News for December 15, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Perfeggt plant-based egg company cracks open $2.8M in new investment

Berlin-based Perfeggt, which is part of Lovely Day GmbH, is getting in on the food tech boom, raising nearly $3 million in its first funding round that will support its launch and set the company up for further European expansion in 2022. Early investors who are hoping they’ve cracked into a big opportunity with the young brand include EVIG Group, Stray Dog Capital, E2JDJ, Tet Ventures, Good Seed Ventures, Sustainable Food Ventures and Shio Capital. The team at Perfeggt believes the plant-based egg market is still largely untapped and is ready for its next move.

Begging for pet food innovation, investors sink teeth into Maev

Maev (Austin, Texas) secured $9 million for its human-grade, direct-to-consumer raw dog food in a round of funding led by Springdale Ventures. Prior to this round, Maev raised rounds backed by VMG Partners, Bolt and Willow Growth. The women-owned company hopes to capitalize on the continued growth of high-integrity dog food, taking its line a step further with a frozen, raw concept. Founders Katie Spies and Christine Busaba strive to redefine innovation in the category.

More than a grain of financial opportunity for Riceworks

Chicago-based gluten-free company Riceworks received a seven-figure investment from Decathlon Capital Partners, proving that simple GF snacks are here to stay. This is an important step in the company’s plan to expand U.S. and Canadian distribution. “With a skilled, well-respected leadership team, ownership of two process patents in North America, Europe and Asia, and a pipeline of delicious new products, Riceworks has created a strong platform for continued growth as a significant player in the expanding natural healthy snack segment,” said Kevin Grossman, vice president of Decathlon Capital Partners.

ADM’s plant-based protein portfolio looking strong

The Chicago-based nutrition ingredient company completed its acquisition of Sojaprotein, a leading European provider of non-GMO soy ingredients. This move reinforces ADM’s commitment to delivering plant-based food and beverage solutions. The company believes joining with Sojaprotein will allow it to best serve consumers seeking local, non-GMO plant-based proteins. This is one of many additions the company has made globally, including its protein complex in Campo Garande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil; its new pea protein plant in Enderlin, North Dakota; its PlantPlus Foods joint venture; and partnerships with innovative startups like Air Protein.

Back to the Roots gets $15M in backing

Organic gardening company Back to the Roots (Oakland, California) raised $15 million in Series D funding from S2G Ventures, Loft Growth Partners, Fenwick Brands, and Echo Capital to add to funding from current investors including Ayesha Curry, Carmelo Anthony, Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, and Tony Robbins and Peter Guber (via their fund AoT). The Millennial-owned and run company plans to use the new investment to continue innovating and position itself as the go-to gardening company connecting future generations with their food.

NadaMoo secures $10M for new product development

The Austin-based, ethically sourced vegan ice cream company raised $10 million in a Series B funding round and plans to expand its product offerings. The company used its 2017 $4 million series A funding to expand distribution. The latest investment came from local investor Killam Investments, which said that it believes in NadaMood’s vision for a sustainable, plant-based food future packaged in delicious frozen treats. The company’s commitment to other sustainable practices, including plant-based packaging, also sweetened the deal.

Investors wake up to RTD Indian coffee brand Sleepy Owl

With the ready-to-drink coffee category anything but sleepy, investors recently turned their attention to New Delhi-based Sleepy Owl, which offers cold brew packs, hot brew bags, ready-to-drink cold brew beverages, ground coffee and a brew box. The company plans to use the $6.5 million in Series A funding to grow its team and its distribution across India, where it is currently available in 1,700 outlets.

Boosted Commerce Acquires nutritional supplement company WellPath

E-commerce platform Boosted Commerce (New York) acquired WellPath after the supplement company’s sales grew 139% from 2019-2020. Boosted plans to capitalize on the booming supplement space by supporting WellPath’s new product development and offline marketing, helping the company reach a range of consumers across generations and demographics. “Our vision has always been to create a brand that demystifies the opaque world of nutritional supplements with educational, empowering, and engaging content and products,” said Colin Darretta, co-founder of WellPath. “The Boosted team understands the supplement market and the nuanced challenges it presents as well as anyone we spoke with and was clearly best positioned to enable us to deliver on our mission,” he said.

Food-saving company Spoiler Alert is ripe for investment, raises $11M

Part of the growing movement to save food, Spoiler Alert is a CPG industry platform leveraged by CPG powerhouses including Nestlé, Kraft Heinz, Campbell Soup Company and Danone North America. The company just raised $11 million to start scaling its operations and mission to keep food out of landfills. Brands find it appealing not just for the mission but also because it helps them become more efficient and therefore more successful. This investment is led by Collaborative Fund with participation from existing investors, including Acre Venture Partners, The Betsy & Jesse Fink Family Foundation, Maersk Growth, Spring Point Partners and Valley Oak Investments.

Anything seems possible for Impossible Foods as it closes $500M in funding

Food tech behemoth Impossible Foods (Redwood City, California) secured around $500 million in new funding led by existing investor Mirae Asset Global Investments with participation from other existing Impossible Foods investors. The fastest growing plant-based meat company in retail has raised nearly $2B in total since its founding a decade ago. Prior to this latest investment, rounds included a $500 million round in March 2020, which as was also led by Mirae Asset Global Investments, followed by an additional $200 million round in August 2020 led by Coatue.

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.

News for November 10, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Carbon-neutral brand Neutral Foods gets $4M in seed funding

Neutral Foods (Portland, Oregon), which works with diary farmers to implement strategies to drive down carbon emissions from the production of its organic milk, has raised $4 million in seed funding. The financing round was led by sustainable investment company Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Mark Cuban Companies and brings the company’s total funding to $4.8 million. Neutral Foods plans to expand the company nationally and distribute its Neutral milk across 500 Whole Foods stores in the U.S., as well as to drive sustainability awareness and trial of the brand.


Amara Organic Foods gets majority stake from Eat Well Group

Eat Well Investment Group (Vancouver, British Columbia), an investment company primarily focused on high-growth companies in the agribusiness, food tech, plant-based and ESG (environmental, social and governance) sectors, has made an equity investment in PataFoods, Inc. dba Amara Organic Foods (San Francisco, California). Amara is a fast-growing baby food brand. Eat Well acquired an additional 29% of the shares of Amara at a $100 million valuation for a total acquisition price of $29 million. “We are proud of what Jessica and her team at Amara have accomplished to date and anticipate this investment will provide a material impact to our growth in 2022 and beyond,” said Marc Aneed, President of Eat Well Group.


Utz Brands buys RW Garcia for $56M

Utz Brands (Hanover, Pennsylvania) has acquired organic snacks manufacturer RW Garcia for $56 million. RW Garcia makes tortilla chips, crackers and corn chips in Nevada and North Carolina, with significant production capacity to support the continued growth of Utz’s subsidiaries. Dylan Lissette, chief executive officer of Utz, said, “RW Garcia has a great track record of better-for-you innovation and production capabilities, and with the RW Garcia brand as part of our portfolio, Utz’ retail sales in the better-for-you segment will exceed $100 million on an annual basis following the closing.” The purchase follows that of Vitner’s snack brand in January for $25 million.


Frozen food maker Tattooed Chef buys private label bar manufacturer

Tattooed Chef (Paramount, California), which makes plant-based refrigerated and frozen foods, has acquired private label snack and nutrition bar manufacturer Belmont Confections for $18 million. The purchase will provide Tattooed Chef with a 47,000-square-foot bar manufacturing facility in Ohio. The purchase follows others in May of New Mexico Food Distributors, Inc. and Karsten Tortilla Factory for $35 million. Earlier this year, Tattooed Chef President and CEO Sam Galletti said, “We are comfortable producing food in any category.” The purchase of Belmont, which boasts a Non-GMO Project verification and gluten-free certification, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.


Cocoa-free chocolate maker closes $6M seed round

QOA (Munich, Germany) has raised $6 million in seed funding for a pilot production facility to make cocoa-free chocolate. The round was led by Cherry Ventures and included participation from 50years, World Fund, Nucleus Capital, Trellis Road, Pioneer Fund and Tet Ventures. The company’s goal is to combat some of the sustainability and ethical issues surrounding mass-market chocolate by developing an approach to the confection that removes cocoa, its most controversial ingredient. A brother-sister duo founded the company this year that uses precision fermentation through which it recreates the composition of cocoa using other food byproducts.


