A Denmark-based startup that ‘upcycles’ used coffee grounds, Kaffe Bueno, has raised €1.1M in its seed round of funding from Paulig Group Venture Capital, Vaekstfonden, The Yield Lab, and an undisclosed Danish business angel investor.
Paulig Group incubator, PINC, aims to invest in early-stage startups in and around the future of food. The Kaffe Bueno and PINC collaboration started about a year ago with the testing of the upcycling of ground coffee waste from the Paulig’s Vuosaari roastery.
The by-product of coffee production is now used as raw material for cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and functional foods.
PINC is Paulig’s venture arm for innovation in and around the future of food, in particular innovations regarding taste, health, sustainability and availability.
Coffee “waste” as a resource
The company was founded in 2016 by Alejandro Franco, Camilo Fernandez, and Juan Pablo Medina. Kaffe Bueno utilises coffee by-products – such as spent coffee grounds – as a platform to produce ingredients for personal care, nutraceuticals, and functional foods & beverages.
According to the company, it is passionate about coffee and wants to have a positive and sustainable impact on the coffee industry. The company’s vision is to unlock coffee’s full health potential by taking advantage of the whole spectrum of bioactive molecules that remain intact in what today people disregard today as coffee “waste”.
“The power of coffee is amazing; it is much more than a beverage. Growing up in Colombia, we used it for everything: wounds, skincare, desserts, you name it”, says Juan Medina, CEO, and co-founder of Kaffe Bueno. “Our goal is to play an important role in the up and coming bio-economy by unlocking the health potential of coffee.”
He further added, “Our pure Kaffe Bueno oil is already globally available for high-end personal care products and our versatile Kafflour is being used for healthier baking. With this capital injection, we can really switch gears and scale up production to meet customer demand and accelerate the development of our next wave of products.”
According to the company, globally, 10 billion kg of spent coffee is waiting to be upcycled into health-promoting ingredients.
Coffee “waste” as a resource
Currently, you can find Kaffe Bueno’s ingredients in Kafflour – a gluten-free and high-protein flour, and Kaffe Bueno Oil – a lipid used in food as well as personal care products.
Recently, the company has also partnered up with Swiss flavor & fragrance maker Givaudan to accelerate the growth of its core product Kaffe Bueno Oil – a coffee oil. The Swiss company sells the product under the label name Koffee Up.
Besides, Kaffe Bueno is also researching and developing new products derived from the lipids, proteins, sugars, polyphenols, tocopherols, and antioxidants inside spent coffee grounds.
It also offers recycling solutions to cafés, hotels, offices and canteens in Copenhagen, in order to collect and reuse spent coffee grounds.
Kaffe Bueno is based at the Alfa Laval innovation hub outside of Copenhagen. It will now expand their team and continue scaling up.
Image credit: Kaffe Bueno