News for July 26, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

KDP and La Colombe Partnership

Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. (KDP) and La Colombe have announced a strategic partnership that includes a long-term sales and distribution agreement for La Colombe’s ready-to-drink coffee and a long-term licensing, manufacturing, and distribution agreement for La Colombe branded K-Cup® coffee pods. KDP will also make a $300 million cash investment in La Colombe, acquiring a 33% ownership stake. The partnership aims to expand KDP’s reach into the ready-to-drink and super-premium coffee segments while increasing La Colombe’s availability to consumers. The distribution transition and the launch of K-Cup® pods are expected in late 2023 and 2024, respectively.


Botinkit closes $13M Series A

Botinkit, a robotics company that automates and standardizes cooking for chain restaurants, has raised $13 million in a Series A round, with notable investors including Zexiang Li, known for his angel investment in drone giant DJI. Botinkit’s cooking robots, including a wok-shaped robot and a forthcoming deep-fry model, aim to reduce ingredient loss and energy consumption while facilitating cross-regional expansion for restaurants. The company plans to develop multimodal sensors and eventually leverage artificial general intelligence to improve its robots’ understanding of human preferences and refine cooking processes.


Clean-label cereal funding

Clean-label breakfast food company, Seven Sundays recently secured $6 million in growth capital during its latest funding round. The company, known for its gluten-free and grain-free breakfast cereals, granola, and muesli, has been a Certified B Corporation since 2019. Private investors led the funding, as well as Sidekick Partners, Clover Vitality, Bobby Parrish, GRT SHT Ventures, and existing angel investors. Seven Sundays intends to utilize the funds to further product development, enhance employee well-being, and promote sustainability, specifically focusing on regenerative agriculture and upcycled ingredients.


Coffee brand Minus adds new funds

Minus, a San Francisco-based company formerly known as Compound Foods, has secured a new round of funding from the Mexico City venture capital firm Amplifica Capital. The exact investment amount has not been disclosed, but Amplifica Capital typically funds projects with amounts ranging from $100,000 to $500,000. Minus specializes in producing beanless ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee made from a blend of recycled ingredients, brewed through batch fermentation, and caffeinated to imitate the taste of traditional coffee. The company claims to have a significantly reduced carbon footprint and lower water consumption than conventional coffee production.


Döhler Acquires SVZ

Döhler Group has acquired SVZ, a premium vegetable and red berry ingredient producer. The purchase aims to strengthen Döhler’s global market position and expand its portfolio of natural ingredients and integrated solutions. With production sites in multiple countries, SVZ already has a strong presence in the food, beverage, and nutrition industries, and the acquisition will provide customers with access to a broader range of ingredients, including low-calorie and nutrient-dense options, meeting the growing demand for health and wellness products.


Gaia Tech Closes Pre-Seed Round

Gaia Tech, an ETH Zurich spin-off company, has successfully raised CHF 480,000 in a pre-seed funding round from SICTIC business angels, Venture Kick, and the Stiftung für technologische Innovation STI. The company specializes in extracting natural antioxidants from agricultural waste, particularly olive sidestreams, using a proprietary modular and scalable extraction technology. Gaia Tech aims to transform agrarian sidestreams into valuable products and has received positive market validation for its groundbreaking technology, particularly in the cosmetic ingredients market. The funding will support pilot production, product development, and business expansion, focusing on establishing partnerships with industry leaders.


LatAm beverage co. acquires US cold brew brand

Beliv, a prominent Latin American beverage company, has acquired a 78% stake in High Brew, a leading brand in the cold brew coffee ready-to-drink industry in the United States. High Brew’s cold extraction process results in a beverage with more antioxidants, less acidity, and 11 natural and low-sugar flavors. High Brew is a rapidly growing player in the US market, with a strong presence in over 15,000 locations, including major supermarket chains and e-commerce platforms. The acquisition is part of Beliv’s global expansion strategy and aims to strengthen its presence in the United States further.


Disclaimer: NCN does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any NCN news item. Before relying on any NCN News item the information should be independently verified.

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News for July 14, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Jenny Craig to relaunch

Wellful, Inc. has acquired the Jenny Craig brand and plans to relaunch it as a separate, independent brand this fall. Jenny Craig, which previously operated through physical weight loss and nutrition centers, will now adopt a direct-to-consumer delivery model with personalized coaching services. Wellful, the owner of Nutrisystem, aims to expand its portfolio through this acquisition and utilize its experience to revive Jenny Craig. The move comes after Jenny Craig went out of business in May due to competition from other weight loss programs and the shift towards online weight loss solutions


AI calorie app funding

SnapCalorie, a health management startup, has secured $2 million in seed funding from Y Combinator. The Virginia-based company has developed AI technology that can determine the calorie content of a meal from a single photo. SnapCalorie’s app claims to be more accurate than a trained nutritionist, using an algorithm outlined in an academic paper co-authored by Wade Norris, a former Google AI engineer and co-founder of the startup. The company leverages Roboflow’s advanced computer vision systems for dataset management and labeling, which has reportedly significantly sped up model prototyping and decreased labeling time.


EGYM raises $225M from Affinity

Munich-based smart fitness startup EGYM has secured a €207 million ($225 million) equity investment led by Affinity Partners, the investment firm founded by Jared Kushner. EGYM’s business encompasses connected gym equipment, software for optimizing workouts, a corporate health network called Wellpass, and a mission to shift the focus of healthcare from repair to prevention. The company generated $130 million in revenues in 2022, with a 70% year-over-year growth, and aims to double overall revenues to $260 million in 2023 while expanding into the US market. EGYM’s funding round is one of the largest in Europe, and it plans to go public in the future.


eFishery reels in $200M

Indonesian aquaculture startup eFishery has raised $200 million in a Series D funding round, making it the first startup in the global aquaculture industry to achieve a valuation of over $1 billion. The funding was led by 42XFund and included participation from other investors such as Kumpulan Wang Persaraan, responsibility, and 500 Global. eFishery aims to reach one million aquaculture ponds in Indonesia by 2025 and expand internationally. The company provides a smart feeding system for fisheries and offers marketplaces for selling fish and shrimp feed, fresh products, and financial services for fish farmers.