Brazilian food tech startup Future Farm closes $58 million Series C funding round

Future Farm (Brazil) touts plant-based meat substitutes with a “true” meat-like texture. The company has had another big raise with a $58 million Series C round co-led by BTG, with additional investments by existing investors Monashees, Go4It Capital, Turim MFO and Enfini Ventures, along with new investors XP Inc. and Rage Capital (which co-led the round). The capital will be used to expand the company’s range of plant-based meat substitutes into retail in the U.S. and Europe. Plans for plant-based milks and a butter alternative are also in the pipeline for this company that launched in 2019. As of now, the futurist-themed meat products are available in 24 countries, including the UK market, where it has had significant growth.


Above Food buys plant-based pioneer Atlantic Natural Foods

Above Food (Regina, Saskatchewan), which bought three other brands this year, has entered into a binding agreement to purchase Atlantic Natural Foods (Nashville, North Carolina). The transaction is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2022 and is valued at more than $30 million. Atlantic Natural Foods—which makes tuna replacement Tuno, plant proteins under the Loma Linda brand, egg and meat replacers Neat and caffeine-free coffee substitute Kaffree Roma—has seen rapid growth since 2018, a decade after its founding. Above Food was founded in 2019 with the goal of developing and distributing plant alternatives to animal-based food through a transparent supply chain. It’s done so by developing partnerships with key suppliers and ingredient companies in Canada.


Plant-based ingredient startup Shiru gets new capital infusion

Shiru (Oakland, California), which uses precision fermentation and boasts a catalog of six ingredients that are colorless and flavorless that can be added to a variety of food products as meat analogs, has raised $17 million in a Series A funding round led by S2G Ventures. One of the food targets that protein biochemist Dr. Jasmin Hume and her team are looking to replace is methyl cellulose, a starch that is used in foods like vegetable protein-based foods. The new funding brings Shiru’s total funding to date to just over $20 million. The company plans to have ingredients ready for customers by next year, with the first commercial products containing Shiru’s ingredients on shelves starting in 2023.


Daring Foods another $65M in Series C raise

Plant-based chicken producer Daring Foods (Los Angeles, California) raised $65 million in its Series C round and will expand into over 3,000 Walmart stores across the U.S., doubling its distribution to 6,000 doors nationwide. The latest raise, which was led by Founders Fund and joined by existing investor D1 Capital Group and notable new investors such as Naomi Osaka, Cameron Newton, renowned DJ Steve Aoki and Chase Coleman, brings Daring’s total raise to over $120 million. It’s one of just a few companies to raise Series A, B and C in a single year.


Functional beverage company The Plug Drink gets investment from rapper Jack Harlow

The Plug Drink (Los Angeles, California), a functional recovery beverage, has closed a $1.5 million seed round. Grammy-nominated rapper Jack Harlow is along the investors who participated in the funding round, along with NBA and NFL players and others. The company will use the funds to scale its growth in both direct-to-consumer and retail channels, as well as boosting marketing efforts and bringing on more team members for sales and social media. The product is currently sold in Southern California, including recent roadshows in Sam’s Club. The product makes claims of cleansing the liver of toxins and easing unwanted symptoms after a night out.


Seafood analog brand Aqua Culture Foods closes pre-seed round

Aqua Cultured Foods (Chicago, Illinois), maker of seafood analogs, has raised $2.1 million in pre-seed funding. Founded in 2020, the company uses a microbial fermentation process and its own proprietary strain of fungi, which makes the product’s nutritional profile more robust than many plant-based seafood counterparts. Investors in the round included Supply Change Capital, Big Idea Ventures, Aera VC, Sustainable Food Ventures, Hanfield Venture Partners, Lifely VC, Conscience VC, Kingfisher Capital, Hyde Park Angels and Swiss Pampa CEO Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena.


Lucky Iron Fish nabs $1M in Series A funding

The Lucky Iron Fish (Toronto, Ontario) is a cooking tool that infuses meals with iron to help treat and prevent iron deficiency. Designed to be dropped in boiling water or liquid-based meals, the simple tools makes it easy to enrich meals with a boost of natural iron. The certified B Corporation behind the product, Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise (LIFe) has completed a $1 million Series A round led by Danone Communities, the impact investment fund and social business incubator for low-income populations. The capital will accelerate growth and achieve the company’s target of reaching 2.5 million people with low iron over the next five years.


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.

News for October 27, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Abbot’s Butcher closes Series A funding

Abbot’s Butcher (Costa Mesa, California) has closed its Series A funding round, led by Melitas Ventures and will participation from celebrities Owen Wilson and Woody & Laura Harrelson. Existing investors Unovis and SOSV also joined the round for the plant-based protein company. The company, which was founded in 2017 by an animal-rights advocate, makes premium alternative meat products from pea protein, vegetables, herbs, spices, olive oil and vinegar. The capital will be used to fuel food service growth and expand retail distribution beyond its 800 stores, as well as new product development.

Cell-cultured milk company Biomilq nabs $21M in Series A round

Biotechnology company Biomilq (Durham, North Carolina) has raised $21 million in Series A funding to bring cell-cultured milk to market that mimics the nutritional value of human breast milk with a lower carbon footprint than traditional bovine-based infant formula. The round was led by global life science investor Novo Holdings, with participation from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon, Spero Ventures, Digitalis Ventures, Green Generation Fund and Gaingels. Kartik Dharmadhikari, Novo Holdings’ partner and Biomilq’s board director, said: “Our mission is to make a growing and positive impact on health, science and society. We are delighted to support Biomilq through its journey pioneering mammary biotechnology.”

Flash-frozen coffee company Cometeer raises $35M in Series B funding

Cometeer (Gloucester, Massachusetts), a coffee tech startup, has raised an additional $35 million in a Series B round, bringing the total raised to date to $100 million. The company brews coffee “through science” in a carefully calibrated process before sealing it in recyclable capsules, offering 10x strength brew that’s flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen to lock in the aroma. Consumers can use the capsules to make hot or iced coffee by melting them with water. The company says it will use the capital to increase manufacturing capacity at its facility, expand its roster of roasting partners and continue to invest in innovation.

Plant-based meal delivery service Allplants gets £38M in funding round

UK-based Allplants (London) raised £38 million in a Series B funding round, marking the largest ever Series B raised by a plant-based food company in Europe. The round was led by Draper Esprit and included companies such as Oatly, Deliveroo and Zoopla. The company will use the capital to expand its kitchen to six times its current size, which will enable it to meet demand from the UK direct-to-consumer market and build its capacity for larger distribution into other channels. Jonathan Petrides, founder and CEO of Allplants, said: “In the five years that we have been cooking, we’ve seen the demand for plant-based food explode. We’ve got a ton of exciting plans to bring the movement to even more people’s kitchens, and this investment will allow us to do just that.”

Amazon’s former vice president raises $27M to help people age healthier

Melissa Eamer, former vice president at Amazon and COO at Glossier, is starting Modern Age (New York, New York) and has raised $27 million in Series A funding led by Oak HC/FT. The company aims to help people live longer, healthier lives by providing digital tools to help users understand their aging options, starting with taking an assessment across variables to determine how old they feel and areas of health and wellness that are most important. The company plans to launch initially in the areas of skin, hair, bones and hormones. Also participating in the round are GV and founding partner Juxtapose, which gave the company a seed round in 2020 to bring the company’s total funding to $33 million.

Sugar-free brand Good Good closes $2M funding round

Good Good (Reykjavik, Iceland), maker of no-added sugar products including jams, spreads and keto bars, has raised $2 million in a Series A follow-up round of investment led by current investors, Icepharma, K2B Investments and Aton.JL. The new funding, which comes a year after the brand had a $3 million Series A round, will help Good Good scale its production and new product innovation efforts. The company was founded in 2015 and sales in 2020 increased by 171% over the previous year, despite the major challenges in both production and distribution resulting from COVID-19. Positive sales growth has continued in 2021 for the diabetic-friendly brand.

