Swedish oat milk producer Oatly has accumulated 200 million dollars (175 million euros) from celebrities (like Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman and Jay-Z) and investment funds. It now aims for a huge expansion.
The injection of new capital is equal to the company's full-year turnover, but Oatly is growing fast as it surfs on the growing desire for sustainability with consumers and offers a plant-based alternative for cow milk. The Swedes want to use the new capital to build five new factories and employ new sales representatives, newspaper De Tijd writes.
Along with the three celebrities, one of the people entering Oatly's capital is Howard Schultz (former CEO at Starbucks). Mostly, however, the new capital comes from investment fund Blackstone. They all join the Belgian De Spoelberch family, who are major shareholders in the world's biggest beer brewing company, AB InBev. The family entered Oatly's capital in 2016 through CR Verlinvest, a joint venture with Chinese brewery Snow.
Plant-based dairy alternatives are becoming ever more popular, as they are (said to be) healthier and cause only a fraction of the carbon emissions. One of Oatly's competitors in the market, Belgian soy milk producer Alpro, has been acquired by food giant Danone for exactly that reason.