Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has a new title: start-up investor. According to Fortune magazine, the duchess has invested in a small, woman-owned company called Clevr Blends with just six employees. Located near Montecito, California, the business makes superfood-enhanced instant oat milk lattes and is run by cofounder and CEO Hannah Mendoza. Markle’s investment in Clevr Blends marks the launch of a burgeoning career for the Duchess, who plans to privately invest in a string of female-led startup companies that are in line with her values.
“This investment is in support of a passionate female entrepreneur who prioritizes building community alongside her business,” the duchess shared. “I’m proud to invest in Hannah’s commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I personally love and has a holistic approach to wellness. I believe in her and I believe in her company.”
Mendoza also released a statement, revealing her gratitude for the investment and the Duchess of Sussex’s support. “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,” read the statement from Mendoza. “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.”
Based in Montecito, the wealthy Californian enclave home to Markle and Prince Harry, Clevr sells four kinds of “instant SuperLatte blends” online for US$28 a bag, or US$2 a drink. Clevr Blends describes itself as a “woman-led, mission driven wellness company”, adding on its website that “we think you deserve to feel amazing, no matter how crazy life gets”. The company started in 2017 as a “funky pop-up coffee bar” in Santa Barbara in which “adaptogenic lattes and mushroom coffees” were sold from the back of a van that travelled the Californian coast.
Megan recently gifted Clevr products to Montecito neighbor Oprah Winfrey for Christmas. Winfrey posted an Instagram video of her opening a special delivery of lattes from Markle, who she referred to by her first initial. In the clip, Oprah demostrates how to make one of the company’s oat milk and turmeric drinks. She captioned it: “On the first day of Christmas my neighbor ‘M’ sent to me… A basket of deliciousness!” She added, not so subtly, “Yes that M” — alongside a crown emoji.
She added that the $28-a-bag beverage is her “new drink of choice for the morning and night,” writing, “Wish I had @clevrblends sooner cause I would’ve added it to my Favourite Things list.”