Fruiti King, the king of natural fruity icy treats and nutritional tropical fruit ice cream was able to raise RM5 million of funding and CrowdPlus.asia, ASEAN’s first Equity Crowdfunding Platform licensed by Securities Commission Malaysia, played an essential role in this latest raise.
This round of funding is in addition to the RM1.5 million raised from Netrove Ventures Group, a regional venture capitalist (VC) firm, earlier in 2016.
The funds will be used to expand further into overseas markets that are interested in importing and distributing Fruity King’s products, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and others.
The company started out when its founder, Gideon Leong sampled his first naturally homemade popsicle in Ipoh years back. He was Impressed with the results of its rich fruity taste and texture.
Gideon was stunned at the fact there were no other products in the market quite as true-to-the-original fruity form as what he had just tasted, Gideon set out to investigate the source of this cool wonder.
With the guidance of his new Ipoh master, he learned how to create delicious tropical ice cream from different flavours such as, durian, jackfruit, red bean, sweet corn, sour-sop (Leong’s own flagship invention), matcha, and mango.
Finally, after two years of Gideon’s research and development, he created a series of naturally made, low-fat, low-sugar, additives- and preservatives-free popsicles made only from high-quality ingredients.
Dubbed Mr. Cool, Leong’s ice cream popsicles uses a special fruit preservation technique that maintains the original taste, texture and nutritional value of the fruit, and is the only brand in Malaysia offering such a high percentage of real fruit in each stick.
Since its launch a year back, Mr.Cool has gathered a huge following of young adults and school kids on the back of a limited production capacity and distribution network.
The company’s positive early traction caught the interest of Netrove Ventures Group, a regional VC firm that has gone on to invest RM1.5 million into Mr. Cool.
Earlier in 2016, chairman of Netrove Ventures Group and co-founder of Fruiti King, Teh Kim Seng, brainstormed with Gideon on how to move this business forward, including tackling the gelato and ice cream market in the region and eventually globally.
Fruiti King was born out of this, ‘Fruiti’ emphasising on fruits as the key ingredient in their products, as opposed to flavouring with a bit of Italian twist added to it and ‘King’ to bring in an awesomeness in the taste to the icy products as being at the pinnacle of its class!
The founder of Mr Cool, Gideon Leong, said, “We are very proud to have the opportunity to work with a dedicated and regional firm like Netrove, “Mr Teh is low-profile and successful entrepreneur in Asia. He has personally shared with me his experience in building global brands, as well as providing market access for Fruiti King in Asia and US market. I count myself to be blessed with a mentor like him.”
The chairman of Netrove Ventures Group and co-Founder of Fruiti King Teh Seng, said, “We believe that a great product like Fruiti King deserves to be shared with people all around the world so that all will come to know the goodness and awesomeness of our icy treats in years to come. All efforts will put into ensuring the best quality products are made and enjoyed by our customers. We simply want people to like it!”
Fruiti King is busy restoring its production facility in order for capacity to be enhanced with a fully automated production line. The company decided to raise another funding round via CrowdPlus.asia when it sees more demand from the market and figure that a stronger balance sheet will help accelerate the regional go-to-market plan.
“I am glad to have met the dedicated team at CrowdPlus.asia and confident about giving equity crowdfunding a go.We have a regional sales pipeline of up to RM6.5 million for fiscal year 2017, and the funding raised via Crowdplus.asia will definitely assist us in meeting this B2B demand and accelerate our plan in setting up our first flagship store in the second half of year 2017,” Gideon Leong added.
The COO of CrowdPlus.asia, Bryan Chung, in his statement said, “When we met Gideon at the Secretariat for Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs’ (SAME) pitching event, we knew he had a product with the potential to scale in a big way but needed the right partner and platform to perform the curation and thereafter, gain quicker access to overseas markets. This we found in Netrove and are proud to now close our first VC-backed crowdfunding deal on CrowdPlus.asia.”