Immi raises $10m with help of A Listers to make ramen mainstream
The 100% plant-based instant ramen brand immi has announced its $10m Series A funding results with celebrity backers including Naomi Osaka, Usher, Apolo Ohno, David Grutman, Kygo’s Palm Tree Crew, and Gryffin.
This new round of funding, led by Touch Capital, will enable the brand to hire for key leadership roles, expand its better-for-you lineup of flavour offerings, and scale retail door expansion nationwide, the company said.
“This new raise is a huge milestone for immi as it enables our team to further improve the quality of our products, expand retail distribution, bring down prices, and continue broadening access to nutritious and delicious Asian American food,” said co-founders Kevin Lee and Kevin Chanthasiriphan.
According to the brand, over the past two years, it has seen tremendous growth in online demand across its website, Amazon, and other online wholesale channels for its three base flavours – Black Garlic “Chicken”, Spicy “Beef”, and Tom Yum “Shrimp”. In 2022, it began expansion into retail channels with accounts including Whole Foods and has seen strong, sustained retail velocities.
To continue scaling the business to support online and retail demand, immi will be using this funding to hire for key leadership roles to support retail sales, operations, finance, product, and growth. The financing will additionally support its product development research as the brand plans to launch a series of new permanent and limited-time flavours, as well as co-branded partnership flavours.
“Touch Capital is thrilled to deepen its partnership with immi, as the immi team has managed the improbable: transforming instant ramen into a low-carb, high-protein, and plant-based product that is just as crave-worthy as its classic comfort food predecessor,” the team behind Touch Capital explained.
Naomi Osaka, TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, Entrepreneur-Activist, Four-time Grand Slam singles tennis champion and immi investor, said: “I’m excited to announce my investment in immi, which has revolutionised the ramen industry with a low-carb, high-protein, plant-based, and delicious alternative to one of my favorite childhood foods.”
Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and investor Usher added: “Food – just like music – has always been at the center of culture, and I am excited to play a small part in this new wave of global flavours with immi. The Kevins are reinventing ramen – a nostalgic dish for many of us – with more thoughtful ingredients. Instant ramen is a beloved pantry staple from my own childhood and now I get to share a healthier, plant-based version with my family.”
Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno, most decorated American Winter Olympian and US Olympic Hall of Famer, also commented on the news. “I value my nutrition and health more than anything else,” he said. “I’m excited to invest in immi, which has allowed me to bring ramen back into my life again.”
Other investors joining this round include Siddhi Capital, Gold House Ventures, Anti Fund, Harizury, Lab Capital Advisors, CAA’s Co-Head of Basketball, Lynja, Lauren Kleinman (Dreamday, The Quality Edit), Theresa Kang (Blue Marble Pictures), and the CEOs or Co-founders of Fly By Jing, Bokksu, Boba Guys, LMNT, OWYN, Hero Cosmetics, Supply, Rumble Boxing, Worlds, Venice Music, Adgile Media Group, Hyphen Capital and more.
Kevin Lee and Kevin Chanthasiriphan grew up immersed in the farms and noodle stalls of their Taiwanese and Thai family food businesses. The pair created immi after seeing their families suffer through chronic health conditions from unhealthy diets. Since launching in January 2021, immi has grown over six-times in size, sold out seven-times, and launched in retailers including Whole Foods, Wegmans, and The Fresh Market, with additional doors opening this year.
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