News for March 3, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Supplant raises $24M for a plant-based alternative sweetener

To help it commercialize a low-cost sugar substitute made from plant fiber, Supplant (Cambridge, England) has completed a $24 million financing round. Manta Ray, Khosla Ventures, Felicis, Soma Capital and Y Combinator participated in the round. Supplant says it will use the funding to begin targeted trial runs of its low-GI sweetener ingredient, which it says is produced with less water and at a lower cost than sugar.

Household cleaners without the plastic attract $21.8M for Everdrop

Everdrop (Munich, Germany) has raised an €18 million (about $21.8 million) series A round to market its range of sustainable cleaning products across Europe and, later, the U.S. Felix Capital led the round, which also saw participation from HV Capital and Vorwerk Ventures. Everdrop’s cleaning tablets that dissolve in water eliminate the need for single-use plastic bottles. The brand also sells dishwasher tablets that aren’t individually wrapped and sustainable laundry detergent.

Legacy vegan brand Follow Your Heart joins Danone

In pursuit of growing its plant-based business, Danone has acquired Earth Island (Canoga Park, California), maker of the Follow Your Heart brand. Most known for its dairy-free cheeses and iconic Vegenaise egg-free mayonnaise, Follow Your Heart will now sit alongside Silk, Alpro and So Delicious in Danone’s plant-based portfolio. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 

UK startup banks $5.1M for debit cards with a sustainable twist

As it prepares to launch its wooden debit card across the United Kingdom, TreeCard (London, England) has collected $5.1 million in seed funding from EQT Ventures, Seedcamp, Episode 1 and angel investors. The six-month-old startup created a Mastercard-powered spending card that’s made from wood, not plastic. Instead of reward points, TreeCard offers its customers the promise that it will put 80% of the transaction fees it collects from merchants toward funding forest restoration projects. Next steps include hiring talent to support its launch across the U.K. and expand into the U.S.

VCs back Madison Reed with $52M as at-home hair care sees pandemic boom

While the pandemic has been tough on much of the beauty industry, Madison Reed’s (San Francisco, California) omnichannel approach helped it surpass $100 million in revenue last year. Now it’s raised $52 million from True Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Motley Fool Ventures and others to double down on that approach. The brand sells directly to consumers permanent hair color that’s free of eight common harsh ingredients. It also sells wholesale and operates a chain of hair color bars across the country, including 16 new locations opened in 2020. It’s raised nearly $200 million since launching in 2013.

Kerry to acquire Biosearch Life for probiotics, botanical extracts

Kerry Group (Dublin, Ireland) plans to pay €127 million ($154 million) to acquire Biosearch Life (Granada, Spain), a public company listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange. Operating in the nutraceutical, functional food and pharmaceutical sectors, Biosearch Life has a range of probiotic (including some obtained from human breast milk), omega-3 fatty acid and botanical extract ingredients that are distributed across Europe, Asia and the U.S. Kerry has bolstered its probiotic offerings in recent years by adding Ganeden and Bio-K Plus to its portfolio.

$42M investment will double Foxtrot Market’s upscale convenience stores

With a $42 million series B funding round complete, Foxtrot Market (Chicago, Illinois) plans to add to its lineup of eight upscale convenience stores in Chicago, Illinois, and Dallas, Texas, and expand to Washington, D.C. this year. Foxtrot’s stores carry snacks, grocery items, prepared foods, coffee and alcohol, which it can deliver in an hour or less. Almanac Insights, Monogram Capital Partners, the University of Chicago, Bluestein Ventures, Walter Robb and others provided the funding, which Foxtrot says will help it open new stores and grow its private label line. 

Redefine Meat secures $29M to bring 3D-printed meat alternatives to market

Redefine Meat (Rehovot, Israel) has raised a $29 million series A and partnered with Israeli meat distributor Best Meister to get its 3D-printed plant-based meat cuts into butchers and restaurants this year. The company, which has raised $35 million since its inception, is working on completing its large-scale production facility. It uses 3D-printing technology and ingredients including plant-based protein, fats and natural colors and flavors to create products that mimic the look, taste, texture, juiciness and mouthfeel of steak and other whole cuts of meat. The round was led by Happiness Capital and Hanaco Ventures with participation from CPT Capital, Losa Group, Sake Bosch and K3 Ventures.

Sweet juggernauts invest in affordable sugar alternatives. 

American Sugar Refining Inc. and The Hershey Co. have led a strategic series B investment in past NCN presenter Bonumose (Charlottesville, Virginia), a startup specializing in the affordable production of naturally occurring rare sugars such as tagatose and allulose. The companies say these ingredients have a similar texture and mouthfeel to traditional sugar (sucrose) but with fewer calories and a lower glycemic index impact. Because they’re less abundant in nature than other forms of sugar, food manufacturers have not been able to use them at scale. Bonomuse has figured out how to make them from plant starches and says it will use the investment to develop its first commercial-scale production plant. It will leverage its partnership with ASR to distribute the ingredients for food, supplements, pharmaceuticals and personal care products across the world.

