German vegan breakfast products company Wholey has received EUR6.2m (US$6.5m) as part of pre-Series A financing.

Tengelmann Ventures, the corporate-venture arm of retail group Tengelmann, has led the funding with backing from investors including Feast Ventures. Wholey is planning on using the investment “to invest in product development, marketing and sales, with a focus on expanding retail distribution in Europe”.

The Berlin-based start-up makes plant-based smoothie bowls, granola, porridge and nut butters and employs more than 30 people. Launched in 2016, Wholey’s products are available in retailers in seven European countries, including the UK.

“The investment will enable us to take our brand to the next level and bring even more customers with us to achieve even more healthy and tasty breakfast products. We see ourselves in a good position to confidently complete the upcoming Series A,” said Casimir von Carmer, co-founder and COO of the start-up.

Julia Lang, an investment executive at Tengelmann Ventures, said: “In Wholey’s growing penetration of the food retail sector, we see confirmation that the products are convincing consumers in the long term and are finding their place in the shopping trolley – even in times of crisis.”

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Tengelmann Ventures and Feast Ventures focus on early-stage investments, with Feast specifically targeting the food and ag-tech industry with brands such as Planet Foods and Willicroft in its portfolio.

“We believe the focus on quality, sustainability and convenience will resonate with consumers looking for healthy and convenient breakfast options,” added Benedikt Stoeckert, general partner at Feast Ventures.

“We are also impressed with Wholey’s ability to quickly develop a strong brand and build a loyal customer base.”

Earlier this month, another German start-up YFood received backing from Swiss giant Nestlé.