(Austin, Texas, JUNE 6, 2023) – Afia, a Mediterranean food company launched with a mission to make the region’s cuisine more accessible, announces the close of $3MM Series A equity financing. Embree Capital Markets Group (Devansoy and HealtheMed), Semillero Partners (Imperfect Foods, Sanzo, Farmer’s Fridge), MJR Ventures (Better Sour and Nyssa Care), Roya Capital (Partake, Omsom, Maker Wine, Pulp Pantry) and other angel investors have joined together in the investment. This follows the initial investment secured in 2020 from Unorthodox Ventures.
The six-year-old company will use the funding to scale Afia’s core product line, open a new 21,000 square foot manufacturing facility and headquarters in Taylor, Texas later this year, launch new products, and increase customer availability through traditional & online retailers and food service.
“This early investment will be pivotal in supporting our expansion plans which include a new manufacturing facility and a new line of products,” says CoFounder and CEO Yassin Sibai, who has directed Afia’s fundraising efforts. “We sought strategic partners in our investors who align with our vision. We are excited to work with them on our new phase of growth.”
Started at a farmer’s market in Austin in 2017, Afia realizes a dream of bringing healthy Mediterranean family recipes to American consumers. Sibai, and his wife Farrah Moussallati Sibai, missed the dishes they knew from home in Syria. Using a book of family recipes, Farrah (who is majority owner of the company) introduced an updated, modern approach to this cuisine – offering convenience and clean, whole ingredients, with vegan, halal, and gluten-free options. Shoppers were instantly in love with their signature frozen traditional falafel and asked for more flavors.
Afia gained early momentum as a member of the Chobani Incubator and as an H-E-B’s Diversity Supplier of the Year in 2019. Yassin came on board as CEO to oversee fundraising, financials, sales, distribution and human resources while Farrah focused on R&D, operations, food production & safety, marketing and PR as President.
Afia currently produces five different flavors of falafel and their online/Texas-exclusive kibbeh. In September 2022, they introduced their latest flavor, Za’atar Falafel, which was a 2023 NEXTY finalist for best new frozen product. They have been able to combine their growth with their mission of supporting the community, through job opportunities for refugees and food pantry donations.
“We were extremely pleased to lead this round of growth capital for an exciting and rapidly expanding brand that’s delivering healthy and delicious Mediterranean food options for consumers nationwide, while remaining true to its family heritage and community involvement,” stated Rocky Hardin, Chief Executive Officer of Embree Capital Markets Group and a member of the Afia Board of Directors.
The food company has seen significant growth in the last two years, tripling distribution since late 2020 by adding Whole Foods nationally, Sprouts, Publix, Giant Landover, Harris Teeter, and Wegmans to their roster of more than 3,000 retail locations nationwide. In 2023, they added key West Coast distribution through Harmons, Raleys, Lunardis, and Market of Choice. In 2022, Afia was honored by Austin Chamber and SXSW with their A List award for entrepreneurship, Moussallati Sibai was awarded the 2022 Austin Business Journal’s Women in Business award and Austin Inno gave them an Inno Fire Award. The Austin Chamber honored Afia with a Greater Austin Business Awards for Best Consumer Product 2021.
For more information about Afia and their mission, visit Afiafoods.com and follow on IG at @afiafoods
# # #
Afia, which means “to your health” in Arabic, is a Mediterranean food company headquartered in Austin, Texas, driven by a mission to make food powerful. Founded by Farrah Moussallati Sibai, who had resettled in Texas after enduring personal tragedy and loss in Syria, Afia’s products infuse the meals of her past with modern flavors. Using her mother-in-law's little black book of old Syrian family recipes, Moussallati Sibai began selling Afia’s signature frozen falafel and kibbeh at one farmers’ market in 2017. Afia now offers six different products at more than 3,000 locations nationwide and online. The founders are dedicated to nourishing the community through more than food. Beyond regular donations to local food banks, Afia is committed to supporting their local community of refugees through employment and mentoring. For more on Afia and their mission, visit afiafoods.com or follow @afiafoods.
Jackie Stone, email@example.com