Waka Coffee & Tea provides funding from CPG veterans

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LOS ANGELES – Waka Coffee & Tea, an instant coffee and tea company, has raised $ 725,000 in pre-financing from industry veterans and strategic investors. The brand plans to expand its product line and introduce recycled packaging.

Founded in 2018, Waka Coffee & Tea produces premium Arabic grains that are dried to preserve the aroma and depth of coffee taste, said founder and CEO David Kovalevsky. He developed the concept while juggling college courses and full-time employment in New York City. Regular visits to cafes have become more expensive, and brewing a cup at home required time and equipment in an already cramped kitchen. He found that traditional instant coffee is often made from robusta beans, which are roasted in large batches, spray-dried, which violates the taste, he said.

“Although instant coffee remains very popular around the world, most consumers in the United States have interacted only with older brands in the space, which are often pale compared to major specialty and premium coffee retailers,” said Mr. Kovalevsky. “This provides an incredible opportunity for Waka to build a strong bond with consumers looking for a viable option in the instant coffee and tea categories, and we are already seeing significant jumps in interest and acceptance for home, office and spaces. “Go.”

He added that consumer preferences are changing as viral trends on social media, such as whipped coffee and tea drinks, attract the younger generation to instant food.

“We are inspired by the potential use of our products and encouraged by the results of our consumer survey, which shows a willingness to try Waka instant products compared to more traditional brands,” he said.

The brand offers an range of instant coffee, including light and medium roasts, Colombian and Indian origin, as well as options with caffeine and decaffeinated. In addition, the company has added instant Kenyan black tea and Japanese match to its lineup. Recent additions include Ethiopian dark roast, Ethiopian light roast and Papua New Guinea coffee medium roast.

The products are packaged in recycled bags, packs and boxes and are available online and in Central Market stores in Texas. The company donates part of its sales revenue to support clean and safe drinking water initiatives. The renewed identity of the brand is “playful, simple and accessible”, said Mr. Kovalevsky.

Former Starbucks CEO Joe Canterbury and former PepsiCo CEO Craig Musgrove participated in the funding round, both of whom joined Waka as board advisers. Additional investors include Bee Cave Capital; Chaucer Global; Scott Jensen, founder and CEO of Rhythm Superfoods; Mark Turner, CEO of HeatGen; Stephen Califwitz, Director of Marketing Crypto.com; and Sunil Desai, head of global brand marketing at Shopify.

“I believe that Waka with one of the largest coffee companies in the world has all the necessary ingredients and impetus to become one of the leaders in instant space,” Mr. Canterbury said. “I couldn’t be happier to support them on their journey.”

Waka Coffee & Tea provides funding from CPG veterans

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