Divinia Knowles has ditched Moshi Monsters for Pact Coffee

The former Mind Candy exec is off to a caffeine-fuelled start-up.

by Jack Torrance
Last Updated: 13 Oct 2015

Coffee by post might not sound like the most revolutionary of business models, but it has certainly  caught the eye of many of London's entrepreneurial fraternity. Launched just three years ago, Pact Coffee has attracted investment from the likes of Transferwise founder Taavet Hinrikus, Rowan Gormley of Naked Wines and veteran VC Robin Klein.

And now it's managed to hire one of the start-up scene's biggest names. After quitting as president and CFO of Moshi Monsters maker Mind Candy last month, Divinia Knowles will join Pact as chief operating officer. Knowles, one of MT's 35 Women Under 35 2013 was credited with turning Mind Candy into one of London's most celebrated start-ups, with a valuation of £127m in 2011.

'Divinia's experience building a large organisation with multiple products across different geographies made her the perfect choice to join the team,' said Pact founder Stephen Rapoport, who sold his last start-up, Crashpadder, to Airbnb.

Read more: Pact Coffee is on a caffeine-fuelled high

Things haven't gone quite to plan for Mind Candy in recent years though. Its revenues dipped, profits reverted to losses and last year its valuation was slashed to less than £16m. Still, you can learn just as much on the way down as on the way up, and Knowles's experience will be an big asset to Pact as it looks to grow.

'I’ve made lots of mistakes before but I will hopefully do it without the mistakes this time,' Knowles told the Telegraph. 'Pact has had lots of success already, which I will build on.'

At the moment the coffee start-up has around 50 staff, its revenue is growing by around 11% each month and it recently shipped its millionth bag of coffee. Earlier this year, Rapoport told MT he had a 'billion pound ambition.' If Knowles can help avert the kinds of afflictions that hampered Mind Candy then that ambition looks a step closer to reality today.

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