Givaudan to boost its natural colors position with DDW acquisition

Swiss flavor manufacturer Givaudan (Vernier, Switzerland) will acquire DDW, The Color House (Louisville, Kentucky). The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, is expected to make Givaudan a key player in natural colors as the move will help build a worldwide natural color platform. No financial details of the deal were disclosed. The company’s 2025 strategy is to expand the company’s global Taste & Wellbeing division, and the DDW acquisition will bring the company closer to this goal. Founded in 1865, DDW is a privately held company specializing in natural colors, with 12 global manufacturing facilities.

Newcomer Do Good Foods gets $169M to turn food waste into animal feed

Do Good Foods (Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania) has started a closed-loop system to convert produce and meats that cannot be sold in grocery stores or used by food banks into animal feed with $169 million from asset manager Nuveen. The company has built a production facility capable of processing 160 tons of excess food from about 450 grocery store each day. It plans to introduce its first product, Do Good Chicken, in supermarkets and restaurants next year. Each package of Do Good Chicken will keep 1 pound of food waste from being wasted, according to the company. It intends to build production facilities similar to its initial facility in Pennsylvania during the next five years.

Kraft Heinz acquires another Brazilian company

Kraft Heinz will make an investment in BR Spices, becoming the majority shareholder of the Brazilian high-end spices brand. The purchased comes just one week after the purchase of Hemmer. BR Spices, which has its own plan in Jandira, will operate independently after the deal is closed, which is expected to be in the fourth quarter of this year. According to a statement from Kraft Heinz, BR Spices has a high growth potential and a portfolio of over 70 products.

INNBeauty lands minority investment

Clean beauty brand INNBeauty (White Plains, New York) received minority investment from Strand Equity and Beechwood Capital to support the company’s rollout with Sephora in North America to 490 stores and 200 Sephora at Kohl’s locations. The company, which launched in 2019 by two beauty industry veterans wanting to make a line of clean products that were more affordable to Gen Z consumers, also plans to use the funding to build out its team. “The beauty editor community is notoriously difficult to impress, so the reason we are receiving so much support is because our products truly perform,” said Jen Shane, co-founder of iNNBeauty. According to the brand, it saw 300% year-over-year growth. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Ireland’s Ornua buys US cheese company Whitehall Specialties

Irish dairy cooperative Ornua (Leinster, Ireland) has purchased U.S. cheese solutions business Whitehall Specialties (Whitehall, Wisconsin) from private equity firm Mason Wells for an undisclosed sum. Whitehall Specialties supplies manufacturers and food service customers with cheese solutions, including imitation cheeses and cheese substitutes. The acquisition is expected to strengthen the position of Ornua’s U.S. ingredients division, Ornua Ingredients North America, in the country’s cheese ingredients market. “By bringing together two market leaders, in complementary parts of the ingredients sector, we are creating a powerful partnership that builds a strong foundation for a long-term, sustainable future,” said Ornua CEO John Jordan.

Culture Biosciences raises $80M in Series B funding

Culture Biosciences (San Francisco, California), a company enabling biotech firms to develop and scale manufacturing processes in the cloud, announced a Series B financing of $80 million led by Northpond Ventures. Synthesis Capital also participated in the round. Andrew Lee, PhD, of Northpond Ventures will join Culture’s Board of Directors. The company fills a need for manufacturing capacity necessary to support the new wave of synthetic biology products expected to come to the market. According to company, today’s global capacity falls 100x short of what would be needed to meet the demand for fermentation-based animal protein in 2030.

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.

News for October 13, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Savencia Fromage & Dairy buys No. 1 organic hummus brand Hope Foods

Hope Foods (Boulder, Colorado) has been acquired by Savencia Fromage & Dairy (Viroflay, France), a leading global milk processor and cheese manufacturer. Hope Foods was founded over 10 years ago and started by selling at the Boulder Farmers Market. Today, the brand’s hummus is the No. 1 organic hummus in the U.S. The sales includes Hope Foods’ plant in Louisville, Colorado, where its hummus and nut dips are manufactured. “Hope enlarges our brand’s portfolio in the USA into fast-growing, ‘better-for-you’ products and provides an excellent opportunity to expand consumer options for great-tasting, plant-based products,” said Jean-Paul Torris, Chief Executive Officer for Savencia Fromage & Dairy.


Seaweed producer Atlantic Sea Farms secures new funding

Atlantic Sea Farms (Saco, Maine) the first commercial seaweed farm in the U.S. and now representing over 80% of all cultivated seaweed in the country, has secured a new funding round, led by Desert Bloom Food Ventures. The funding will help the company build out a new state-of-the-art seaweed processing and innovation facility to process all landed kelp within hours of harvest. As the company prepares for the 2022 kelp season, it expects 3,000% growth since the company brought on new leadership in August 2018. As of the spring 2021 harvest, the company has removed approximately 150,000 pounds of carbon from Maine’s ocean in just three short growing seasons.


Pet brand Alpha Paws nabs $8M in series A funding

Alpha Paw (Austin, Texas) has raised $8 million in series A funding, led by Nordic Eye. After bootstrapping the company for the past three years, the company was relaunched in 2019 as a pet wellness company with the vision to help pets lead healthier and longer lives. The company produces food and supplements that are customized with pet breed in mind, such as nutritional supplementary toppings to mix in for ailments like allergies or hip and joint issues, based on data such as weight of the pet. Alpha Paw will use the new capital to fund customer acquisition growth, product expansion and general expansion, which includes a subscription model.


Sustainable lawn care company Sunday raises $50M in series C round

Coulter Lewis, who helped build Quinn Snacks with his wife, Kristy Lewis, launched direct-to-consumer lawn care company Sunday (Boulder, Colorado) after searching for natural options at a home improvement store and coming up empty. The company sends consumers products they need, when they need them, based on their lawn conditions. Sunday has raised a $50 million series C round led by BOND, with participation from existing investors Tusk Ventures, Sequoia and Forerunner Ventures, bringing the total funding to $78 million. Sunday touts that it has already helped reduce lawn pesticide use by 35,000 pounds so far in 2021 and hopes to reduce it by 75,000 over the next year.


Kingdom Supercultures gets $25M in series A funding to develop new natural ingredient category

Biodesign company Kingdom Supercultures (New York, New York) develops natural microbial cultures, which it calls “supercultures,” to be used in plant-based foods such as yogurts and cheeses as well as low-alcohol wines and beers. These supercultures are sold to consumer goods manufacturers to improve flavor, texture and functional properties of consumer products. The company will use the funding to expand its R&D work to meet demand for new ingredients. The round was led by Shine Capital and supported by Valor, Tao, Lux, SALT, Reference, Digitalis and existing investors, along with the founders of Daring Foods, Good Culture, Hungryroot, RXBAR, Waterloo and many others.


Bachan’s Japanese Barbecue Sauce gets investment lift from celebrity lineup

Japanese-style barbeque sauce maker Bachan’s (Sebastopol, California) has raised an undisclosed amount in a funding round led by private equity firm Prelude Growth Partners and with contributions from various celebrities including Aaron Paul, Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco, Whitney Port, Max Thieriot, Chase Utley and Abe Burns. Former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market Walter Robb also contributed. The funding will go toward expanding the team, product creation and distribution. Bachan’s line of non-GMO and vegan sauces is the bestselling barbeque sauce on Amazon and is available at over 2,500 retailers across the U.S.


Private equity firm buys Local Hive Honey

Local Hive Honey (Greeley, Colorado) partners will local beekeepers across the country to produce its 23 varietals of raw and unfiltered honey. North Carolina-based private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners has purchased the brand, marking its first acquisition of its new fund. “Joining forces with Falfurrias Capital Partners will give us tremendous resources to realize our next chapter in the growth of Local Hive,” said Tony Landretti, who joined the company in 2013 in a consultative role and was appointed CEO in 2017 following a major rebrand that included a name change from Rice’s Lucky Clover Honey.


