SINGAPORE food innovation startup, Mekhala, has raised S$1 million in seed funding to expand its global footprint, particularly in the United States, the company said in a press statement on Tuesday.
The funding round was led by angel investor Eugene Wong from Sirius Venture Capital, as well as James Wong, director of homegrown baking supplies retailer, Phoon Huat Group.
Other investors included Canadian-based VC group Loyal One, and Insead Alumnus.
According to the company, co-founder Daphne Hedley's search for quality, natural Asian products for friends and family led to the development of Mekhala's organic, vegan, gluten and nut-free Asian cooking pastes and sauces.
With roots in Singapore and Thailand, Mekhala's products are distributed regionally. In Singapore, their products can be found in FairPrice Finest outlets and speciality stores such as Little Farms.
Mekhala will use part of the capital to increase distribution lines to almost 600 Whole Foods Markets stores around the US, as well as to improve their facility in Thailand, the company added.
Said Sirius Venture Capital's Mr Wong: "I am impressed with Mekhala's innovative products and Daphne's passion and drive... The paste and sauces taste great, and are suitable for international taste buds. We hope one day it will be a global brand. We are happy to fund Mekhala's bold step in bringing a Singapore consumer brand with an Asean flavour to America."
Among other things, the company which manufactures its products out of a factory in Chiang Mai, created a symbol system to hire illiterate workers, promotes fair work practices for women, and runs an internship programme for underprivileged Myanmar youths from the School of Hope.