Amsterdam’s Wakuli Aims to Change the “F*cked-Up” Coffee Industry

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Amsterdam-based Wakuli has secured €5.2M in a Series A round of funding, including the sale of new shares and a €750K loan. The round was led by Icecat Capital, along with existing shareholders Rubio, ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund, and angel investor Arnoud Aalbersberg. The €750K loan comes from Rabobank’s startup and scale-up team. Martijn Hoogeveen, from Icecat Capital, sees that brands combining online and physical presence outperform those solely focused on one or the other.

Wakuli aims to make specialty coffee a household choice, expanding the market for smallholder coffee producers and boosting their position among larger coffee companies. The company sources coffee beans directly from smallholder growers in 15 countries and roasts them using eco-friendly methods. By shortening the supply chain, the company delivers fresh specialty coffee at competitive prices.

Wakuli pays farmers fairly, investing in quality with their partners and establishing lasting partnerships with them. The company aims to move away from the niche where specialty coffee has been for years, as real impact through quality can only be achieved if many people come on board. Wakuli claims to establish lasting partnerships with farmers, paying them more, which allows them to invest in their farms for a better income and sustainable livelihood.

Wakuli’s growth plan combines online and physical coffee bars, following an omnichannel strategy. Co-founder Grosfeld says that opening a new store adds around 15,000 new customers, while also increasing website visits and conversions from that region. The company plans to continue this growth pace until 2025, using these outlets to introduce specialty coffee to a wider audience and gain market share.

Grosfeld emphasizes that Wakuli prefers to work region by region to gain significant market share and brand awareness.

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Source: Coffee Talk

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