Agriculture & foodtech Retail and Direct To Consumer

Keeping The RIND On: Fruit Snack Company Chews On $6.1M Series A

RIND, a maker of sustainable fruit snacks, bagged $6.1 million in Series A funding to continue developing its product lines of dehydrated snacks that keep the skin on to help reduce food waste.

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Valor Siren Ventures led the round and was joined by existing investor Melitas Ventures, which led RIND’s $2.25 million seed round in January 2020 to give the New York-based company a total of $8.4 million in funding, according to founder and CEO Matt Weiss.

He comes from an investment research background, and when he started to cover the food space, he said he fell in love with the disruption and secular shifts in health and wellness.

“I am a snacker at heart, so I am always finding new products that I enjoy that could turn into big ideas,” Weiss told Crunchbase News. “I was also amazed by how much produce was wasted because the peels are edible and is where the most nutrition is available.”

He founded RIND in 2017, and the company launched its first products in 2018 on Amazon and in food markets, which included his favorite, Orchard Blend — a mix of peach, persimmon and apple — and Tropical and Tangy Kiwi. By 2019, RIND’s products were in 1,000 locations.

Weiss calls dried fruit a “sleepy category” that is filled with brands offering the same kinds of products, such as raisins, prunes and apricots.

“We wanted to craft a brand at the intersection of two trends — functionality and sustainability,” he added. “And we wanted to do it using unique, exotic fruits that had not been explored and where consumers’ tastes were skewing.”

The global fruit snack market was valued at $4.7 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow 8.4 percent annually through 2025, according to Global Market Insights.

To go after that opportunity, the new capital enables RIND to build up its sales and operations teams, as well as its pipeline of new products. That initially includes a line of “chips” starting with oranges, apples and kiwi, which will also include the rind.

In 2020, RIND’s revenue grew 5x over 2019, and Weiss expects to more than triple sales in 2021, while also expanding to more than 3,000 retail locations, including Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, Meijer and CVS.

In addition to its direct-to-consumer channels, the company is also partnering with food delivery companies, such as Hungryroot, Imperfect Foods, FreshDirect and SnackMagic.

“Dried fruit is just the beginning,” Weiss said. “We have a big, bold vision around the concept of skin-on snacking, including vegetables roasted with their skin on where we waste no part of the fruit or vegetables. We are just getting started.”

Meanwhile, Jon Shulkin, partner and funding manager at Valor Siren Ventures, said in a written statement that in a short period of time, RIND has created and built a “purpose-driven brand.”

“By crafting highly nutritious and functional snacks that help reduce food waste, we believe RIND has the potential to build a great platform that is well aligned to consumer preferences for healthy, sustainable snacks,” he added.

Feature photo of Matt Weiss, founder of RIND, courtesy of the company.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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