Why this 16-year-old children’s food brand has turned to equity crowdfunding

Whole-Kids

Whole Kids co-founders James and Monica Meldrum with their kids Chloe and Sam. Source: Whole Kids website.

Australia’s largest certified organic and additive-free children’s food brand is inviting the public to become investors, launching a $1 million equity crowdfunding round with Birchal.

Whole Kids, a Victorian-based business, is partnering with the Australian platform to grow its company through crowdfunding, instead of a traditional capital raise model.

The month-long campaign is looking for investors willing to pledge a minimum of $100.

If the business reaches its minimum target, the funds will be used to accelerate its presence locally and internationally, develop new products, and expand the local team.

Whole Kids founder Monica Meldrum said the rough year has only clarified her vision for the business.

This year “has been a challenging year for businesses around the world, but it has made us more committed to our mission, and is why we are using a crowdfunding campaign to bolster our position”, Meldrum said in a statement.

“We see this crowdfund as an opportunity for our incredible community to be part of our next phase of  growth,” Meldrum said.

“We love the idea of giving parents a tangible and real opportunity to invest in their children’s future, and be a part of building a better and healthier world through the brands we buy and the food we eat.

“We have lots of game-changing innovations and plans in the pipeline, including the introduction of new product segments, and we’re excited for both seasoned investors, as well as mums and dads who may not have invested before, to be part of this exciting growth stage.”

Meldrum has won several awards for entrepreneurship and business leadership, including an award in 2013 for Emerging Entrepreneur Of the Year.

In 2005, Meldrum and her husband put their house deposit on the line to fund the company and quit their day jobs.

They started the company with the aim of creating tasty, nutritious snacks that parents can feel good about. They wanted to give parents more control over their children’s lunchboxes.

Flash forward 16 years, and Whole Kids is a leading health food company dedicated to producing children snacks that are additive-free, allergen-friendly, GMO-free and without the use of artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

The company sources organic products and is certified by Australian Certified Organic.

Meldrum says she continues to be committed to not only creating a business that provides healthy certified organic food for children, but also, one that stands up and campaigns on important social and environmental issues.

A portion of all sales go to children’s charities and community projects dedicated to health and environment issues in Australia and around the world.

In 2016, Meldrum told Women’s Agenda her company was inspired by overseas travel and completing her MBA.

“My MBA and corporate background gave me really good discipline and work ethic,” she said at the time.

“An MBA gives you a really good grounding to look at things in a different way. But a lot of that needs to be undone when you start your own business as it’s so fast-paced and you’re learning as you go.”

“I was fortunate enough to lead a team of Australians to Indonesia a little over 10 years ago to deliver an aid program. I had worked in a number of manufacturing businesses and had completed an MBA.

“I got to Indonesia and the experience challenged the assumptions of my career. It stirred in me a passion of how to make a difference in children’s health.”

“When I returned to Australia, I could see an abundance of over-processed foods and a rise in health-related allergies and illnesses. It really bothered me.

“I could see big food companies were over-processing foods, but marketing them as healthy.”

In 2018, her business was named Organic Business of the Year, and she was awarded Small Business Champion Entrepreneur at the Australian Small Business Champion Awards.

The business’ crowdfunding campaign will give consumers the opportunity to be part of the growth of the certified B Corp.

This Thursday, Spetember 24, at 7pm AEST, Meldrum is holding an investor webinar live from Whole Kids HQ.

“We’ve had an incredible response to our equity crowdfunding campaign so far, and we’re getting close to the end of our expression of interest stage with only two weeks to go,” Meldrum wrote on Instagram.

“For everyone who has expressed an interest in buying shares, or would like to know more, we warmly invite you.”

View this post on Instagram

We’re very humbled by the amazing response to our crowdfunding campaign so far. Thank you to everyone who has registered. We’ll send more updates as the campaign progresses and, if you haven’t done so yet, we’d really love you to join the journey and consider investing in Whole Kids. If you have any questions, please reach out and stay tuned for a live event later this week when we’ll be answering all your questions about how Equity Crowdfunding works and how you can be part of creating a healthier, happier world for children. https://www.birchal.com/company/wholekids (link in bio) #healthykidshealthyworld #jointhejourney #wholekids Always consider the general CSF risk warning and offer document before investing.

A post shared by Whole Kids (@whole_kids) on

This is an edited version of an article first published by Women’s Agenda.

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