WM Partners acquires Allergy Research Group

WM Partners, a diverse-owned private equity firm focused on the health and wellness sector, has announced the acquisition of Allergy Research Group (ARG). ARG, a subsidiary of KI NutriCare, is a leading provider of hypoallergenic supplements in the healthcare practitioner channel. The acquisition aligns with WM Partners’ strategy of investing in middle-market companies and driving value creation in the natural consumer health industry. With its operational expertise, WM Partners aims to optimize and grow ARG while expanding its market share in the healthcare practitioner channel.


Funding boost for Everytable

Everytable, a mission-driven food company focused on food justice and accessibility, has raised $25 million in Series C-2 preferred stock financing. The Dohmen Company Foundation (DCF) led the funding round through the Dohmen Impact Investment Fund, which supports companies that address diet-related diseases. Everytable will use the investment to expand Everytable’s retail stores and food services in Southern California, the Bay Area and New York City, with plans to open 25 additional stores by the end of 2023. Everytable and DCF established their partnership through their shared commitment to addressing hunger and diet-related diseases.


Dairygold acquires Vita Actives

Dairygold’s Health and Nutrition division has acquired a majority stake in Vita Actives, a Dublin-based nutritional solutions provider. Vita Actives supplies nutraceutical ingredients and nutrition solutions for various industries, including functional foods, human nutrition, sports nutrition, health, wellness, and cosmetics. The acquisition is a significant development for Dairygold, as it offers opportunities for future growth in the life-stage nutrition sector and allows for cross-divisional research and development. The CEO of Vita Actives expressed excitement about the transaction, noting that it will support the company’s expansion and provide a strong platform for success. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.


Lyre’s raises £17M, appoints CEO

Non-alcoholic spirits brand Lyre’s has successfully raised over £17 million in a recent funding round led by investors DSquared and Morgan Creek Consumer Fund. The investment will enable Lyre’s to meet the growing global demand for its products and expand its presence in key markets such as Australia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East. The funds will also enhance the company’s production capabilities and fulfill customer inventory obligations. Additionally, Lyre’s announced that its Chief Marketing Officer, Paul Gloster, will take on the role of CEO, allowing co-founder Mark Livings to focus on future ambitions. Gloster expressed excitement about leading the company into a new phase of growth and emphasized the dedication and passion of the team.


Lab-grown fish funding raised

German startup Bluu Seafood has raised €16 million ($17.5 million) in a Series A funding round to develop its cultivated fish products. The company uses stem-cell technology to grow entire fish species in a lab, starting with a fish biopsy that does not harm the fish. Bluu Seafood’s first products include fish sticks and balls made from cultivated fish cells enriched with plant proteins to improve their texture and cooking process. Following the recent FDA approval of lab-grown chicken products in the United States, the company plans to seek regulatory approval in markets such as Singapore and Europe. The funding round was led by Sparkfood and LBBW VC, with participation from several other investors.


Disclaimer: NCN does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any NCN news item. Before relying on any NCN News item the information should be independently verified.

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News for June 29, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Gorgie raises $6.5M

Gorgie, a wellness beverage brand created by Michelle Cordeiro Grant, has secured $6.5 million in pre-seed funding after its launch in January. The funding was obtained from a group of investors consisting of founders and executives with diverse industry backgrounds rather than formal institutions or venture capital partners. The capital will be utilized to expand Gorgie’s team, enhance its retail presence, improve distribution, invest in marketing efforts and drive product innovation.


Unilever acquires Yasso

Unilever, a multinational consumer goods company, has announced its plan to acquire Yasso, a popular premium frozen Greek yogurt brand based in the United States. Yasso, founded in 2009, has become a major player in the low-calorie indulgent frozen snack market. This acquisition aligns with Unilever’s strategy to expand its premium brand portfolio, which already includes Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, and Talenti. The transaction is anticipated to be completed in the third quarter of 2023, pending regulatory approval, and the financial details have not been disclosed.


Mediterranean food funding

Afia Foods, a Mediterranean food company based in Austin, Texas, has secured $3 million in Series A equity financing. The funding will allow the company to expand its core product line and establish a new 23,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and headquarters in Taylor, Texas. Afia Foods produces a variety of falafel flavors and offers an exclusive online product called kibbeh in Texas. The company’s co-founder and CEO, Yassin Sibai, expressed excitement about the investment and highlighted the importance of strategic partners who share their vision for growth. Rocky Hardin, CEO of Embree Capital Markets Group and a member of the Afia board of directors emphasized the brand’s commitment to delivering healthy and delicious Mediterranean food options while honoring its Syrian family heritage and community involvement.


AHARA launches personalized nutrition

Consumer health tech company AHARA has announced its beta launch and raised over $10 million in seed funding. Co-founded by tech entrepreneur Julie Wainwright and physician nutrition specialist Dr. Melina Jampolis, AHARA offers personalized nutrition recommendations based on clinically validated science. The platform utilizes data from health questionnaires, genetic and biomarker testing and an AI-enabled algorithm to identify key nutrients and provide actionable nutrition plans. AHARA is supported by a board of industry-leading doctors and nutrition professionals and aims to make evidence-based, personalized nutrition accessible to all.


Matcha maker raises $3.6M 

Cuzen Matcha, an innovative company revolutionizing the matcha tea market, has raised $3.6 million in a Series A funding round. The lead investor, Digital Garage Group, known for its technology and venture capital investments expertise, will help expand Cuzen Matcha’s global audience and support its business-to-business (B2B) expansion. Cuzen Matcha’s at-home matcha maker and matcha leaf system, which produces freshly ground matcha from organic leaves, have garnered acclaim and positioned the company as a frontrunner in the industry. The funding will enable Cuzen Matcha to expand its market presence and cater to the growing demand for matcha.


