Vancouver-based Blume closes first fundraising round after bootstrapping to $7.5 million in sales last year

The superfood company attracted well-known investors in the industry like Mike Fata and Judy Brooks


The superfood company attracted well-known investors in the industry like Mike Fata and Judy Brooks

Asked when she knew that her company was actually going to make it, Blume co-founder and CEO Karen Danudjaja gets earnest. “I don’t know if I’ve had that moment yet,” she says with a chuckle.

Maybe we can help her with that. Blume, which makes healthy latte mixes and was founded in 2017, grew 300 percent last year. This March, it landed in all of Whole Foods’ Canadian locations and, this June, the company raised $2 million in an oversubscribed funding round which included investors Mike Fata (founder of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods) and Judy Brooks (SmartSweets executive chair and Blo Blow Dry Bar co-founder).

Any of those milestones might typically convince a founder that they’re onto something, and Danudjaja admits that last year’s growth (she now has a team of 12 employees) was a landmark. “I guess after last year, it sort of indicated to me that customers were looking for something different and that we had hit on something that people wanted to sink their teeth into,” she admits. “We did a repositioning to a flavour-first approach that resonated with consumers.”

READ MORE: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Blume co-founders Ella Dalling and Karen Danudjaja

It also clearly struck a chord with investors, even in what has been categorized as a very tough market of late. “We have a strong unit economic story and proof of market fit, as well as traction in the market that we created in our own,” says Danudjaja. “We heard from other founders in the space that it’s a really challenging time to raise. Some [VCs] we talked to were definitely like, ‘We’re just not looking at anything right now because of the overall economic conditions.’”

But while Blume clearly makes food products, many of the over 1,500 stores that carry it aren’t just grocery stores. Yes, it’s in Safeways and the aforementioned Whole Foods, but it’s also in places like Anthropologie and Indigo. “We’re on cafe and brunch menus, in boutique hotels, in gyms and wellness centres. The position of the company allows us to grow in multiple avenues,” says Danudjaja.

As to what Blume is going to do with its first fundraise since receiving $100,000 from the Business Development Bank of Canada, Danudjaja certainly seems like someone who knows her company has made it.

“We want to be your best friend in wellness,” she asserts. “Your go-to company that’s not about judgment or guilt but is the leading superfood brand in North America and is really creating accessible wellness routines for afternoon and evening rituals specifically. We’re not looking to compete with coffee; we’re looking to build a brand new wellness ritual in your afternoons and evenings.”