Chief executive Douglas Lamont said: “This investment will help us accelerate our progress towards our mission of ending exploitation in the cocoa industry.
“The funding will be used to support the rapid global growth we are delivering in both Tony’s Chocolonely, our chocolate business, and Tony’s Open Chain, our global business-to-business ethical bean trading company.”
Subject to regulatory approval in the Netherlands, the full funding round will see a few existing shareholders sell a small percentage of their stake.
While Verlinvest already held the majority of the voting shares prior to this transaction (50.1%), the transaction is subject to Competition Authority approval in the Netherlands as a result of the Belgium-based investment company increasing its shareholding (64.2%).
Jam Jar, the investment company run by the former Innocent Drinks founders, increased its voting shares from 4.8% to 5.6%, while Genuine Chocolate – the holding company of former Tony’s chief executive Henk Jan Beltman – decreased its shares to 20.6% (from 31.2%).
“I am delighted that all the funding was raised from within our existing shareholder base, who we know are all committed to supporting our long-term mission,” Lamont continued.
Ending exploitation in the cocoa chain
“With this new investment, with our governance structure and with our recently introduced Mission Lock we will all remain fully focused and committed to delivering on our mission to end exploitation in the cocoa industry.”
Founded in 2005 by three journalists from the Dutch TV show Keuringsdienst van Waarde, Tony’s Chocolonely has dedicated its efforts to raising awareness of and eliminating inequality in the chocolate industry.
Tony’s Open Chain is a business-to-business company enabling other companies sourcing cocoa to buy their cocoa with Tony’s ‘five sourcing principles’ applied. A number of large retail and consumer brands now source their cocoa through the platform, including Albert Heijn, Aldi, Ben & Jerrys and Huel.