PartnerSlate raises $4M

Online marketplace PartnerSlate, which connects food brands with contract manufacturers, has raised $4 million in a funding round led by Supply Change Capital. PartnerSlate’s marketplace aims to streamline collaboration in the $200 billion contract manufacturing industry for food and beverage brands. The platform allows CPG brands to find suitable contract manufactures quickly by using data science instead of traditional cold-calling methods, saving both parties time and effort. The funding will be used to expand project management features, invest in sales and marketing and accelerate the growth of the online marketplace.


RodeoCPG expands its solutions

RodeoCPG, a provider of retail growth solutions for better-for-you consumer packaged goods brands, has announced its expanded product offerings and successfully completed a fundraising round. Led by investors such as TAWANI Ventures and BFG Partners, the funding will support RodeoCPG’s vision to empower CPG brands in the retail sector. The company’s new approach focuses on delivering specialized solutions tailored to the unique challenges faced by CPG brands, including sales management and execution, sales order management, deduction analysis and dispute resolution and sales planning and data analysis. With a team of industry experts and innovative technology, RodeoCPG aims to reshape the future of retail growth for better-for-you CPG brands.


AF Drinks secures investment

Pernod Ricard’s venture arm, Convivialité Ventures, has made a significant investment in AF Drinks Ltd., a New Zealand-based, alcohol-free beverage brand. The non-alcoholic category has experienced rapid growth, surpassing $11 billion in value in 2022. AF Drinks has quickly gained a significant market share in the ready-to-drink non-alcoholic spirits category in New Zealand and aims to expand further in the United States with the support of Convivialité Ventures. The brand’s unique branding, high-quality taste and early consumer traction have set it apart, and it plans to leverage Pernod Ricard’s global reach to expand into more markets.


Nature’s Path is headed into the baby food lane

Nature’s Path Organic Foods, a North American cereal and snack food brand, has acquired Love Child Organics, a Canadian baby food and children’s snack brand. The acquisition aims to make organic food more accessible and strategically position Nature’s Path in the baby food market. Nature’s Path will integrate Love Child Organics into its portfolio, including exploring expansion into the U.S. market and developing new product innovations. Both companies are committed to delivering premium, organic and sustainable food, and the acquisition is expected to positively impact children’s access to nutritious meals. The financial details were not disclosed, and the transaction is set to close by June 30.


BetterBrand’s valuation reaches $170M

Food tech company BetterBrand has raised $6 million in Series A funding, bringing its pre-money valuation to over $170 million. The company, known for its innovative grain-changing technology, has developed a line of better-for-you baked goods, including its flagship product, The Better Bagel, which has significantly reduced net carbs and increased protein content. BetterBrand has experienced rapid growth, expanding its product offerings and securing placements in over 1,000 stores in the United States. The new funding will be used to further expand into new markets, invest in product development and drive continued innovation.


Omeat’s novel meat approach

Los Angeles-based startup Omeat has emerged from stealth mode with $40 million in funding and a novel approach to scaling cultivated meat production. Unlike other companies that aim to eliminate animal components from cell culture media, Omeat plans to extract growth factors and other components from the plasma of living cows on its farm. This approach, which involves a pain-free plasmapheresis process, is more humane, scalable and cost-effective, according to Omeat founder and CEO Dr. Ali Khademhosseini. The company is building a pilot plant in Los Angeles and aims to launch with ground beef products.


CellX secures $6.5M funding 

CellX, a Chinese cellular agriculture startup focused on cultivated meat, has secured $6.5 million in a Series A+ funding round, bringing its total funding to over $20 million. The funding will support CellX’s goal of achieving pilot-scale production of cultivated meat products. The company is collaborating with global universities and companies to accelerate the commercialization of cultivated meat, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region. CellX aims to produce cultivated meat at a large scale and low cost, recognizing the significance of these factors in impacting the global food supply chain.


Hyfé raises $9M for biomanufacturing

Hyfé, a company founded by former ExxonMobil and LanzaTech engineers, has raised $9 million in seed funding to repurpose nutrients found in food-processing wastewater and create feedstocks for biomanufacturing and clean water. The funding will strengthen commercial partnerships, expand the employee base and advance pilot-scale technology demonstrations. By utilizing underutilized waste carbon streams, Hyfé aims to address the challenge of cost and supply of sugar feedstocks in biomanufacturing, contributing to the decarbonization of industrial sectors and promoting sustainable, affordable alternatives to traditional feedstocks.


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News for June 14, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Altman backs Uncommon’s alt-meat

British alt-meat startup Uncommon has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round with backing from investors, including Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. Uncommon specializes in developing lab-grown “bacon” and “pork belly” products using cell-based meat production and RNA technology. The company plans to apply for regulatory approval to bring its products to market and aims to become the largest protein company globally.


Fundraising for sustainable fashion

Ecovative, a mycelium technology company, has raised over $30 million in a Series E funding round led by Viking Global Investors. The funds will be used to expand the production of sustainable textile and foam products under the Forager brand in footwear and apparel. Ecovative specializes in mycelium materials and aims to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly products by leveraging biology to create high-performing, planet-friendly materials.


Green Coffee Co. raises $25M

Colombia’s largest coffee producer, Green Coffee Company, has raised $25 million in Series C funding to expand its operations and launch alcoholic beverages made from coffee byproducts. With over 11.5 million coffee trees across 9,000 acres, the company controls the entire supply chain from cultivation to processing. It aims to become the world’s largest producer of arabica coffee and is seeking $65 million in institutional debt capital.


Expanding the mycelium meat category

Quorn Foods, a leading mycoprotein producer, has partnered with vegan meat startup Prime Roots to expand the mycelium meat category. The collaboration aims to develop new products using their respective mycelium technologies. This partnership comes as Prime Roots recently raised $30 million in funding and reflects the growing demand for sustainable meat alternatives. Additionally, research has shown the health benefits of mycoprotein, including its positive impact on gut health and muscle growth.


VitaBowl revolutionizes healthcare

VitaBowl, a food-as-medicine meal delivery company, has raised $3 million to revolutionize healthcare. They aim to collaborate with health insurance providers, offering medically tailored and reimbursable meal programs to individuals with chronic illnesses. By combining nutrition expertise with the convenience of meal delivery, VitaBowl seeks to improve health outcomes for conditions like diabetes and heart disease.