Upcycled snack brand Spudsy raises $3.3M in series A funding round

Spudsy (Costa Mesa, California), which makes plant-based snacks from upcycled imperfect sweet potatoes, has raised $3.3 million in a series A funding round led by KarpReilly and Stage 1 Fund. The company will use the new funds for hiring and store demonstrations. Spudsy claims that 150 million pounds of sweet potatoes end up in landfills due to minor imperfections like shape, size and color. The brand is working with a farm in North Carolina to use the sweet potatoes left in the field for a new salted snack, with plans to expand into other formats.


Swedish alt seafood startup Hooked Foods reels in €3.8 million

Hooked Foods (Stockholm, Sweden) has raised €3.8 million in a new financing round to help launch its plant-based salmon product and support ongoing R&D. The company launched its first product, Toonish, a tuna analogue, into retail chains and restaurants across Sweden earlier this year. The “tuna” is made from soy, wheat protein, sunflower oil and algae. The salmon will be developed using wet extrusion technology and will also contain seaweed and algae oil to provide omega-3 fatty acids.


Montreal’s Oggi Foods gets investment from Bregal Partners

Oggi Foods (Montreal, Canada), maker of gluten-free, organic frozen pizza and other food products, has received a growth equity investment from private equity firm Bregal Partners. “We were highly impressed with the quality of Oggi’s products and with the Company’s growth over the last several years, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with Oggi’s founders and management during this next exciting phase of the Company’s growth,” said Bregal Partners Managing Partner Charles Yoo. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


New Age Meats nabs $25M in series A funding

Cultured meat company New Age Meats (Berkeley, California) has raised $25 million in a series A funding round led by Hanwha Solutions of South Korea and joined by existing investors SOSV’s IndieBio, TechU Ventures, ff VC and Siddhi Capital. The company, which was founded in 2018, makes meat from animal cells. The funding will allow the company to begin production of its first product in 2022, which will be a variety of pork sausages, as well as double its workforce and expand R&D. The company also plans to build a 20,000-square-foot pilot manufacturing facility in Alameda.

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.

News for September 29, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Plant-based pudding startup Noops nabs $2M more in funding

Two months ago, Hungryroot co-founder Gregory Struck raised $2 million in pre-seed funding for his new venture, Noops (spoon spelled backward). He has since nabbed another $2 million for Noops (Roslyn, New York) in a round led by Lerer Hippeau. Struck started the company in 2019 after adopting a plant-based diet while undergoing cancer treatment. The company’s first product is an oat milk-based line that is organic, free of dairy and gluten, contains prebiotics, plant protein and fiber, and has no added sugar. The latest round gives the company a total of $5 million raised to date.


Honey Mama’s raises $10.3M in Series A

Refrigerated cocoa truffle bar maker Honey Mama’s (Portland, Oregon) has raised $10.3 million in a Series A funding round led by Amberstone, a San Francisco-based investment firm. Founded in 2013, the company produces delicious and decadent bars made from raw honey, unrefined coconut oil, cocoa and Himalayan pink salt. The company plans to use the proceeds for brand building, emerging channel development and product innovation. In July, the company completed a nationwide expansion with Whole Foods Market. Honey Mama’s expects to close the year with “dramatic revenue growth,” said CEO Jared Schwartz.


Ripple Foods secures $60M in Series E funding round

Plant-based dairy alt brand Ripple Foods (Emeryville, California) has raised $60M in a Series E funding round led by Rage Capital, Ajax Strategies and S2G Ventures, as well as additional key investors including OurCrowd, GV, Prelude Ventures, Euclidean, Fall Line Capital, and Tao Capital Partners. “Ripple’s growth is outpacing the category by 3x, and we are well-positioned to further accelerate that growth,” said Laura Flanagan, CEO of Ripple Foods. Flanagan says the raise will enable the company to accelerate innovation and growth across product categories as well as expand into new channels and global markets.


Plant-based instant ramen brand Immi gets $3.8M

Immi (San Francisco, California) has raised $3.8 million in seed funding to put a healthy spin on instant ramen. The founders are looking to disrupt the massive market—4 billion packets of instant ramen are sold each year—that has been dominated by the same three players. Immi is plant-based, low carb and low sodium, high fiber and has 22 grams of protein on average. Siddhi Capital led the round and was joined by Palm Tree Crew, Constellation Capital, Animal Capital, Pear Ventures, Collaborative Fund and a group of individuals, including Patrick Schwarzenegger, Kat Cole and Nik Sharma, as well as executives from Thrive Market, Caviar, Daring Foods, Madhappy, Twitch, Kettle & Fire, MUD\WTR, Native, Amity Supply, Visionary Music Group, Italic, Tatcha and Casper.


Amyris buys machine learning tech company Beauty Labs

Amyris (Emeryville, California) has acquired Beauty Labs International Ltd, a data sciences and machine learning technology company that has developed one of the leading consumer applications for “try before you buy” color cosmetics. Amyris, a synthetic biotechnology company, focuses on the “clean health and beauty” markets through consumer brands and as a supplier of sustainable and natural ingredients. “We are delivering the fastest revenue growth of any synthetic biology platform in the world and generate more total revenue than the aggregate of our immediate peers,” said John Melo, president and CEO of Amyris.


Oterra acquires Symrise’s natural colors business

Oterra, formerly known as Chr. Hansen Natural Colors A/S (Horsholm, Denmark), has entered into an agreement to purchase Dianna Foods’ color business from Symrise AG. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “Consumers these days know what they want, and all research shows that the demand for natural food colors continues to grow strongly,” said Odd Erik Hansen, chief executive officer of Oterra. “The market is expected to reach $3.2 billion by 2027—and adding companies with complementary strengths and offerings to our business will enable us to best help our customers on their journey toward natural.”


Wild Earth secures $23M to make cell-based pet food

Plant-based dog food maker Wild Earth (Berkeley, California) has raised more than $23 million from a group of all-star investors, including Mark Cuban of Shark Tank in 2019. The company then went on to secure $11 million in a Series A round led by VegInvest. The latest funding round included high-profile names including At One Ventures (founded by GoogleX co-founder Tom Chi), Veginvest (early investors in JUST foods and GOOD Meat), Big Idea Ventures (including Tom Mastrobuoni, an early investor and former board member at Beyond Meat), Bitburger Ventures (Venture firm of one of the world’s largest breweries), Gaingels (investing in the best companies that embrace LGBT+ leadership), actor and star of the Vampire Diaries, Paul Wesley, and Mark Cuban, who also acts as business mentor to the company.


Numu Food Group raising Series A funding

Numu Food Group (Brooklyn, New York) has closed its Series A funding round of an undisclosed amount. Numu makes vegan mozzarella with potato starch, soybeans and coconut oil. The product is free of dairy, lactose, casein, nuts and is non-GMO. The round was co-led by Unovis Asset Management and Clear Current Capital and the funds will be used to build awareness of the brand through marketing campaigns and to bolster the company’s distribution and product development.


Alt-dairy startup Formo raises $50M for animal-free cheese fermented from microbes

Formo (Berlin, Germany) has raised $50 million in Series A funding led by Sweden’s EQT Ventures with participation from Elevat3 Capital, Lionheart Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital and Happiness Capital. The funding will be used to “turbomegacharge” its progress by hiring more talent, boosting its R&D and marketing capabilities, and scaling up its production capacity. Originally named Legendairy Foods, Formo was founded in 2018 and focused on replacing the animal, rather than the dairy, by inserting DNA sequencing into microorganisms to “instruct” them to produce casein and whey, the two key proteins in cow’s milk.


Misfits Market closes $225M Series C-1 funding round

Misfits Market (Delanco, New Jersey), an online grocery platform focused on eliminating food waste while expanding food access, has raised $225 million in a Series C-1 round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2* and with participation from Accel to fuel nationwide expansion and increase the election of items available to customers. The investment brings the company’s valuation to $2 billion and the overall funding raised is $526.5 million. “We have seen tremendous growth in 2021 and still have a number of grocery categories lined up and ready to be introduced to the Misfits Market ecosystem,” said Abhi Ramesh, CEO and founder of Misfits Market.


