Meghan Markle becomes investor in oat milk latte startup

Meghan Markle has invested in a startup that makes instant oat-milk lattes, with Oprah Winfrey revealing she’s received a gift basket from the Duchess of Sussex full of the products.

On Monday, Meghan announced she had invested in Clevr Blends, which describes itself as “the world’s first instant oat milk latte”. The company, run out of Santa Barbara, California, was co-founded by CEO Hannah Mendoza in January 2019.

Meghan revealed the investment into the female-founded business in a statement shared with Fortune, in which she said: “This investment is in support of a passionate female entrepreneur who prioritises building community alongside her business.

“I’m proud to invest in Hannah’s commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I personally love and [that] has a holistic approach to wellness. I believe in her, and I believe in her company.”

According to Fortune, the duchess became interested in the company after trying its products at a coffee pop-up shop, with the recent funding marking her first public investment.

While the duchess did not disclose how much she invested into the startup, which currently has a staff of six and sells four different kinds of instant lattes, the company said it would be using the investment to “scale its business”.

In a statement shared with Fortune, Mendoza praised Meghan, who she referred to as an “advisor”.

“Entrepreneurs need funding, but they also need advisers who care deeply about what they are building. I’m grateful to have found both in the Duchess of Sussex,” Mendoza said. “Her passion for what we’re creating is palpable, and I couldn’t imagine a more aligned partnership. We’re excited for the road ahead.”

Prior to the official announcement, Winfrey revealed on Instagram that Meghan, who she referred to as her neighbour, had given her the powdered oat milk products in a gift basket.

“On the first day of Christmas my neighbour ‘M’ sent to me…a basket of deliciousness!” Winfrey captioned a video of her trying the lattes, adding: “(Yes that M)” alongside a crown emoji.

“My new drink of choice for the morning and night. Wish I had @clevrblends sooner cause I would’ve added it to my Favourite Things list. #HappyHolidays.”

The duchess and Winfrey became neighbours after Meghan, her husband Prince Harry, and their son Archie moved to Santa Barbara earlier this year.

According to Clevr’s website, its products, which include a matcha super latte and a chai super latte, are made from organic and non-GMO ingredients and its shipping materials are 100 per cent post consumer recycled, and 100 per cent recyclable.