Emma’s coffee expansion

YouTuber Emma Chamberlain has expanded her coffee brand, Chamberlain Coffee, by launching a ready-to-drink line of cold brew lattes. The company, which sells high-quality organic coffee, secured $7 million in funding and has expanded its retail presence in Sprouts and Walmart. Chamberlain Coffee aims to provide a unique coffee experience with fun product names and vibrant branding, leveraging Emma Chamberlain’s popularity and Gen Z appeal. They plan to use the investment to develop new products, enhance marketing efforts, and expand into more retail spaces.


Neat Burger closes $18M Series B round

Neat Burger, a plant-based restaurant chain in the UK backed by Lewis Hamilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, has secured $18 million in a Series B funding round. The company has rapidly grown since its launch in 2019 and is known for its high-quality plant-based food that appeals to both flexitarian and plant-based consumers. The funding will support Neat Burger’s global expansion plans, including entering the US market and opening new restaurants in Italy and the Middle East. The company has also seen strong sales performance and has been recognized with industry awards for its innovative approach to plant-based dining.


New funds for r.e.m. beauty

Los Angeles-based beauty brand r.e.m. beauty, founded by Ariana Grande, has received a strategic investment from Sandbridge Capital. The specific amount of the investment was not disclosed, but it also involved participation from Strand Equity, HYBE America, Live Nation Entertainment and Universal Music Group. r.e.m. beauty, established in 2021 and led by CEO Michelle Shigemasa, is a clean, vegan and cruelty-free brand that offers an inclusive range of shades and products. The company has recently obtained PETA certification and plans to focus on its core markets and has additional expansion plans in the pipeline.


Aplós raises $5.5M funding

Functional non-alcoholic spirits brand Aplós has secured $5.5 million in a Series A funding round led by McCarthy Capital. The funds will be used to expand distribution in bars, restaurants, and retail locations. With global sales of the no- and low-alcohol categories surpassing $11 billion in 2022, Aplós aims to provide an alcohol alternative without the adverse effects. Major beverage companies are also investing in the non-alcoholic market, anticipating its significant growth, particularly among young adults


Wicked Kitchen acquires Current Foods

Plant-based food brand Wicked Kitchen has acquired Current Foods, an alt-protein startup specializing in plant-based seafood. Wicked Kitchen’s second acquisition in a year reflects the industry’s consolidation trend. The acquisition strengthens Wicked Kitchen’s portfolio and global presence while aligning with its mission to disrupt the plant-based sector. Current Foods has gained recognition for its high-quality products, including plant-based sushi-grade alternatives, and the acquisition supports Wicked Kitchen’s goal of innovation and sustainability.


Sugar Reduction Company Raises $30M, Rebrands

Sugar reduction company DouxMatok has rebranded itself as Incredo LTD after raising $30 million in a Series C funding round. Incredo produces a sugar-based sweetener called Incredo Sugar that enables a 30% to 50% reduction in sugar content. The funding, led by DSM Venturing and Sienna Venture Capital, will expand the sweetener’s global usage and accelerate commercial partnerships, including a joint development agreement with confectionery giant Ferrero.


Funding Boost for CellMEAT

South Korean cultivated seafood company CellMEAT has raised $13 million in Series A funding, led by previous investors and joined by new investors. The company has developed cell culture technology allowing large-scale seafood production, including shrimp and caviar, while reducing costs and addressing ethical concerns. CellMEAT plans to open a production center in Seoul and launch commercially in Singapore, emphasizing its commitment to technology development and providing safe and innovative food options.


Disclaimer: NCN does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any NCN news item. Before relying on any NCN News item the information should be independently verified.

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News for May 24, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Financing fuels VitaminLab’s growth

VitaminLab, a leader in personalized supplements, has raised Series A funding to fuel its expansion. The investment round, co-led by Nimbus Synergies and DSM Venturing, will be used to grow facilities, automate production and expand market reach in North America. VitaminLab’s personalized approach considers health history, blood tests and DNA to create tailored formulas. The company has experienced rapid growth through e-commerce, healthcare practitioner collaborations and health testing companies’ integrations.


A TÖST to a non-alcoholic beverage investment

Constellation Brands, the global producer and marketer of alcoholic beverages including Corona, has acquired a minority stake in TÖST, a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage brand. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. TÖST’s products are developed without alcoholic fermentation and offer sparkling white tea and ginger flavors with cranberry and elderberry. 


Plant-based deli funding

San Francisco-based plant-based deli and charcuterie company Prime Roots has raised $30 million in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to approximately $50 million. True Ventures, Pangaea Ventures, Prosus Ventures and several other investors led the funding round. Prime Roots plans to utilize the funds to scale its operations and expand to deli counters and restaurants nationwide. Its products, made from koji, with flavors ranging from turkey to bacon, are free from nitrates, preservatives, cholesterol, soy and wheat, and have lower sodium content


Nactarome buys Royal Buisman

Nactarome, a natural taste and color solutions manufacturer for the F&B industry, has acquired Royal Buisman, a Dutch supplier of natural caramel ingredients. The acquisition will strengthen Nactarome’s presence in the Netherlands and expand its natural flavorings and ingredients portfolio. With 150 years of experience, Royal Buisman brings a broad customer base to the partnership. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.


Ryan Breslow, founder of Bolt, launches Love

Love, a health and wellness marketplace founded by Ryan Breslow, has launched after raising just under $20 million. MaC Venture Capital and Streamlined Ventures, which previously backed Bolt, invested. Initially envisioned as a “people-powered pharma” with a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), Love pivoted to start as a wellness marketplace offering curated products. The platform ensures compliance and safety through partnerships with clinical trials company Radicle Science and a team of advisors.


Kale United acquires Lily & Hanna’s

Swedish plant-based investment company Kale United has acquired Lily & Hanna’s, a non-dairy ice cream maker. The deal involved Kale United purchasing the majority of the Sweden-based business, although the financial terms were not disclosed. Lily & Hanna’s offers its products in Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Greece, and the company is looking to expand into other markets. The acquisition aligns with Kale United’s strategy to enhance its production and distribution of plant-based brands through Kale Foods, one of its subsidiaries.