HumanCo raises $35M, acquires Vermont baker Against the Grain

HumanCo (Austin, Texas), a holding company for sustainable, better-for-you consumer packaged goods brands started by Hu co-founder Jason H. Karp, has completed a $35 million bridge round that brings its total funding to $50 million. The company also acquired a majority stake in the family-owned, Vermont-based Against the Grain, which makes grain-free, gluten-free pizzas, breads and cake mixes, for an undisclosed purchase price. Karp, who sold Hu to Mondelez International in January 2021, said he’s “trying to create a one-stop shop for people looking for healthier options.” Karp started Hu with his wife and brother-in-law after finding that a grain-free, paleo diet helped control his various autoimmune disorders.


New Zealand pet food brand Ziwi sold to FountainVest

Chinese private equity firm FountainVest Partners has purchased New Zealand pet food company Ziwi for an undisclosed sum. The deal is speculated to value the company at NZ$1.5 billion ($1.06 billion). Founded in 2002 by Peter Mitchell, a free-range deer farmer, Ziwi sells pet food including air-dried and wet cat and dog food, as well as chews, treats and bones. Its meats and poultry are ethically raised and its seafood is wild-caught and sustainable.


Vegan beauty brand Sugarbear secures strategic investment

Sugarbear Vitamin Care (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) has secured a strategic growth investment from Nexus Capital and Meaningful Partners LLC. Sugarbear makes vegan vitamins that are made in the U.S. with organic and plant-based ingredients. With the investment, Sugarbear plans to expand its product offering from gummies to additional vitamin-infused innovations and expand its market position in hair and other functional supplements. “We are excited by the opportunity to partner with Nicole and the Sugarbear team in supporting the Company’s continued success and evolution from a category-defining gummy vitamin brand into a more holistic beauty and wellness company,” said Michael Cohen, partner at Nexus.


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.Zesty Paws to be acquired by H&H Group 

News for September 15, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Butterfly invests in Chosen Foods

Private equity firm Butterfly (Los Angeles, California) has taken a majority stake in Chosen Foods (San Diego, California), maker of avocado-based kitchen staples such as cooking sprays, mayonnaises, dressings and more. “After several years of tracking the avocado industry, we have finally found the perfect partner. Chosen Foods is a leader in not only avocado oil, but all avocado-based cooking and food products,” said Butterfly co-founder Adam Waglay. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Alete Active Nutrition acquires Bonk Breaker Nutrition

Alete Active Nutrition (San Francisco, California), formerly known as RoadRunner Holdings, has purchased Bonk Breaker Nutrition (Los Angeles, California) as it build a portfolio of premium nutrition offerings for athletes. Bonk Breaker Nutrition was founded in 2005 by Division 1 Quarterback Jason Winn after seeing the challenges his teammates had with digesting nutrition products. Winn will continue to run the Bonk Breaker brand, which makes real food energy bars, electrolyte energy chews and protein bars.


CHKN Not Chicken raises $4.5 million in Series A funding round

Plant-based chicken brand CHKN Not Chicken (Portland, Oregon) has raised $4.5 million in a Series A round to launch its product assortment across the U.S., which includes a traditional Naked CHKN variety, a Fiesta CHKN flavor featuring Mexican spices and citrus and a Zen flavor featuring Asian spices and ginger. The startup will also use the funds to expand partnerships with quick-serve and casual dining restaurants. “We are excited to partner with Stray Dog Capital and share their passion for creating a healthier, humane and more sustainable future,” said Brian Pope, co-founder and CEO.


Sonae buys Gosh! Food owner Claybell

Sonae (Portugal) has acquired Gosh! Food owner Claybell (England) for around £64 million. Gosh! Foods produces vegan and free-from products such as bites, sausages and burgers through the Gosh! brand and as a private label partner. The acquisition was for 95.4% of the share capital and the remaining 4.6% minority stake will remain with the current Gosh! Team. The company recorded a normalized turnover of £22 million for its fiscal year ending in May 2021. Sonae’s investment supports its aim to expand its international footprint.


Hydration brand Ultima gets investment from The Firmament Group

The Firmament Group, which provides tailored debt and equity capital, has made a follow-on investment in hydration brand Ultima Health Products (Cortland, Ohio), the first investment within the Wellmore platform that also houses the Great Lakes Gelatin Company, Jade Leaf, LLC, and Feel Good Organics, LLC. Ultima makes powdered drink mixes with electrolytes and minerals without sugar or artificial ingredients. The follow-on debt and equity investment in Ultima was in partnership with WM Partners, a Florida-based private equity firm.


Kevin’s Natural Foods gets minority equity investment

Kevin’s Natural Foods (Modesto, California) has received a minority equity investment from TowerBrook Capital Partners LP, an international investment management firm, and NewRoad Capital Partners. Kevin’s Natural Foods, founded in 2019, manufactures a line of refrigerated sous vide meat entrees and vegetable sides as well as sauces and seasonings, all which are certified paleo, keto and gluten free. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The company will use the investment to fund expansion and innovation.


Jay-Z invests in Misha’s Kind Foods

Non-dairy cheese maker Misha’s Kind Foods (Los Angeles, California) has raised a $3 million seed round with participation from Jay-Z through his firm Marcy Venture Partners and NBA star Chris Paul, among other investors. Misha’s, which launched in 2018, makes non-dairy cheeses made from organic cashews and almonds without oils, starches, soy or nutritional yeast. “These investors, and their enthusiasm, not only confirm the quality and excellence of our artisan cheeses, but they also align with our long-term vision and mission,” said Aaron Bullock, CEO and co-founder of Misha’s Kind Foods.


Compound Foods, making coffee without beans, secures $4.5M in seed funding

Compound Foods (San Francisco, California) uses synthetic biology to create coffee without coffee beans by extracting molecules. The company recently received $4.5 in seed funding for a total of $5.3 million to improve the formulation and scale up the brand as the company works toward a soft launch by the end of the year. Backers of the company include Chris Sacca’s climate fund Lowercarbon Capital, SVLC, Humboldt Fund, Collaborative Fund, Maple VC, Petri Bio and angel investors like Nick Green, CEO of Thrive Market. The company’s founder, Maricel Saenz, started the company in 2020 in response to the effect of climate change on coffee growers around the world.


Catalent buys gummy manufacturer Bettera

TOP the organic project (Boston, Massachusetts) has raised $2 million in an extended seed round for its organic period brand that makes plant-based, hypoallergenic tampons and pads using 100% organic cotton that is free from synthetics, toxins, pesticides, dyes and fragrances. The round was led by Massachusetts-based Mass Mutual through the MM Catalyst Fund, The Impact Seat, Maine Angels and Dirigo Angel Fund. The women-owned brand will use the funds to expand its presence in retailers nationwide as well as for marketing initiatives and growing its team.


TMRW Foods gets $2.6M in seed funding

Plant-based protein maker TMRW Foods (Vancouver, British Columbia) has raised $2.6 million in seed funding from investors Greg Blake, co-founder of Daiya Foods; Eric Patel, director at Fresh Prep; Richard Cooperstein, chief executive officer and senior managing partner of Media Investment Group; and the Milne Group, owners of Virtuous Pie, Mila and Harken Coffee. TMRW Foods’ product offering features a blend of kidney beans, yellow split peas and quinoa and are sold in retailers across Canada. The funds from the seed round will fund further product innovation and North American expansion.


SIMPLi secures seed funding

SIMPLi (Baltimore, Maryland) has raised an initial seed round of funding led by the Abell Foundation, with additional backing from Eat the Change and Honest Tea’s Seth Goldman. Founded in 2020, the company works directly with the communities in Peru, Greece and other countries to bypass all the middle parties to bring single origin, nutrient-dense ingredients to consumers directly. The seed funding will be used to strengthen the company’s national presence, which will include rollout of its regenerative organic red, white and tri-colored quinoa products to 49 Whole Foods Market stores.


Prebiotic soda brand Poppi closes $13.5M Series A2 round

Russell Westbrook of the Chainsmokers and Halsey are among a slew of celebrities investing in Poppi (Dallas, Texas), a prebiotic soda brand that landed $13.5 in its Series A2 funding round. The investment was led by CAVU Ventures and will help the functional soda brand that was previously bootstrapped to expand distribution, scale its team and boost marketing efforts. The company grew its revenue 550% year over year and the funding assists in giving Poppi a burn rate of 12 months and the ability to continue in high-growth mode, co-founder Stephen Ellsworth said.


