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Spacegoods receives €2.9m to develop functional mushrooms and nootropics product range

Article-Spacegoods receives €2.9m to develop functional mushrooms and nootropics product range

© iStock/los_angela Spacegoods receives €2.9m to develop functional mushrooms and nootropics product range
UK-based health and wellness startup Spacegoods has raised €2.9m (£2.5m) in seed funding that will be used to develop its functional mushrooms and nootropics range.

Founded by entrepreneur Mathew Kelly, the London-based brand seeks to offer an alternative to coffee with its all-in-one powder blends that provide an energy boost without the anxiety or energy crashes associated with caffeine.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur since 19,” said Kelly, who founded Spacegoods in April 2022. “I became interested in functional mushrooms and the interest they were generating in the US.

“Many people have similar issues with too much coffee and anxiety, so I wanted to bring functional mushrooms’ benefits to UK customers.

One of Spacegoods’ initial offerings is Rainbow Dust, an all-in-one mushroom and adaptogenic powder blend that contains ingredients such as lion's mane mushroom, ashwagandha, maca root and rhodiola rosea.

Other products in the startup’s portfolio include Astro Dust, a powder-based formulation intended to promote relaxation and sleep that blends well with water, milk, a protein shake, or even evening tea.

Both products come in a range of flavours, including chocolate, vanilla cinnamon, and chocolate orange.

Accelerating growth, team expansion, and product portfolio development

According to Kelly, the latest funding round would be used to expand Spacegoods’ product range, with the company looking to launch additional powder flavours and a gummy product in next few months.

The funds will also be used to expand the customer base and supporting team expansion in London, with Spacegoods looking to grow its marketing and product teams.

“We’re also looking to invest in the science of our products, with a view to funding clinical trials to demonstrate the benefits and add scientific credibility,” added Kelly.

The business has just opened a warehouse in Germany, which – along with the UK and Netherlands – it counts as one of its target markets, selling direct-to-consumer via its website and Amazon.

Currently, Spacegoods has a presence in 400 bricks-and-mortar stores in the UK, including Holland & Barrett; it is looking to get more retailers on board in the coming year.

Tapping into increased consumer demand for clean energy and broader wellness

Spacegoods is the latest venture for Kelly, who was previously the founder of Neon Beach, an online retailer selling made-to-order neon signs, and men's jewellery brand Midnight City.

With Spacegoods, the company is very much geared up to tapping into increased consumer demand for clean energy and broader wellness by harnessing the convenience of supplements, functional drinks, and coffee replacements.

“Currently our customer base is tilted towards females – around 60/40, with an age range of 25 [to] 45,” said Kelly.

“We’re looking to target those health-conscious professionals with an interest in health and wellbeing, who are looking to maximise energy gains without the negative impact to mood or mental health.”  

Functionality and energy prime areas of focus for Spacegoods

Saskia Hoebée, principal at Five Seasons Ventures, the investment firm that led the seed round alongside support from Redrice Ventures, Slingshot Ventures, and G Fund, said: “Most consumers seek energy and health benefits, and Spacegoods products provide a solution for a wide target audience.

“Within nutrition, functionality has been an area of focus. To this point, Spacegoods uses mushroom ingredients as a nootropic for boosting mental performance.

“In the energy space, Spacegoods has a cleaner offering, offsetting the negative effects associated with coffee and energy drinks by providing a slower, more balanced, and extended energy release and sugar-free products.”

The importance of being first-to-market in mushroom-based energy and supplements

Hoebée stressed the importance of Spacegoods as a “first-to-market” company, especially in the category of mushroom-based energy and supplements.

Given the success of companies like MUD/WTR and Four Sigmatic in the US, we see the opportunity for a European category winner and so we were keen to identify and bet on the first mover in the space,” she said.

“We feel Spacegoods is uniquely positioned to capitalise on these tailwinds by combining novel mushroom ingredients in a familiar taste profile (chocolate) and consumption moment/format (coffee), mitigating some of the risks associated with such a novel food category.

“Furthermore, the energy category has proven to reap rewards for early investors in breakthrough products, and we believe mushroom-based energy will become mainstream.”