€500K planted ingarden

Dietary supplement company ingarden has secured €500K in funding from investors, including Anne & Stefan Lemcke, Gennadi Tschernow & Björn Keune, Norbert Neef, Nikita Fahrenholz, Monique Hoell and James Hill & Henry Gwilliam. The Portland and Berlin-based company, founded by Mariana Ferreira and Christian Saitner, specializes in hydroponic technology that allows customers to cultivate fresh and nutrient-rich microgreens at home. Ingarden will use the funds to support the company’s growth targets.


Sweets from Earth acquires Tutti Gourmet

Sweets from the Earth has acquired Tutti Gourmet, a gluten-free biscotti manufacturer based in Quebec. This acquisition will significantly expand Sweets from the Earth’s product offerings in the gluten-free and sugar-free markets. The founder of Sweets from the Earth expressed excitement about adding Tutti Gourmet, highlighting their shared commitment to quality and innovation in providing customers with the best plant-based and gluten-free baked goods


Funding boost for Daily Dose

IW Capital has invested £5 million in Daily Dose, a UK-based cold-pressed juice and functional drinks business focused on sustainability. Daily Dose will use the funding to expand production facilities, acquire machinery for increased capacity/efficiency and support the company’s growth. Daily Dose partners with British farmers to transform waste produce into juice, sold under its own brand and through private label contracts with retailers. In addition, the company utilizes high-pressure processing at its Cambridgeshire site to maintain taste, nutritional value and shelf life..


Cleverman raises $1.8M funding

DTC men’s grooming brand Cleverman has raised $1.8 million in seed funding led by L’Attitude Ventures, which is committed to empowering the Latinx entrepreneurial community. Cleverman offers customized hair and beard color solutions for men through a simple quiz and over 10,000 options. The funding will support product innovation, omnichannel expansion and brand awareness. The seed funding also included participation from Fab Co-Creation Studio Ventures and angel investors.


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News for May 10, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Beauty meets biotech

Oddity, the parent company of beauty brand Il Makiage has acquired Revela, a biotech startup that develops skincare solutions, for $76 million. Revela uses advanced algorithms to analyze genomic and other biological data to create personalized skin care solutions for its clients. The acquisition will help Oddity strengthen its position in the beauty industry and improve its ability to provide customized skin care solutions to its customers. Oddity will also create Oddity Labs in Boston through an additional $25m investment, helping develop biotech innovations.


$5M funding for Korean beauty brand

Korean aggregator of health and beauty brands Grace has secured $5 million in Series B funding from SKS Capital. The investment will help Grace expand its operations, hire personnel, develop new services, and pursue regional growth opportunities. As the largest supplier of Olive Young, Korea’s largest health and beauty retailer, Grace supplies online and offline channels and has been exporting Korean brands to over 60 countries via B2B and D2C channels.


Hero Bread expands nationwide

Hero Bread, a better-for-you bread and baked goods company, announced a Series B funding round and national retail launch in 2,300 stores across 32 states. The company raised $47.5m in total funding to expand product availability in grocery retail and support future product innovation. Hero Bread will launch first in Sprouts Farmers Market, followed by Albertsons, other large retailers and continued D2C availability online. The company has a 54% consumer repeat purchase rate on grocery shelves in the first five months.


Pangea acquiring Glory Juice

Pangea Natural Foods has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Glory Juice, which develops and sells organic health food products, such as juices, smoothies, nut/seed milk and wellness shots. Following the acquisition, Glory Juice will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pangea. The transaction will be completed through a share exchange, with Pangea issuing 6 million common shares to the shareholders of Glory Juice. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals. The transaction terms include the repayment of approximately $1.8 million in loans through secured promissory notes issued by Glory Juice, repayable over 56 months.


EcoSoul Home Raises $10M

EcoSoul Home, a provider of eco-friendly home essential products based in Bellevue, Washington, has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Accel, with participation from Singh Capital Partners. The company plans to use the funds to launch new products, expand internationally into the UK, EU, and Asian markets, and strengthen its technology and data capabilities. 


Plant-Based Steak Factory Opening

Israeli-based Chunk Foods is preparing to open a plant-based whole cuts factory in June that founder and CEO Amos Golan claims will be “one of the largest in the world” and will manufacture “millions of steaks” per year using the firm’s proprietary fermentation technology. The company has secured pre-sales for its steak product, which is currently being served in some New York City restaurants, and has funding of $15m. Golan said the firm’s technology enabled it to mimic traditional meat’s texture, color and taste without using preservatives, additives or GMOs.


Arado raises $12M

Brazilian agribusiness marketplace Arado has secured $12m in a series A funding round led by Acre Venture Partners, with participation from Syngenta Group Ventures and Globo Ventures, among others. The funding will be used to expand the company’s markets in Brazil and develop technology offerings for farmers and retailers, including prediction tools and inventory management. Arado aims to create an ecosystem that allows small and medium-sized farmers in Latin America to sell their goods directly to customers efficiently. These bypassing intermediaries reduce farmers’ profits and increase food waste.


Longevity Tech Receives Funding

Biotech company It’s Fresh!, based in Burntwood, Staffordshire, has raised £6.7m ($9.4m) in a Series B funding round led by venture capital firm BGF, including participation from German-based Zintinus and existing investor Praesidium. It’s Fresh! ‘s ethylene control filters delay food decay by absorbing and removing the gas from surrounding areas, preserving vegetables and fruit. The company plans to use the funds to expand into new markets and apply its technology to modified air packaging bags. The filters are distinguished from others because they do not allow flavor development or ripening and are safe for direct contact


New frozen food brand raises $1M

Frozen Foods startup 8 Myles has raised $1.05m in seed funding to hire a full-time sales and marketing manager and expand operations. The company produces a range of frozen macaroni and cheese meals made with whole grain elbow pasta and a breadcrumb crust described as “clean comfort food.” The products are available at hundreds of retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Target stores, and Sprouts Farmers Market. Founder and CEO Myles Powell revealed that the company plans to make a significant retail expansion this year. In addition, Powell took part in the reality series “Shark Tank” last autumn, although he did not secure a deal.