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.Zesty Paws to be acquired by H&H Group 

News for September 1, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Zesty Paws to be acquired by H&H Group

Pet supplement brand Zesty Paws (Orlando, Florida) has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Health & Happiness (H&H) Group International Holdings Ltd. “We are delighted to be working with H&H Group to further realize Zesty Paws’ vision of being recognized as the world’s leading health and wellness company for dogs and cats,” said Steve Ball, CEO of Zesty Paws. The company, which has been privately owned, will continue to operate independently but says it will benefit from H&H’s expertise and resources to further drive the brand’s growth.


Starday raises $4M to take on Big Food

Cutting down the path of product development to six months from 18 months is the goal for newcomer Starday. The company turns data into products based on current trends and customer preferences, challenging the model that Big Food has operated by for decades, which the company believes has neglected health and the environment. Starday has raised $4 million in seed funding and expects to develop four or five brands in the next year. Gooey Snacks, a low-sugar natural chocolate hazelnut spread is the company’s first product.


Cactus Water brand Caliwater gets big celebrity lift

Vanessa Hudgens and Oliver Trevena-backed cactus water brand Caliwater (Los Angeles, California) secured $2 million in a seed round led by a group of celebrities, bringing the valuation of the startup to $10 million. Discovering the product in Mexico, Hudgens and Trevena relaunched the brand in the U.S. after buying out the partners and spent nearly two years reformulating the product and rebranding it with aluminum cans. It’s being sold primarily through e-commerce, foodservice and hospitality channels. The duo says the beverage has surprised them for gaining traction as a cocktail mixer.


Taika raises $2.2M in seed funding

Innovative coffee company Taika (Walnut, California) has raised $2.2 million in a seed round led by Obvious Ventures. Taika creates functional blends of coffee, tea and adaptogens, and will soon launch a canned functional matcha latte beverage using organic, ceremonial grade matcha from Kagoshima. The round also included participation from Kindred Ventures, Human Ventures and Quiet Capital, as well as multiple angel investors.


First Bev takes controlling stake in kombucha brand Health-Ade

First Bev has acquired a controlling stake in Health-Ade and has appointed a new CEO, managing partner of First Bev Jack Belsito, who has 35 years’ experience in the beverage industry, including as the CEO of Snapple and CEO of Voss Water. The kombucha company had additional investment from Manna Tree and Vail. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Health-Ade saw retail sales of over $200 million last year and distribution in over 45,000 stores.


Celebrity Chef Michael Chernow raises $2.2M to launch lifestyle brand

Michael Chernow, known as a restaurateur, chef, television host and entrepreneur, has raised $2.2 million to launch Kreatures of Habit (New York, New York), a lifestyle and wellness brand with the goal of helping people establish healthy habits. The brand originally started out as a café concept, but Chermow pivoted to the consumer goods space when the pandemic hit. He is starting with a direct-to-consumer instant oatmeal product called The PrOATagonist. Chernow brought on former RX Bar’s chief marketing officer Victor Lee to lead the brand’s go-to-market strategy.


Taylor Farms invests in Pure Green Farms

Taylor Farms (Salinas, California), which produces fresh fruits and vegetables including convenience-focused salad kits, has made an investment in Pure Green Farms. Pure Green Farms grows, packs and ships leafy greens year-round from its hydroponic farm in Indiana, which is a climate-controlled environment equipped with high-tech machinery and has the potential to be expanded by up to 300 acres. “We’re excited to venture into the industry of indoor growing with this investment,” said Bruce Taylor, founder and CEO, Taylor Farms. “Our customer partners have asked for a national solution and this is our first step.”


Primal Pet Foods bought by Kinderhook Industries

Primal Pet Foods (Fairfield, California) has been purchased by Kinderhook Industries, a private investment firm that purchased Prairie Dog Pet Products, Himalayan and Holistic Hound in recent years. Kinderhook plans to combine all four brands under a new name—Primal Pet Group. Primal Pet Group’s capabilities include premium minimally processed diets, treats and supplements from Primal Pet Foods, freeze-dried, smoked and natural dog treats by Prairie Dog, hard-chew cheese dog treats by Himalayan Corporation and CBD pet supplements under Holistic Hound.


Organic period product startup nabs $2M in seed round

TOP the organic project (Boston, Massachusetts) has raised $2 million in an extended seed round for its organic period brand that makes plant-based, hypoallergenic tampons and pads using 100% organic cotton that is free from synthetics, toxins, pesticides, dyes and fragrances. The round was led by Massachusetts-based Mass Mutual through the MM Catalyst Fund, The Impact Seat, Maine Angels and Dirigo Angel Fund. The women-owned brand will use the funds to expand its presence in retailers nationwide as well as for marketing initiatives and growing its team.


BrightFarms acquired by Cox Entreprises

Cox Enterprises (Atlanta, Georgia) has bought BrightFarms (Irvington, New York), which it held a majority stake in since 2020. BrightFarms is an indoor farming company that produces locally grown packaged salads. “BrightFarms is a perfect example of our Cox Cleantech strategy: positively impacting the world through profitable, mission-driven businesses,” said Steve Bradley, vice president of cleantech for Cox Enterprises. BrightFarms plans to construct a national network of new high-tech farms that will accelerate the salad industry’s transition to indoor farming. While most salads are grown in California and shipped across the U.S., BrightFarms grows and delivers its greens to local supermarkets as soon as 24 hours from harvest.


Mealworm farming company Beta Hatch secures $10M

Beta Hatch (St. Louis, Missouri) has raised $10 million in funding in a round led by Lewis & Clark AgriFood, with participation from Cavallo Ventures and Innova Memphis, which are both signed on as existing investors. Beta Hatch, which farms mealworms to be used for livestock and pet products, is planning to expand its flagship farm in Cashmere, Washington, making it the largest of its kind in North America. The location is currently powered by renewably sourced energy and the new facility will allow for a 10 times the company’s current output over the next year.


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.Zesty Paws to be acquired by H&H Group 

News for August 18, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Miyoko’s Creamery raises $52M in Series C funding round

Plant-based cheese leader Miyoko’s Creamery has secured $52 million in a Series C funding round ahead of the brand’s upcoming launch of a plant-based liquid mozzarella cheese product. The round, which was led by PowerPlant Ventures and had additional participation from other investors, will help the company accelerate global distribution of its products and expand the company’s product line, as well as revamp its existing top sellers. Miyoko’s, which is retailed in 30,000 stores in the U.S., plans to bring the new liquid mozzarella, as well as its existing portfolio, into new distribution channels in conventional grocery, club and foodservice.


Private label online retailer Brandless secures $118M

Brandless (San Francisco, California), a private label online retailer, has raised a substantial $118 million in a new funding round led by Clarke Capital Partners. “Brandless is transforming commerce by creating influence-as-a-service and democratizing access to better-for-you products,” said Brandless CEO Cydni Tetro in a statement. With this funding, the company will acquire more digitally native brands that share the company’s mission as well as launch an influencer-as-a-service program.


J. Lo and Alex Rodriguez backed RTD coffee brand Kitu Life raises $160M

Startup Kitu Life Inc. (Austin, Texas), which makes Super Coffee, has doubled its valuation to over $500 million with its latest round of funding that raised another $106 million. The round was led by Henry Ellenbogen’s Durable Capital Partners and saw participation from others. Kitu Life was started in 2016 by three brothers. The partnership with Durable will fuel the company’s distribution expansion plan to move into more convenience and mass channels as well as allow investment in national advertising campaigns.


Lifeway Foods buys drinkable yogurt brand GlenOaks

Kefir and fermented probiotic brand Lifeway Foods, Inc. (Morton Grove, Illinois) has acquired certain assets of GlenOaks Farms for $5.8 million. GlenOak Farms (Laguna Beach, California) was founded in 1984 and makes six different drinkable yogurt products made with fruit puree and California dairy. “We are very excited to welcome GlenOaks Farms into the Lifeway family, as it will further solidify our strong position in California and the Western U.S.,” said Julie Smolyansky, president and chief executive officer of Lifeway.


