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Issue Date: Vol. 49, No.10, October 2009, Posted On: 10/2/2009

MooBella Secures Funding That Permits Ice Cream Dispenser Launch

by Staff Reporter
MooBella, Inventages, vending, vending machine, vending operator, vending route, vending business, vending news, coin-op news, frozen food, foodservice, automatic retailing

TAUNTON, MA -- MooBella Inc. has announced securing $18 million in Series A funding from W. Health L.P., a venture fund managed by Inventages. MooBella's multi-patented technology allows consumers to prepare a portion of fresh, hard-scoop ice cream in 40 seconds.

According to MooBella, the funding positions it to execute its initial market launch, beginning with the deployment of 100 commercial machines. With the completion of this round of funding, the company has transitioned its corporate structure from MooBella LLC, whose focus was research and development, to MooBella Inc., a commercial enterprise.

MooBella president and chief executive Bruce Ginsberg said that those 100 machines would be placed in high-traffic locations throughout New England within the next six months.

The MooBella Ice Creamery automated single-serving ice cream dispenser occupies less than 10 sq.ft., about the size of a household refrigerator. It offers patrons 96 possible combinations, selected by computer touchscreen. The menu offers two ice cream varieties (e.g., Premium and Light), 12 flavors and three mix-ins; and customers prepare custom servings in three easy steps. MooBella ice cream is made with 100% natural dairy ingredients. It's described at the company's website, moobella.com.

Erich Sieber, a partner at Inventages and a member of the MooBella board of directors, observed that MooBella "has the potential to effect a paradigm shift in the ice cream industry by changing the supply chain. We're pleased to continue working alongside the expert team at MooBella," he said.

MooBella's supply-chain breakthrough is the elimination of the need for frozen storage throughout the chain, which dramatically increases the potential points of retail distribution.

Since the 2006 introduction of the initial prototype machines, which garnered awards and significant national press attention, the company has re-engineered the initial prototype and expanded its senior management team to include industry leaders with global experience in engineering, marketing and food science.

MooBella also has joined forces with IDEX Corp. (Northbrook, IL), a leader in sophisticated specialty machinery production, to develop, manufacture and provide technical service for the first generation of commercial machines.

Inventages is one of the largest venture capital/private equity firms specializing in life sciences, with more than $1.5 billion under management.

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