APAC Fund Backs Startups

Better Bite Ventures, an APAC alternative protein fund, has chosen four startups to invest in through its First Bite initiative. The startups, based in Singapore, New Zealand, and India, are Allium Bio, EatKinda, Cultivaer, and Klevermeat. First Bite provides early-stage funding to founders working on food system solutions in the APAC region, and startups must be focused on meat, seafood, dairy, or egg replacements using plant-based, fermentation, cultivated, or molecular farming technology and be at the idea or just-started phase to qualify for the $50,000 capital injection.


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News for April 26, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

ClimateAi raises $22M

ClimateAi, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to help companies and governments mitigate the impact of climate change, has raised $22 million in Series B funding. Coatue, a technology-focused investment firm, led the funding round. ClimateAi plans to use the funding to expand its operations and accelerate the development of its AI-powered climate adaptation platform. 


New funding for powdered hydration

Cure Hydration, a health and wellness company offering hydration powders, has raised $5.6 million in Series A funding. Cure Hydration also aims to provide an alternative to sugary sports drinks. Venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau led the round, and Cure Hydration plans to use the funds to expand its retail presence and accelerate product development.


Insect farming on the rise

Ynsect recently raised $372 million in funding, one of the largest fundraising rounds in the European agri-tech sector. Ynsect, a French company, specializes in insect farming and produces insect protein for animal feed and plant fertilizers. However, despite this success, the company also announced that it would lay off 129 employees due to delays in constructing its new facility. The layoffs will primarily affect Ynsect’s research and development department. 


Koro raises €20M

The Berlin-based food startup, Koro, has raised an additional €20 million in a Series B extension round led by Index Ventures, with participation from existing investors. Koro is a direct-to-consumer brand that offers a range of better-for-you food products, such as nuts, dried fruits, and superfoods. The company plans to use the funding to expand its product portfolio, improve its supply chain and expand into international markets. Koro has seen significant growth over the past year, with revenue increasing by more than 300%.


Successful Series A for mycoprotein

EniferBio, a Swedish biotech company specializing in mycoprotein production, has raised $11 million in a Series A funding round. Mycoprotein is a sustainable and nutritious alternative to meat produced using fungi. EniferBio’s proprietary technology allows for mycoprotein production at a lower cost and with a smaller environmental footprint than traditional production methods. EniferBio will use the funding to scale up production and expand EniferBio’s product portfolio.


A finger-licking good investment

VFC, a plant-based meat company, has raised $6 million in funding from Veg Capital to accelerate its global expansion. VFC is known for its vegan chicken products that closely mimic the taste and texture of real chicken. VFC will use the new funding to expand the company’s production capacity and reach new markets worldwide. VFC has already made a name for itself in Europe and is now targeting North America and Asia for its expansion plans.


Bimbo ventures invests in Olyra Foods

Olyra Foods, a food technology startup that produces plant-based ingredients, has secured an investment from Bimbo Ventures, the venture capital arm of Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican multinational bakery company. The investment amount has not been disclosed. Olyra Foods aims to use the investment to expand its product range and accelerate its international growth. 


Marubeni Corporation invests in KitchenTown

Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese multinational conglomerate, has invested KitchenTown, a US-based food tech incubator. KitchenTown provides resources and support to food startups to help them develop and bring their products to market. Marubeni’s investment will support KitchenTown’s efforts to expand and improve its services for food entrepreneurs


A functional food merge

GoodBelly and Cheribundi are two functional food and beverage companies merging under the parent company NextFoods. GoodBelly specializes in probiotic drinks and supplements, while Cheribundi focuses on tart cherry juices for sports recovery and sleep support. The merger aims to combine expertise and expand their product portfolios.


Colavita acquires O Olive Oil & Vinegar

Colavita, an Italian food company known for its olive oil, has acquired O Olive Oil & Vinegar, a California-based gourmet vinegar and oil product producer. With this acquisition, Colavita aims to expand its foothold in the American market and diversify its product offerings. O Olive Oil & Vinegar will continue to operate independently under the Colavita umbrella. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed


Bel Group going plant-based

Bel Group, known for its dairy products like Babybel cheese, is expanding into plant-based alternatives with the hopes of having 50% plant-based and 50% dairy-based products. Bel has announced that it is now backing Climax Foods. This food technology company uses artificial intelligence and data to create plant-based food products that mimic animal-based foods. The investment will allow Climax Foods to expand its operations and develop new products.


Two former Walmart buyers to launch a new frozen food startup

Frozen food startup, Counter, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding ahead of its launch in Sam’s Club stores nationwide this summer. Former Walmart merchants Jeff Ferrell and Benn Manning founded Counter to develop high-protein, low-calorie meals inspired by popular recipes on Instagram and TikTok in partnership with health and wellness content creators.


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April 12, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Aqua Cultured Foods raises $5.5M

Aqua Cultured Foods has raised $5.5 million in seed funding to develop a new seafood alternative based on fungi. Aqua Cultured Foods plans to use the funding to research further and develop its technology, which involves using fungi to create proteins that mimic the texture and taste of seafood. The company hopes to launch its first products in the next few years and become a major player in the alternative protein market.


L’Oreal to acquire Aesop

French cosmetics giant L’Oreal has agreed to buy Australian luxury skincare brand Aesop from Brazilian cosmetics group Natura & Co in a deal worth $1.7 billion. The acquisition is part of L’Oreal’s ongoing efforts to expand its luxury skincare portfolio, which has been a key growth area for the company in recent years. Aesop, founded in Melbourne in 1987, is known for its high-end skincare products made with natural ingredients and has a strong presence in Asia, Australia and North America. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023, pending regulatory approvals.


