Based in Minas Gerais, the foodtech startup Nuu has successfully raised USD $4 million in a funding round to scale the distribution of their carbon-neutral food products made from cassava, a staple root vegetable in Brazil and South America. EcoEnterprise Fund led the round and featured contributions from CamelFarm Capital, Newlin, MadFish, Bioma Food Hub, and angel investors from GVAngels and Gávea Angels.
The capital will be used to intensify marketing and sales initiatives. “Until today, we have grown through bootstrapping without any marketing effort. Now we want to inform consumers why Nuu is a sustainable brand and why that matters,” said CEO Rafaela Gontijo. She revealed that the company plans to expand to 6,000 retail locations over the next two years.
Nuu, a women-led startup, aims to revolutionize how cassava is consumed. Employing technology and innovation, Nuu seeks to offer various formats and recipes based on this local root vegetable, contributing to sustainable and healthy meals.
According to a 2022 report from Endeavor and Pepsico, the foodtech sector has seen dramatic investment over the past decade, amounting to USD $1.7 billion in 206 funding rounds. 2020 and 2021 account for 64% of all capital invested in the sector since 2011.
In addition, foodtech companies in Latin America generate over 29,000 direct jobs. However, only 15% of Brazilian companies in the sector have expanded their operations internationally, compared to 52% in Chile and 49% in Argentina.
In addition to their flagship cassava-based cheese bread, Nuu produces various products, including tapioca sticks, cassava-based pizza dough, naturally colored cheese bread, and chef Rodrigo Oliveira’s tapioca cubes.
Nuu was selected for the Jornada Amazônia program last August for its focus on sustainability. “This work goes from soil to plate. We calculate the carbon footprint of our products, offset 100% of the packaging, produce with clean energy, and bring regenerative production models for small rural producers,” added Gontijo.
The funding will significantly accelerate Nuu’s impact and expansion as it seeks to leverage the growing consumer appetite for foods that are both indulgent and eco-friendly.