The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has made her first public foray into the startup world, taking a bet on milk alternatives.
The company, Clevr Blends, led by CEO and co-founder Hannah Mendoza, makes instant oat-milk lattes.
Markle, who has long supported gender equality and female empowerment, revealed her investment in a statement to Fortune.
“This investment is in support of a passionate female entrepreneur who prioritizes building community alongside her business,” the duchess said.
“I’m proud to invest in Hannah’s commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I personally love and [that] has a holistic approach to wellness. I believe in her, and I believe in her company.”
Markle reportedly reached out to the company after trying its oat-milk latte product, after it debuted in a Santa Barbara pop-up coffee shop back in 2017.
While Markle and Mendoza have not revealed the size of the duchess’ investment, the company stated it would use the money to scale its business.
“Entrepreneurs need funding, but they also need advisers who care deeply about what they are building. I’m grateful to have found both in the Duchess of Sussex,” Mendoza said in a statement.
“Her passion for what we’re creating is palpable, and I couldn’t imagine a more aligned partnership. We’re excited for the road ahead.”
What is Clevr Blends?
Clevr Blends sells flavours of its powdered drink for US$28 per 14-serve bag. There are four flavours: Matcha superLatte, Chai SuperLatte, Golden SuperLatte and Coffee SuperLatte.
The company began as a pop-up coffee bar that travelled along the California coast, selling their products from a van.
“Our drinks made people feel amazing—but were hard to re-create at home,” the website states.
“We needed an easier way to bring these magical elixirs to people's daily rituals...so we hit the kitchen! We set out on a mission to create the most delicious, nutrition-rich instant latte on the planet. After one year of formulation and meticulous ingredient sourcing later, our SuperLattes were born!”
Meghan Markle’s business ventures
Clevr Blends may be Markle’s first public investment, but it’s not her first public business move since leaving the royal family.
Earlier this year, Markle and Prince Harry revealed they signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix, with a focus on creating content that “informs but also gives hope”.
“As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us,” the couple said in a statement.
Back in 2019, Markle also launched a clothing collection in collaboration with Smart Works, an organisation that helps underprivileged women get a job.
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