Big funding for pet brand Smalls

Smalls, a direct-to-consumer cat food company, has raised $19 million in a funding round led by Left Lane Capital and Mars-affiliated Companion Fund. The funding will expand the company’s product line and scale its business. Smalls is known for its high-quality, fresh cat food made with human-grade ingredients and delivered straight to the customer’s door.


Bundle and Joy coming together makes for happy pet owners

Bundle, an e-commerce platform specializing in personalized pet care products, has acquired Joy, a startup that offers on-demand pet care services such as dog walking and pet sitting. The acquisition will allow Bundle to expand its offerings beyond product sales and into the broader pet care market. Bundle and Joy will operate as separate brands but work together to develop new products and service offerings.


A clean-flowing acquisition

Source Global, a company that provides sustainable water solutions, has acquired Proud Source Water, a premium bottled water brand that uses 100% recycled and recyclable aluminum cans. The acquisition will allow Source Global to expand its portfolio of sustainable water solutions and offer its customers a wider range of products. Proud Source Water will continue to operate as a standalone brand, with its co-founder and CEO remaining in her leadership position


True Botanicals raises $30M

True Botanicals, a natural and non-toxic skincare brand, has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by NextWorld Evergreen. The funding will be used to expand the company’s product line and digital offerings and support its growth and expansion into new markets. True Botanicals is committed to sustainability and uses organic and sustainably sourced ingredients with eco-friendly and recyclable packaging


Loliware raises $15.4M

Loliware, a company that produces seaweed-based materials to replace single-use plastics, has raised $15.4 million in a funding round led by Material Impact. Loliware’s materials are edible, biodegradable, and can be used for items such as straws, cups and utensils. The funding will scale up production and expand the company’s product offerings. In addition, Loliware’s materials can be composted within 60 days.


Celebrities invest in Tally Health

Tally Health, a consumer longevity company, has raised $10 million in a seed funding round led by Forerunner Ventures. The funding round also included participation from celebrity investors, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Hart. Tally Health offers personalized longevity plans tailored to an individual’s lifestyle and health goals. The new funding will further develop its technology and expand its offerings. The company’s goal is to help people live healthier, happier and longer lives by providing actionable insights and guidance.


Seed funding sprouting for potato protein startup

Polipop, a food-tech startup that produces plant-based protein from potatoes, has raised $1.75 million in a seed funding round. Hong Kong-based early-stage venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates led the round. Polipop will use the investment to scale up production and expand the company’s product offerings. The company’s goal is to help reduce the food industry’s carbon footprint by providing a high-quality, plant-based protein source.


Cauldron brews $10.5M in new funding

Cauldron, a female-founded fermentation startup, has raised $10.5 million in a funding round led by For Good Ventures. The company uses microbial fermentation to create sustainable, plant-based materials for the food and textile industries. Cauldron’s technology can be used to produce a variety of products, including meat alternatives, leather substitutes and natural dyes. With the new funding, Cauldron plans to scale up production and expand its product offerings.


Jonas Brother’s popcorn brand pops up new funding

Rob’s Backstage Popcorn, a snack food company co-founded by the Jonas Brothers, has raised $7 million in a funding round led by Hollywood A-listers. The company specializes in gourmet popcorn and other savory snacks and has gained a following due to its unique flavors and high-quality ingredients. Rob’s Backstage Popcorn plans to use the new funding to expand its product offerings and grow its customer base.


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News for March 22, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

New funding is flying in for Fly By Jing

Fly by Jing, known for its Sichuan Chili Crisp, has received $12 million in funding during a Series B round led by Prelude Growth Partners and Pendulum. The brand is creating various pantry staples inspired by the founder’s (Jing Gao) hometown of Chengdu, China. The new funding will support Fly by Jing’s quickly accelerating growth as it expands into large U.S. retailers such as Kroger and Albertsons.


Hemp funding is looking up

News in recent legal hemp and marijuana investments has been slow lately, especially with multiple states proposing more stringent regulations, which is why Nalu Bio’s recent funding stands out. A producer of synthetic cannabinoids, Nalu Bio recently completed a successful $12 million Series A round led by Intrinsic Capital Partners with participation from Flybridge Capital Partners, Portfolia Active Aging & Longevity Fund, Bonaventure Equity, L37 Ventures, Golden Seeds, Sacramento Angels, Brown Angel Group and Axial Venture. The new funds will accelerate the growth and scale production of the company’s non-hemp-derived cannabinoids, which it describes as safer and more cost reliable for creating consumer products and therapeutics.


Investments are popping off for Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn

North Carolina-based natural and gourmet popcorn brand Poppy recently announced a new $3 million in funding. The Series A round was led by ACS Capital and investor Jeff Immelt. Immelt has been appointed to the brand’s advisory board, and Chris Renno will join the board of directors. Poppy will use the new funds to purchase new equipment and technology, and double its manufacturing space. This will significantly increase Poppy’s production capacity and bring new jobs to the local Asheville economy


Investors: Bring me more immi

Better-for-you, plant-based, ramen brand immi has completed a $10M Series A round to bring its low-carb, high-protein ramen to mainstream retail. Touch Capital led the Series A round with participation from celebrity investors Naomi Osaka, Usher, Apolo Ohno, David Grutman, Kygo’s Palm Tree Crew, and Gryffin. The new funding will be used to hire key leadership team members, produce new flavor varieties and help scale as the brand expands into nationwide retail.


Nestlé invests in German meal-replacement startup

Nestlé is taking a minority stake in YFood, a startup focused on nutrient-dense snack bars, drinks and powders. Nestlé will just be investing and not taking over any operations or strategy. The Germany-based startup will remain in control and operate independently. The new strategic partnership with Nestlé will support international expansion and boost sales.


Wella brings Thunderbird under its umbrella

Wella, which manufactures better-for-you foods, has acquired nutrition bar maker Thunderbird. The acquisition is built on a partnership formed last year when Wella became Thunderbird’s co-packer. Financial terms were not disclosed, but this new deal will bring more convenient snack options to Wella’s portfolio.


