Tribe will use the funds raised for NPD, with two new protein bars flavours launching this summer

Free-from energy bar brand Tribe has raised a seven-figure sum to fuel its ambitious plan of becoming Europe’s biggest natural sports nutrition brand by 2025.

The energy bar producer, valued at around £10m, smashed its initial £1m crowdfunding target in less than two hours of launching privately to existing investors.

At the time of writing, it had raised a further £192k after publicly launching on Crowdcube on Tuesday 23 July, rallying a total of 506 shareholders.

The cash injection, in exchange for around 10% of the company’s equity, will be used to develop “market-leading products” and drive international growth.

“We want to grow our range and bring out more innovative products to help people with their mission of leading a healthy lifestyle,” co-founder Guy Hacking said.

“We are creating a brand that can be fully integrated into our customers’ daily lives as opposed to being a brand people associate with going to the gym.”

Tribe will be expanding its existing range of protein bars with two new flavours, White Chocolate & Raspberry and Cherry Bakewell, due to launch in November.

Development of whole new ranges is also at “ideation stage”, with plans to add products such as functional protein bites and a protein-enhanced granola to Tribe’s offer.

Tribe is also targeting expansion in continental Europe with initial focus around Scandinavia, the Benelux region and Germany.

Given the initial success of the campaign, the business said it is open to overfund to a maximum of £1.5m as it targets to add around 2k shareholders to its investor base.

Hacking explained: “The purpose why we are on a crowdfunding platform is to get as many brand advocates, customers and people over the line, therefore we need to make sure there is a meaningful amount of funds available.

“If we could get that shareholder number [2k] without having to go up to £1.5m, that would be great. We are really about building a community rather than needing vast sums of money to be able to execute our business plan.”

Tribe’s energy bars and protein shakes, which are gluten and dairy free, are currently stocked by Ocado, Boots, Planet Organic, Whole Foods Market and Holland & Barret among others.

It also secured a listing for two SKUs in 500 Sainsbury’s Local in June, with plans for a wider roll-out around September.

Tribe claims to have grown revenues by 200% in the last year, with 165k products sold in June 2019 alone.

At the end of 2018, revenues amounted to £750k, a figure it was able to exceed in April this year.

It is now forecasting continued growth, targeting sales of £2m in 2019, rising to £3.5m in 2021 and rocketing to £40m by 2025. It expects to hit breakeven by the first half of 2020.

“We are perfectly positioned for really high growth over the next five years and that is our core focus, we believe that the market fundamentals are really in our favour and the brand is bang on,” Hacking said.

“Just with our existing retailers and product range, over that time frame I can see us delivering £30m in sales. When you layer on NPD and international markets we can get additional £7m to £10m.”

The latest funding campaign follows a successful £1.8m raise completed in 2017, with the brand smashing its target within days of launching to the public.