Ecuadorian sustainable snacking brand gets another cash injection

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Investment firm S-Ventures has acquire a 75% stake in Purely. Pic: Purely
Pic: Investment firm S-Ventures has acquire a 75% stake in Purely. Pic: Purely

Related tags We Love Purely Sustainability better for you plantain

UK investment firm S-Ventures has acquired a majority share of plantain snacks producer We Love Purely to propel further growth into the mainstream snacking sector.

Birmingham-based Purely is a healthier living snacking brand, championing a premier plantain range with rich Ecuadorian heritage across a number of channels in the UK and internationally.

The range – which the brand claims contains 30% less fat than typical potato crisps – has recently made significant in-roads into numerous prestigious outlets, including Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Ocado, Holland and Barrett, Spinneys in Dubai, and The Craft Gin Club.

Aligned with the brand’s sustainability ethos, the chips do not contain palm oil and are made in Portoviejo in Ecuador from locally sourced plantains to support local communities and provide income for small farmers.

Healthy snacking space

Under the umbrella of S-Ventures, Purely is planning to embark on an aggressive growth strategy to expand distribution along with the product range.

The existing Purely team will remain in place, led by cofounder and CEO Stefania Pellegrino.

“We are delighted to have acquired our stake in Purely and we very much look forward to working with Stefania and her team,”​ said S-Venture’s chairman David Mitchell.

“Stefania has achieved great results but together we believe we can grow faster and exploit opportunities more effectively in the healthy snacking space.”  

The latest boost comes after the startup received a cash injection from Scott Livingstone at Westlab in July last year, which it put towards a brand refresh.

According to Pellegrino, the brand has fared well through the challenges of coronavirus, particularly on the ecommerce side.

“Even though lockdown has been a positive, energising experience for us in terms of online sales uplift (+29%), we also recognised that an unforgiving pandemic provided the perfect breathing space to re-evaluate how our brand was faring and how best we could further stimulate success,”​ said Pellegrino.

S-Ventures – a listed investment company that specialises in the natural and organic sectors – acquired the 75.1% interest in Purely through the issue of 1,529 million ordinary shares in S-Ventures, equating to approximately £137,600. It also supplied a cash payment of £30,000 to repay an outstanding Purely shareholder loan.

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