BBQ sauce maker Born Simple acquired by Mizkan America

Mizkan America (Mount Prospect, Illinois) has acquired organic barbeque sauce and broth brand Born Simple in an attempt to move into the natural foods channel. Born Simple makes a range of barbeque sauces and broth concentrates that are sold in Whole Foods Market stores nationwide. Through the acquisition, Mizkan says it will be targeting the millennial and Gen Z markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Plant-based cereal startup OffLimits raises $2.3M seed round

OffLimits, a new “fun cereal” startup that launched during the pandemic and offers two cereals that sell for $8.50 per box, has raised $2.3 million in friends and family, pre-seed and seed financing. Investors include TikTok executive Nick Tran and others. OffLimits plans to use the funding to scale into retail, hiring new talent and building up inventory in a continuing effort to disrupt the fun cereal category and challenge legacy brands. The brand was launched in 2020 out of Science Inc.’s startup studio.


Butterfly Invests in supplement brand MaryRuth Organics

MaryRuth Organics (Los Angeles, California), a past Nutrition Capital Network presenter, has reached an agreement to partner with Butterfly, a Los Angeles, California-based private equity firm specializing in food. Though terms of the transaction were not disclosed, MaryRuth’s founder and CEO, MaryRuth Ghiyam, will retain a significant ownership position alongside Butterfly. The company makes organic and vegan dietary supplements including vitamins, probiotics, herbal and adaptogen supplements and more, in liquid, gummy and chewable formats.


Emmy’s Organics sold to Grupo Bimbo

Mexican bakery firm Grupo Bimbo has acquired U.S.-based gluten-free, coconut-based cookie brand Emmy’s Organics (Ithaca, New York) for an undisclosed sum. The firm announced the purchase along with its second-quarter earnings issued July 29. “This acquisition gives Grupo Bimbo an entry point into the quickly growing better-for-you cookie and sweet baked goods market,” the company said. Grump Bimbo operates a U.S. subsidiary, Bimbo Bakeries USA, which launched a direct-to-consumer channel this year called for brands the like of Sara Lee and Entenmann’s. Emmy’s is a past NCN presenter.


Genomatica nabs $118M in Series C funding round

Sustainability leader Genomatica (San Diego, California) has raised $118 million in a Series C funding round led by life science investor Novo Holdings, with additional participation by existing and new investors including Viking Global Investors, Casdin Capital and others. Genomatica makes molecularly identical replacements for materials traditional derived from petroleum fossil fuels, such as clothes, cosmetics, packaging and carpet. The company plans to use the funds to scale production and continue investing in new technologies.


Constellation Brands takes minority stake in Hop Wtr

Beer maker Constellation Brands has made a minority stake in sparkling water brand Hop Wtr (Los Angeles, California). Hop Wtr was launched in 2020 as a beer alternative that includes hops to give it the taste of beer along with adaptogens and nootropics like l-theanine and ashwagandha. Constellation’s venture capital group, which has also invested in cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp., made the investment and Hop Wtr remains independently owned.


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.

News for August 4, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

New Primal nabs $15M from Manna Tree

Manna Tree has invested $15 million in New Primal (Charleston, South Carolina), maker of clean-ingredient meat snacks such as grass-fed beef jerky, as well as seasonings, dressings and condiments. The private equity firm was the sole investor in the Series B funding round. The New Primal will use the funds and Manna Tree’s robust network to expand distribution and retail relationships as well as supporting key hires.


Food tech company NotCo raises $235M in Series D round

NotCo (Santiago, Chile) raised another $235 million in a Series D round, giving the food technology company a total of $350 million and a $1.5 billion valuation. Tiger Global led the round with participation by athletes Lewis Hamilton and Roger Federer, musician and DJ Questlove, among others. Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer invested an undisclosed sum in June. The company, which uses proprietary artificial intelligence technology to match animal proteins to their ideal replacements among thousands of plant-based ingredients, has four product lines that are available in the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Columbia.


Quinn Snacks raises $10M to fuel growth and innovation

Snack maker Quinn (Boulder, Colorado) secured $10 million in a Series B funding round led by growth equity firm NewRoad Capital Partners. Boulder Food Group, Echo Capital and Sunil Thakor also participated. The company, which manufacturers better-for-you popcorn, chips and pretzels, will use the funds to support growth, product innovation and the company’s regenerative agriculture focus. Quinn has seen 60% growth in revenue year over year since 2019 and has grown to distribution in 10,000 stores.


Recovery drink brand The Plug Drink raises $1.5M in seed funding

Plant-based, East Asian-inspired recovery beverage startup The Plug Drink (Los Angeles, California) has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from prominent figures such as’s CEO Peter Szulczewski, NBA basketball player Myles Turner, Miley Cyrus’ manager Adriana Arc, Backend Capital’s general partner Lucy Guo, FL player Troy Hill, actor Frankie Delgado and others. The company currently only distributes online and in liquor stores in Michigan and South California but plans to use the new funds to expand nationally.


ADM to purchase soy ingredient supplier Sojaprotein

Archer Daniels Midland (Chicago, Illinois) has announced plans to acquire European non-GMO soy ingredients group Sojaprotein (Bečej, Serbia). “Thirty years ago, ADM invented the soy vegetable burger, giving rise to the plant-based protein segment,” said Leticia Gonçalves, ADM’s president of Global Foods. “Today, alternative proteins represent one of our core growth platforms, and as this $10 billion global industry grows to $30 billion over the next decade, we are investing to expand our unparalleled capabilities.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


India’s The Whole Truth secures $6M in Series A round

Launched in 2019, The Whole Truth (Maharashtra, India), which makes muesli, protein bars and other clean-label foods, has raised more than $6 million in a Series A funding round. The company claims to be the only Indian brand to list every ingredient that goes into its food. The round was led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from others. “At TWT, we’re hell-bent on bringing the truth back to food. We do this through our 100% clean-label products, and through clutter-breaking content that helps consumers spot the misleading information they’re being provided,” said Shashank Mehta, founder of The Whole Truth and an ex-Unilever marketeer.


Peeled Snacks sold to Deep River Snacks founder

Peeled Snacks (Cumberland, Rhode Island), which had declared bankruptcy in March after facing significant declines in sales due to the closure of schools and airports during the pandemic, has been sold to Jim Goldberg, founder of tortilla and potato chip company Deep River Snacks. Peeled Snacks makes a variety of snack options to meet the needs of diet tribes such as vegan, grain-free, paleo and gluten-free. The B Corporation was launched in 2004.


Manna Tree invests $18M in plant-based brand Urban Remedy

Plant-based food company Urban Remedy (Richmond, California) has secured $18 million in a Series D fundraising round from Manna Tree. Existing partners Builders Fund and Obvious Ventures joined the round in supporting the maker of certified organic ready-to-eat meals, snack and cold pressed juices. The company will use the funds for key hires and resources to support further manufacturing efficiencies as well as digital marketing efforts. Founded in 2009 by licensed acupuncturist Neka Pasquale, Urban Remedy doubled its kiosk locations during 2020 while ramping up its online platform.


Fungi protein brand Nature’s Fynd gets $350M

Food tech company Nature’s Fynd (Chicago, Illinois) raised $350 million in a Series C funding round, bringing the company’s total financing to over $500 million. The company plans to use the capital to enter multiple brand-aligned partnerships with retail stores and quick-serve restaurants as well as significant geographical expansion, focusing on Asia. Nature’s Fynd makes meat and dairy alternatives from a fungi protein it calls Fy from a microbe sourced from volcanic springs. The Series C round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and joined by new investors Blackstone Strategic Partners, Balyasny Asset Management, Hillhouse Investment and Hongkou.


Undercover Snacks takes home $13.7M equity investment

Chocolate snack brand Undercover Snacks (Englewood, Colorado) has raised $13.7 million of equity for a minority stake in the company. The company will use the funds for marketing initiatives to support its growing retail footprint and expansion of the company’s production facility, as well as building the management team. Undercover Snacks launched in 2017 with chocolate-covered quinoa and doubled its distribution in 2021 to over 10,000 retail locations across North America. Terms of the equity financing were not disclosed.


