier of food and products by consistently implementing its five basic principles: quality, short supply chains, bulk packaging, fair prices and transparency. Consumers should be able to understand KoRo's trade processes and decisions through a maximum of transparency, in order to bring them closer to producers and products. For this reason, product descriptions already include comprehensive information on price trends, origin, ingredients and nutrients. The declared goal for the future is to vertically integrate all products as far as possible into the original source and thus create a maximum of transparency. KoRo was founded in 2014 in Berlin/Germany and was developed by Constantinos Calios and Piran Asci; since 2020, Florian Schwenkert has complemented the management team. KoRo now employs around 300 people.
About The Social Chain AG: Social Commerce at a Global Scale
We are Social Commerce pioneers and social media is our marketplace. As a house of entrepreneurs, we are reshaping the world of brands and commerce, turning wishes and ideas into products with our combined sales power. We understand how to develop our own brands and products into direct-to-consumer brands with the power of social media and market them to specific target groups. We offer our entrepreneurs and trade partners an all-round carefree package in-house: from our own product development, legal assessment, production, quality assurance, marketing and communication to logistics and everything else that brands and products need to become big and successful.
The Social Chain AG delivers products from the 10,000-item portfolio covering food, home & living, and beauty & fitness, as well as successful brands such as LANDMANN, Germany's oldest barbecue manufacturer, and KoRo, directly to customers' homes.
The best-known heads of The Social Chain AG (WKN: A1YC99, listed in the Prime Standard) are Ralf Dümmel and Dr. Georg Kofler, both investors in the VOX start-up show "Die Höhle der Löwen".
The company, which has over 1,400 employees, has its headquarters in Berlin and other locations in New York, Manchester, Stapelfeld near Hamburg, London, Gallin and Los Angeles.
About HV Capital
Since 2000 HV Capital has invested in Internet and technology companies through various generations of funds and is one of the most successful and financially strongest early-stage and growth investors in Europe. HV Capital has already invested in around 225 companies, including Zalando, Delivery Hero, FlixMobility, Depop and SumUp. The company supports startups with capital ranging between €500,000 and €50 million. This makes HV Capital one of the few venture capitalists in Europe that can finance startups through all growth phases.
About Five Seasons Ventures
Five Seasons Ventures is the first European impact venture fund focused on investing across the food value chain, with in total >250m assets under management. The fund has a sole focus on foodtech and currently has 16 portfolio companies across 5 countries. A snapshot of investments: Just Spices (exited to Kraft Heinz in 2021), Air Up, Butternut Box, and YFood. FSV brings deep expertise of the food value chain, (digital native) food brands, and egrocery.
Born in San Francisco and Paris, Partech is one of the most active tech investors in the world, bringing together capital, operational experience, and strategic support for entrepreneurs at seed, venture and growth stages. The current portfolio includes 200+ companies in more than 30 countries, of which 14 are valued at more than $1B: Alan, Bolt, Cazoo, Jellysmack, Made.com, ManoMano, Merama, People.ai, Rohlik, Sorare, Toss, Wave, WorldRemit, Xendit. ParTech is the leading VC of France.
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The content of this press release is for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or other recommendations pursuant to the German Securities Trading Act by The Social Chain AG or its affiliated companies. The information provided cannot replace investment advice. The information contained in this press release is not to be construed as an assurance of possible price developments and should not be construed as a request to enter into a transaction. The information contained herein does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell securities or rights, or a solicitation to trade in securities or rights. Accordingly, The Social Chain AG and its affiliates make no representations or commitments as to the accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information or opinions contained herein. We assume no liability for direct or indirect damages caused by and/or in connection with the distribution and/or use of this document. The statements correspond to the status at the time of the preparation of this document. They may become obsolete due to future developments without the document being changed.