cauli rice

Cauli Rice has smashed its £500,000 funding target in less than a week after returning to the crowd for the third time in just over a year.

Founder Gem Misa plans to expand the low-calorie rice replacement brand into new categories following the launch of 200g pouches in Tesco, Waitrose, Asda and Whole Foods Market ­earlier this year.

In February, the business raised more than £400,000 on Crowdcube to get the range into shops and to build an automated production line.

Misa, a former Unilever brand manager, has so far raised £642,000 from 325 investors - giving away a 9.7% equity share - in the latest campaign to fund plans to enter the UK ready meals market and explore exporting.

“This more aggressive plan maximises our first-mover advantage to ensure we build distribution and awareness on Cauli Rice before big multinationals attempt to enter,” Misa said.

Cauli Rice raised £495,000 on Crowdcube in September 2014 to set up for large-scale production and to build a multichannel strategy.

The business was runner-up in Richard Branson’s 2015 Pitch To Rich competition in the start-up category, winning cash to invest in marketing and mentoring from Virgin.

Misa is also the founder of natural salad dressing food brand Righteous, which raised £225,000 from two separate Crowdcube pitches. Within four years of launching, Righteous had products listed in more than 1,000 UK supermarkets, including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Whole Foods Market and Booths, and in US retailers such as Costco and Albertsons.