Mondelēz CoLab’s Participant Mezcla Raises $4 Million Series A In Profitability Push

Food & Drink

Snacking company Mezcla, best known for delivering the texture of a classic rice crispy and traditional protein bar flavors using quinoa as a key ingredient, has officially raised $4 million in series A led by Dream Ventures and Santatera Capital.

Richard Blankenship, founder and CEO of Dream Ventures and Alejandro Gonzalez, Santatera Capital’s managing partner, joined Mezcla’s board upon closing the round. It brings the company’s total funding to $7.5 million to date.

Other participating investors include Fed Muyshondt, CEO of Coca-Cola’s
KO
Bodyarmor; Jake Kassan, founder of MVMT; Daniel Weinand, cofounder of Shopify; Nicholas Bertram, former co-president of Giant; Maya French, founder of Koia and venture studio M.A.D Projects; Dylan Barbour; and several high-profile athletes, such as Seth Curry and Ryan Conrad.

Three Pillars Of A Differentiated Nutrition Bar

Forbes 30 Under 30 alum Griffin Spolansky launched the puff-crispy bar in 2019 to bring innovation and personality to the nearly $5 billion category (Polaris Market Research data), where M&A activity has been robust over the years — notably RXBar’s $600 million acquisition by Kellogg
K
, Hershey’s $397 million acquisition of ONE Brands in 2019, Simply Good Foods’ $1 billion purchase of Quest Nutrition, Mars’ $5 billion deal with KIND Snacks, and Mondelēz’s $2.9 billion Clif Bar deal.

Boosted with 10g plant-based protein and 170 calories per bar, Mezcla comes in six different flavors: Mexican hot chocolate, Japanese matcha vanilla, Peruvian cocoa peanut butter, Canadian maple blueberry, Italian pistachio chocolate, and Spanish almond butter chocolate. Each packaging, created by a local designer from the origin of the ingredients, embodies their respective cultural elements.

Blankenship stressed how Mezcla is the only portfolio company Dream Ventures has ever invested three times throughout its pre-seed, seed, and series A stages thanks to the founding team’s “unbeatable work ethics, huge vision, and frugality.”

“Dream Ventures believes the bar category is ripe for the disruption that Mezcla brings to the industry — a bar that not only boasts superior health benefits, but also tastes amazing,” Blankenship said. “Recognizing the competitiveness of this category, we emphasize the importance of building a brand with robust fundamentals and a loyal customer base. Griffin and his team have already demonstrated Mezcla’s potential to be a formidable competitor & have effectively bridged the protein bar and snack bar segments.”

Enabling 2x Growth in 2024

Reflecting on Mezcla’s creation, Spolansky recalled during an exclusive interview: “We saw a huge gap in the bar space — no bar has delivered on both texture and taste. So we created a product people would look forward to eating: we taste like a rice crispy treat but function like a protein bar.”

Snacking behemoth Mondelēz also onboarded Mezcla to its startup venture program CoLab in May, alongside eight other participants, including frozen novelty brand DreamPops, shelf-stable cookie dough Whoa Dough, and customized chocolate maker CocoTerra, to access its 12-week curriculum, networking sessions, and a $20,000 grant.

After proving product market fit in the natural channel, including Whole Foods Market
WFM
nationwide, The Fresh Market, Gelson’s, and Erewhon, Spolansky believes Mezcla has an opportunity to become more accessible through conventional retailers.

“It’s time for us to scale and expand distribution to meet our customers when and where they want Mezcla,” said Yoga Acharya, Mezcla’s COO. “We are refreshing our packaging, strengthening our supply chain, building a team of tier one operators, and launching with conventional retail partners. Together, this strategy will power 2x growth next year, as we plan to hit $10m in sales and push closer to profitability.

“Our goal is building a resilient business,” added Spolansky, “capital efficiency and unit economics drive every decision we make, and will continue to be high priorities in 2024.”

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