March 2021

Naanu Founder Shares Experience of Running Her Business Throughout 2020

The startup founder of Naanu, Julia Devecchi Mas, shares her experience of running the business through the pandemic.

Swiss foodtech startup Naanu creates vegan and gluten-free cookies with Vitamins B12 and D, Omega 3, Calcium, Iron and Zinc. And just like many businesses, it too faced a challenging 2020. The team took risks that resulted in both wins and losses.

Here’s what the year was like for Naanu as told by founder Julia Devecchi Mas.

We started our year with the challenge of rebranding from HappyBites to Naanu (natural and nutritious). We incorporated our new company name into a public limited company before our startup turned 1 year old in April.

Due to Covid-19, we almost called off our crowdfunding campaign. But with the help from our advisors, we launched anyway, hoping the Swiss economy wouldn’t take a hit and that people would still support small businesses. And our gamble paid off. We received some PR attention from vegconomist and Mic The Vegan that got 34k views on YouTube. We even over-crowdfunded at 129%.

To fulfil our new crowdfunding rewards and ongoing Naanu subscriptions, we partnered with eatbyAlex, a certified vegan kitchen in Zurich. There were a few mishaps in the new kitchen, but we quickly established a solution to our quality control issues.

After pitching a research plan in August for our innovative approach in vitamin development, we were granted 5,000CHF from Innosuisse. 

In October, we moved into an affordable 17.5m2 office because our former Logistics Center reached its capacity. Soon after, our new biodegradable labels arrived from Germany, but the import tax bill was rather painful.

We experienced some other highs:

  • Our early adopters/customers reached their 12th month of subscription
  • Launched our small Cookie Tin for on-the-go
  • Made our first B2B sales and rethought our entire Business Model
  • Featured on FoodHack’s Discovery Board and voted as the startup of the week among global companies with 114 votes 
  • On the first page of a regional newspaper in Aargau

And some lows:

  • Did not get accepted into Food-X’s accelerator program after two interviews
  • I, Julia, developed an anxiety disorder

We also found some fun numbers:

417% – revenue growth in the last 6 months
25,955 – CHF raised through crowdfunding 
28,220 – Approximate amount of cookies baked
9 – Packages lost in the post
80 – current versions of our recipe
97 Million – Sesame Seeds processed

2020 is surely a year to remember for the Naanu team.

Find out more:

Naanu Food AG
Stadtbachstrasse 4
5400 Baden

For inquiries, you can contact them here.

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