Television entrepreneur George Koffler wanted to value his budding portfolio in a deal of a maximum of ten million euros. Kuro couldn’t stand it and looked elsewhere for money.
Berlin-based food startup Koro can breathe a sigh of relief: After the online store of dried fruits and nuts spent months arguing with former contributor Social Chain Group over a capital raise, other investors have now agreed to a deal. Kourou will receive a total of €50 million from HV Capital, Paris-based food court VC Five Season Ventures, French tech investor Partech and several business sponsors, including OMR president Philippe Westermayer.
How much new investors value the 10-year company is unknown. Company presidents Florian Schoenkert, Piran Aski and Konstantinos Kalios They needed the money last summer to continue growing their startup. So they offered their remaining stakes to majority owner Social Chain, the investment holding company of juror “Die Höhle der Löwen” George Koffler. But for 41.4 percent, Social Chain only wanted 4.2 million euros. It would have corresponded to a valuation of ten million euros. Thus a fraction of what the Koro chiefs expected. They used a valuation of at least 150 million euros. This sparked a dispute that has now been settled, as reported by both parties.
Because with the new investment, Koro found a different solution. Social Chain did not participate in the funding round – on the contrary, the former majority shareholder sold the shares. At the same time, it greatly assisted in the search for new shareholders. Involving investors with experience in the food sector was a strategic decision. According to a spokeswoman, Koflers Holding still has a “significant minority stake,” and a television jury member has been named chair of the advisory board. The amount of 50 million euros to be allocated to shares sold by Social Chain and the founders of Koro has not been announced.
Target sales 150 million euros
Koro’s business is growing rapidly. Sales have tripled at least annually since 2019. While the company closed out 2021 profitably and delivered more than €62 million, Kourou recently forecast at least €150 million for 2022.
The company conducts its business by selling groceries in bulk packs, such as dried mango in 1kg bags and peanut butter in 500g packs. Koro started with an online store, but now part of the range can also be found in retail. Over the years, creators have always experimented with new ventures, such as taking over the bankrupt startup Meine Spielzeugkiste, opening an ice cream parlor and creating a delivery service for freshly cooked lunches. The latest venture is an in-house publishing house for cookbooks and distribution of fruit and vegetable boxes. “We also want to break free from power,” says Kalios, founder of Koro. “If I knew we did that one thing, I’d be bored.”