Opus Mushrooms – the market for mushroom extracts

Mushroom extracts are a standard part of medical practice in the Far East. Opus Mushrooms is now also marketing this type of product in the West.

Anne Bas met several mushroom growers, and within a year of that meeting, Opus Mushrooms was born, which markets mushroom extracts in imitation of Eastern medicine. We talk to her about the product and the growth ambitions of her company.

A Dutch version of this article can be read on the website of our partner: Emerce.

What is the story behind Opus Mushrooms?

“Almost two and a half years ago, a friend introduced me to people who grew mushrooms and made various extracts. I had never heard of mushroom vitamins, but I had seen the documentary Fantastic Fungi. I decided I wanted to try their extracts, and after a few weeks, I started to feel a lot better. My skin improved, I slept better, and my digestion was more regular.”

Were you already active in a related industry?

“My background is in fashion and manufacturing. I co-founded a company called Arch & Hook in 2015. We sold clothes hangers to hotels and chain stores. So it’s not like I knew much about biochemistry. However, I loved biology and chemistry in high school and am a big fan of alternative and homeopathic medicine. I did some reading and noticed that there were many mushroom success stories. In the Far East, they are much further. They take homeopathic/alternative medicine more seriously and use it more often. Sometimes even in combination with synthetic agents. I concluded that this could be just as successful a product as CBD.”

How did you get started with Opus Mushrooms?

“After studying the product, I made a business plan, created new products with five mushrooms, and launched Opus Mushrooms almost a year after my first meeting.”

How is the market structured? Who do you primarily sell to?

“In terms of distribution, I noticed during my market research that most of the retailers in this industry are smart shops. My goal is to remove mushroom supplements from this somewhat vague type of store and to make this beautiful product available to people who have never been to a smart shop and will never visit but are open to these types of supplements. Hence the sleek, friendlier packaging and lifestyle branding.”

The product can be very successful if it is marketed with more sophistication and sold in large, reliable retail chains

What are you currently looking for in terms of investments?

“Anyone can invest. Quiet is fine. Someone with connections in the health retail industry is even better. If someone wants to be involved (get a role and become a partner), we would also like to get in touch.

Since the first purchase of a large retail chain and plans to sell abroad, we plan mass production. The scaling is costly, but the margins will be a lot better. To meet minimum order quantities and to have a team to sell and manage these quantities, we are looking for 600,000 euros. Our minimum ticket is 50,000 euros.”

Where should the financing take you in the coming years?

“The current funding round will be to build the team and pay for production to help us expand internationally. We are currently planning distribution in Germany. We will use the following round to build our production plant.”

What advice do you have for aspiring startup founders?

“Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help, but be careful whom you listen to. Not all advice is smart advice, and some advice can be discouraging. You have a vision; stick to it and reap the benefits of your conversations! Most importantly, stay firm and enjoy the adventure.”

Find more information about Opus Mushrooms for investors here

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