Prebiotic ingredient company Prenexus raises $15M in Series B round

Prenexus Health (Gilbert, Arizona), which manufactures organic prebiotic ingredients for supplements, foods and beverages, has closed a $15 million Series B funding round, with additional financing related to the close bringing the total to $23 million in expansion financing. The funds will be used to significantly expand production capacity at the company’s manufacturing plant, which uses a novel process to produce certified organic XOS (xylo-oligosaccharide) from U.S.-grown organic sugar cane, branded as PreneXOS.


Plant-based cheese startup Nobell Foods raises $75M in Series B round

Nobell Foods (San Francisco, California) has raised $75 million in a Series B funding round, bringing the total raised to a whopping $100 million for this company on a mission to make a stretchy vegan cheese. Founder Magi Richani and her team developed a method to recreate the genetic code of casein in soybean seeds and grow plants that have the same dairy caseins found in conventional dairy. The company is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures, with notable support from Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Venture. Nobell will use funds from the round to expand its team and farming partnerships, scale production and bring its product to market.


Athletic Greens to get investment from Lewis Hamilton and others

British racing driver Lewis Hamilton is participating in a funding round led by SC Holdings, a private equity firm, for Athletic Greens (Carson City, Nevada), which is taking on external investors for the first time since it was founded more than a decade ago. Other celebrity investors in the company include actor Hugh Jackman, model Cindy Crawford and musician Steve Aoki. Athletic Greens expects to surpass $100 million in revenue in 2021 and will use the funds to market the direct-to-consumer brand.


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.

News for July 21, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Upcycler Comet Bio closes Series C funding round

Comet Bio (Schaumburg, Illinois) has raised $22 million in its Series C funding round. The company manufactures various ingredients through upcycling by taking agricultural leftovers from farms and putting them through a proprietary process. Its products includes a prebiotic dietary fiber called Arrabina, sugar syrup alternatives called Sweeterra and animal and bionutrition industrial products. The round was led by Open Prairie, the Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), BDC Capital as well as existing investor Sofinnova Partners.


Wicked Kitchen prepared to launch in U.S. with $14M Series A round

Plant-based food brand Wicked Kitchen (Minneapolis, Minnesota) launched in 2018 in the United Kingdom in partnership with supermarket chain Tesco. Now, the brand is bringing its products to the U.S. market, raising $14 million in a Series A funding round co-led by plant-based foods venture fund Unovis Asset Management and Thailand-based NRF-owned Nove Foods. The company was founded by American brothers Derek and Chad Sarno, who also co-founded Gathered Foods, makers of the Good Catch plant-based seafood brand.


Next Gen Foods extends seed round with $20M

Plant-based chicken brand TiNDLE’s parent company, Next Gen Foods (Singapore) has raised a $20 million extension of its seed found, following it $10 million seed round in March. The extension included new investors Global Fund GGV Capital, Bits x Bites and Yeo Hiap Seng, as well as existing investors Temasek and K3 Ventures. With the funds totaling $30 million, Next Gen plans to expand into the U.S. market and hire more than 50 employees who will primarily be based in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Paine Schwartz Partners acquires cold-pressed juice brand Suja Life

Private equity firm Paine Schwartz Partners has acquired cold-pressed organic juice company Suja Life (San Diego, California) for an undisclosed sum. Suja Life was previously owned by Goldman Sachs Asset Managers and co-investors. The company, which launched in 2012, had a record-breaking year in revenue and profit in 2020. James Brennan, Suja co-founder, said, “Suja has experienced two phases of rapid growth, the initial years after the brand was founded and then again since 2018. The Suja team has delivered fantastic results in recent years.”


Women’s health startup Evvy launched vaginal microbiome test kit

Femtech startup Envy has launched an at-home test kit for the vaginal microbiome, which gives women a picture of their vaginal health for conditions ranging from thrush to imbalances that could contribute to more serious issues. “We give users back a full understanding of everything that’s present. So here are all of the bacteria and fungi and, importantly, what is the relative amount of each of those bacteria,” said CEO and co-founder Priyanka Jain. Evvy is using a technique called metagenomic sequencing to capture more data than other commercial tests.


French cell-based poultry company Groumey gets $10M

Gourmey is a new French startup that recently raised $10 million to make laboratory meat from animal cells. The premium product, focused on poultry, will operate on a premium distribution strategy and serve restaurants. Like other lab-grown meat startups, Gourmey relies on stem cells. The company is even looking to make a slaughter-free foie gras. Point Nine and Air Street Capital are co-leading the $10 million seed round.


RealSleep nabs $2.2M in seed found

RealSleep (Los Angeles, California) raised $2.2 million from undisclosed investors in its seed round. The company makes a cannabinoid-based sleep product and intends to use the funds to expand operations and accelerate the company’s growth and business reach. Users can opt for an individualized sleep formula, pairing the company’s proprietary core formula with other natural compounds to suit one’s personal sleep needs.


Meati secures $50M in Series B funding round

Mycelium-based “meat” company Meati (Boulder, Colorado) has closed a $50 million Series B funding round. The found was co-led by new investor Bond and longstanding Meati backer Acre Venture Partners, with participation from Prelude Ventures, Congruent Ventures and Tao Capital. The public benefit corporation will use the funds to scale up production as it plans to launch its products nationally next year and double the size of its team.


Non-alcoholic beer brand Athletic Brewing scoops up $50M

Athletic Brewing (Stratford, Connecticut), which launched in 2018 and makes non-alcoholic craft beer, has raised $50 million in a Series C round led by existing Athletic investors and board members Alliance Consumer Growth and TRB Advisors. Other investors include athletes, entrepreneurs and celebrities such as Blake Mycoskie, Lance Armstrong, Justin Tuck and JJ Watt. The company will use the funds to open a large East Coast brewery less than a year after the opening of Athletic’s 150,000-barrel facility in San Diego, California.


Canada’s Buddha Brands raises $3M to support US expansion

Buddha Brands (Quebec, Canada) has secured $3 million in a funding round to support expansion in the U.S. market with its lines of certified vegan, keto, gluten free and Non-GMO Project certified snack bars and coconut water beverages. Its new Hungry Buddha Keto Bars come in four flavors: chocolate chip, coconut cocoa, espresso brownie and triple chocolate. “My co-founders and I started Buddha Brands with all of our savings and have been purposely self-funded from the start, so we are thrilled to have this support from BDC Capital and Investissement Quebec,” said Chris Magnone, CEO and co-founder at Buddha Brands.


Lonza completes $4.5 billion specialty ingredients divestment

Lonza (Zurich, Switzerland) has completed the divestment of its specialty ingredients business to Bain Capital and Cinven for an enterprise value of 4.2 billion Swiss francs ($4.55 billion). The Swiss contract drug maker says it will focus on its faster-growing drugs and biotech unit.


Acosta to acquire Impact Group

Acosta (Jacksonville, Florida) plans to acquire Impact Group (Boise, Idaho), a national sales and marketing agency with expertise in natural, specialty, ethnic and emerging brands, to expand its presence in the specialty food space. Acosta said it will integrate its own Natural and Specialty Sales division with Impact Group to create Impact NSS, a separate business unit to provide solutions for brands in these categories. Another new unit will be Acosta | Berg, which will offer a specialized van-based sales business serving metropolitan retailers in key urban markets. “Acosta and Impact Group provide highly complementary services, and this acquisition will add scale, expand service offerings and create new opportunities for our existing clients,” said Brian Wynne, CEO of Acosta.


Pharmavite purchases leading urinary health brand Uqora

Pharmavite (West Hills, California), maker of Nature Made Vitamins and Supplements, has acquired Uqora (San Diego, California), a leading brand in the urinary health market. Founded by partners Jenna Ryan and Spencer Gordon, Uqora sells direct to consumer and has experienced triple-digit growth since it launched in 2017. Uqora offers supplements for proactive urinary health as well as drugs/medical devices to identify and treat the symptoms of UTIs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. William Hood & Company LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Pharmavite in the transaction and Whipstitch Capital served as exclusive financial advisor to Uqora.


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