Sproud, the Swedish maker of a range of plant-based milks announced it has raised $6.5 million from growth capital investor, VGC Partners. The investment will be used to grow Sproud’s team, accelerate the brand’s distribution and brand building activities in the company’s core markets - including the US, Canada, and the UK - and for further development of its plant-based and dairy-free product range.
Sproud launched in Sweden in 2018 and has expanded to 15 markets in just two years, including to the US, where it launched in 2020 and is available via supermarkets and online retailers such as Amazon, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Vitacost, in addition to various independent shops, cafés, and restaurants.
The innovation of Sproud lies in the company’s ability to create products with a taste, texture, and nutritional profile that closely resembles dairy milk. This is made possible through a unique, proprietary blend of protein from yellow split peas, GMO-free oils and syrups, fortified with essential vitamins. All of its products contain low essential amino acids and are free from lactose, gluten, and soy. When compared to oat milk, the Sproud variants contain double the amount of protein (5x the amount in almond milk) and far less sugars.
The production of yellow split peas requires minimal use of water. Pea cultivation also adds nutrients back into the soil, making peas one of the most sustainable sources of plant-based protein. The products have a long shelf-life, which removes the need for chilled distribution and significantly reduces wastage.
Combining sustainability with taste, and nutrition, Sproud is able to cater to consumers ranging from full-time vegans, to a larger number of flexitarians, and those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Founded in 2011 by its Managing Partner, Parminder Basran, London-based VGC Partners is a growth capital investor specializing in innovative early-stage consumer, media and tech companies. The firm has seen enormous potential for investing in the next generation food and beverages space in recent years, with portfolio companies including JUST a plant-based alternative to eggs, and Ugly Drinks, a producer of zero-sugar sparkling water and energy drinks.
Sproud is headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, where it employs a team of six. In the Nordics, Sproud supplies its plant-based milk to some of the largest hospitality chains of the region, including Espresso House and Clarion Hotel. Sproud products sold in North America are manufactured in Canada, and distributed by Ethical Brands Inc of Redbank New Jersey. The company’s investors include VGC Partners, a growth venture firm based in London, Findeln Holding, a Malmö-based, family-owned investment company in which Sproud co-founder Nicklas Jungberg is a majority shareholder, and Swedish investment group Dream Beverage. To-date, the company has raised $12 million.