Local entrepreneur experiences a year of momentum following angel investment.
In 2021, OregonAF investors made an angel investment of $225,000 in Puffworks, the maker of plant-based snacks from Portland, Ore. We recently caught up with founder, Greg Murphy, to check in. It’s been a momentum-packed year. The business has seen an increase in e-commerce sales by more than 60 percent year-over-year and its current annual run-rate exceeds $2M. Additionally, sales of its Puffworks snacks (non-baby) increased 97 percent in the first half of 2022 compared to a year ago. Greg cited conversations with local investors and industry experts as incredibly helpful during OregonAF last year.
Mark your calendars so that you can get in on some of these conversations – AND see who’s vying for angel investment this year! It’s been a really pivotal year for Puffworks and we are happy to have been a part of it.
You can get your tickets to the OregonAF 2022 Grand Finale & Marketplace on September 17 at The Redd here.
“The pandemic significantly disrupted our retail business. We were forced to pivot to an online growth strategy and the angel investment from OregonAF in 2021 allowed us to continue to build on that momentum to stay on our growth plan.”
– Greg Murphy, Founder, Puffworks
What is your experience with OregonAF?
We participated in OregonAF last year (2021) and it was an incredibly helpful (and humbling!) experience to help define our brand, understand gaps in our story and help craft our growth strategy. Getting to talk to local investors and industry experts was incredibly beneficial at a pivotal time for our company.
What did it feel like to receive the angel investment of $225K last year?
It felt amazing! Growing a consumer brand is already an expensive endeavor, and the pandemic significantly disrupted our retail business. We were forced to pivot to an online growth strategy and the investment from Oregon AF allowed us to continue to build on that momentum to stay on our growth plan.
How did you use this investment?
We primarily used the investment to accelerate our online growth strategy. We were able to increase our online marketing initiatives with influencers and expanded our advertising. Plus, we added a part-time salesperson to help us begin to expand our retail presence as the country emerges from the pandemic.
Talk me through your business momentum today?
Our current annual run-rate exceeds $2 million, and in the first half of 2022 we increased our e-commerce sales by over 60 percent on a year/year basis. Also in the first half, we added several important new customers for our baby products including Thrive Market, Hive Brands, Erewhon, Bristol Farms and Kroger Ship. And, we expanded our retail SKU set to include baby Almond at Raley’s and Nugget. Today, Puffworks baby is the top-selling allergy introduction product on Amazon and a top-ten best-selling baby snack overall.
We are also making significant progress in transitioning our baby customers into life-long snack customers. Sales of our Puffworks snacks (non-baby) increased 97 percent in the first half of 2022 compared to a year ago, which is important not just because Puffworks is a great-tasting, healthy snack for kids, but the key to avoiding peanut allergy later in life is continued exposure through age five.
What would you like people to know about your product?
It’s made with simple organic ingredients – and tastes delicious! A great product to expose babies to peanuts – and almonds – and keep them snacking in a more wholesome way.
What advice do you have for founders seeking angel investment?
Obtaining angel investment is hard and time consuming. To give yourself the best chance, focus on what will make your business attractive to angel investors. Validate your idea with real market traction and have clear milestones for what you will achieve with their investment and how the investor will get a return.