Oats Overnight raises over $20M to continue its customer-led R&D

CPG oatmeal brand Oats Overnight recently announced the close to a Series A round that raised over $20 million in new funding. The round saw participation from Singh Capital Partners, BFG Partners, Impatient Ventures, Watchfire Ventures, Morrison Seger Venture Capital Partners, Vanterra Ventures, Access Capital and Pure Ventures. The new funding will support expanding into retail and furthering the brand’s research and development process, which is led by consumer feedback. Each month, Oats Overnight shares a new flavor pre-launch with over 100,000 of its active subscribers. The R&D team surveys and communicates directly with the customers for feedback and releases the newly tweaked and most popular flavors three months later.


OC Flavors acquires Novotaste

OC Flavors, which manufactures liquid and powdered flavors for the food, beverage and nutraceuticals industry, has acquired Canadian-based natural and organic flavor solutions producer Novotaste. This acquisition will see OC Flavors expand its footprint into Canada and the Northeastern U.S. It will also enhance OC Flavors’ development and production capabilities.


Novax acquires Louis François

Louis François, which develops specialty functional ingredients for artisanal food producers, has been acquired by Swedish investment firm Novax. Novax has also launched in connection to the acquisition of an initiative called Ingå Group focuses on healthy and sustainable ingredient solutions. The group comprises Louis François and U.K./Netherlands-based functional ingredient developer and supplier Ulrick & Short.


Danish biotech company closes extended seed round

Chromologics, a natural food colors producer, has closed an extended seed funding round. New investors Doehler Ventures and Thia Ventures brought in €7.1 million, bringing the company’s total funding to €12.6 million. The new funding will accelerate the commercialization of the company’s first product, Natu.Red. Natu.Redis a pH- and temperature-stable, tasteless, water-soluble, vegan, natural red food color.


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News for March 8, 2023


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Remedy Kombucha closes Series B round

Remedy Kombucha recently announced the completion of a Series B financing round led by L Catterton and Kin Group. In addition to the new capital, Remedy also announced the hiring of a new c-suite sales leader. Nathan Schy has been appointed the new Chief Customer Officer to accelerate global growth. Remedy Kombucha is expected to surpass soon, being in 10,000 retail locations


Kimmie Candy Acquires Good Day Chocolate

A newly formed division of Kimmie Kandy Co., Inc., And-Y-Not, LLC, has acquired Kick Foods, LLC, which includes its brand Good Day Chocolate. Good Day Chocolate creates candy-coated functional chocolates. Some of their products include Energy, Calm, and Sleep supplements for adults and multivitamins for kids.


True Beauty Ventures invests in Caliray

Sustainable beauty brand Caliray has recently completed a Series A round. The California-based brand was founded in 2021 by Urban Decay founder Wende Zomnir. The new financing round was led by True Beauty Ventures, which invests in early-stage beauty and wellness brands and is run by Rich Gersten and Cristina Nuñez.


Mark Cuban gets tatted up

Mark Cuban has invested in Mad Rabbit, a clean and natural tattoo skincare brand. The brand recently received $4 million in funding from Cuban alongside Acronym Venture Capital, Revolution Ventures’ Rise of the Rest, LB Equity, Stefon Diggs, Riff Raff and Yelawolf. Mad Rabbit also recently announced an exclusive partnership with Inked Magazine. The new funding will help to promote the partnership, generate awareness, get in new retailers and expand its product line.


Cocoa-free chocolate raises $5.6M

London-based WNWN is one of the newest brands in the “alt” movement. Using legumes, cereals and other plant-based ingredients, WNWN has created an alt-chocolate that is more sustainable than using cacao. The $5.6 million round was led by PeakBridge VC and included participation from FoodLabs, Martin Braun-Gruppe (part of Geschwister Oetker), Mustard Seed Maze, PINC, Investbridge AgriTech and HackCapital. WNWN plans to launch in UK retail this year.


Tru Inc. secures $6.5M Series A round

Tru Inc., the functional beverage brand, has recently raised $6.5 million in a Series A round. The funding round was led by previous investor BTomorrow Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of British American Tobacco. The new funding will support expanding the brand’s retail footprint and adding more members to its team.


Agtech startup planting seeds

IngredientWerks, a Massachusettes-based ag-tech startup, announced it raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding. Open Prairie and ARCH Venture Partners led the round. The new funding will go towards creating plant-based alternative proteins that are bioidentical to those of animals. IngredientWerks uses molecular farming and genetic engineering for advanced plant breeding.


Starco Brands acquires Soylent Nutrition

Plant-based food tech company Soylent Nutrition has been acquired by Starco Brands, and Soylent’s CEO will join the Starco board. As a result, Soylent’s CEO and shareholders will become the largest single voting block in Starco. No other financial details were disclosed.


Amazon invests $104M in Indian meat startup

Amazon continues to expand into the fresh grocery market by financially backing the startup FreshToHome. The startup sells fresh fish and meat to consumers across South Asia and the Middle East. Amazon led the $104 million Series D round, which also showed participation from the development arm of the American government, the government of Dubai and Iron Pillar. FreshToHome is disrupting the outdated infrastructure of the fish and meat market to get consumers meat and fish as quickly, efficiently and fresh as possible.


CarbonCloud secures €7.5M

The SaaS climate intelligence platform for the food industry, CarbonCloud, has raised €7.5M to look into market expansion. CarbonCloud helps companies trace the climate impact of their food and beverage products during every step in the supply chain. Cusp Capital and Peak led the funding round, including participation from investors Maki VC, TS Ventures and Rivus Ventures.


Paleo secures €12M

Brussels-based food tech company Paleo has recently completed a €12M Series A round. The plant-based foods additive uses precision fermentation technology to create key ingredients for alt-meat and alt-fish products. The new funding will scale up production. The Series A round was led by DSM Venturing and Planet A Ventures, with participation from Gimv, SFPIM Relaunch, Beyond Impact and Siddhi Capital.


$1 million pre-seed funding and an Expo West debut

Better Sour, a global flavors candy startup, has raised an oversubscribed one million dollar pre-seed funding round. The startup was founded by daughters of Iranian immigrants raised in Hawaii. The brand is slated to make its debut this week at Natural Products Expo West 2023.


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