Investors get behind chocolate milk for adults with $1.7M in seed funding

Slate Milk (Boston, Massachusetts) and the investors in its $1.7 million seed round are hoping millennials will embrace the nostalgia and function of its shelf-stable, canned chocolate milk beverages. To make chocolate milk suitable for health-conscious adults, Slate Milk has scaled back the sugar, amped up the protein and added lactase enzyme to break down the lactose. It sells direct-to-consumer online and is working its way into 3,000 stores this quarter, including Whole Foods Market, Harris Teeter and Hannaford.

HowGood adds $6M as hunger grows for sustainable products

Two brothers started the digital platform HowGood (New York, New York) back in 2007 to aggregate data on the sustainability of different food ingredients so companies and consumers could make more informed choices. To keep up with the recently increased demand, the company raised $6 million in fresh capital from Contour Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital and Danone Manifesto Ventures and others. In addition to growing its platform, HowGood plans to add databases for other sectors such as beauty and cleaning products over the next year.

Nestlé grows DTC presence with SimplyCook

Nestlé has acquired SimplyCook (London, England), which ships its customers recipe kits that include easy-to-follow recipe cards and seasonings, without the waste that full meal-kit companies are known for. The deal bolsters Nestlé’s direct-to-consumer reach (as does its November takeover of Mindful Chef) when eating at home has taken on a new importance. With help from Nestlé’s resources and expertise, SimplyCook plans to expand in the U.K. and beyond.

Neptune expands its CPG portfolio with Sprout Foods

Health and wellness company Neptune Wellness Solutions (Quebec, Canada) announced that it’s acquired a majority stake in Sprout Foods (Montvale, New Jersey) and will work with the brand’s investor, Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, to grow it under the Neptune umbrella. Sprout Foods makes organic plant-based foods for babies and toddlers, bringing in $28 million in annual net revenue. According to Neptune, the deal “accelerates its ongoing transformation into a disruptive consumer packaged goods company.”

Project Well’s ‘food-as-medicine’ marketplace collects $2M

Using food interventions to help people with chronic diseases achieve better health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs is the premise behind Project Well (Stamford, Connecticut), a digital startup that has taken in a $2 million seed investment. Project Well describes itself as a “food-as-medicine marketplace” that works with health plans and providers to match their at-risk patients with food vendors who supply nutritionally targeted, customized meals. It will use proceeds from the round to run pilot programs and expand its commercialization efforts with health plans and medical groups. S2G Ventures, Primetime Partners, Tom Scully of Welsh Carson (and former CMS administrator) and angel investors from Formation Capital participated in the round.

Better Origin’s automated fly farming containers gain $3M

Better Origin (Cambridge, England) has raised $3 million in seed funding from Fly Ventures, Metavallon VC and solar energy entrepreneur Nick Boyle. Farmers can buy Better Origin’s automated insect mini-farms which raise black soldier flies using the farmers’ food waste. The flies can then be fed to chickens in place of soy feed, providing a new lifecycle for food waste and cutting down on the need for soy. The startup, launched in May of last year, plans to use the funding to expand across the U.K.


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 January 3, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Startup enabling meat cultivation closes seed round with leading investors

A startup that believes its technology is integral in helping the cultured meat market mature has locked in seed funding. Matrix Meats (Columbus, Ohio) was born out of a partnership between Ikove Capital’s Startup Nursery and regenerative medicine company Nanofiber Solutions. It manufactures animal-free nanofiber scaffolds for cultured meat to be grown on. While the company didn’t disclose how much the oversubscribed round brought in, it did name Unovis Asset Management as the leader. CPT Capital, Siddhi Capital, Clear Current Capital and a special purpose vehicle led by the Ikove Startup Nursery Fund were additional supporters. With the funding, Matrix Meats says it will expand its staff and acquire new customers and partners. Currently, it has relationships with 14 cultivated meat producers. 

Zevia looks to go global with $200M investment

Having established itself as a leader in the North American better-for-you beverage market, past NCN presenter Zevia (Los Angeles, California) is setting its sights on global expansion with $200 million from Canadian investment management firm Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ). The maker of zero-calorie sodas, mixers, sparkling waters, teas and other stevia-sweetened drinks will use the funds to extend its reach beyond the U.S. and Canada, where it currently sells in more than 35,000 retail locations. 

E-commerce software for retailers pulls in $2.4M

Recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that B2B e-commerce company GrocerKey (Madison, Wisconsin) has raised $2.4 million from 18 investors. Using GrocerKey’s technology platform, retailers can implement click-and-collect, home delivery, mobile self-checkout and other digital services for their customers. Like many of its e-commerce peers, GrocerKey has thrived during the pandemic, reporting an 85% increase in second-quarter sales this year. The company has reportedly raised more than $6.5 million in funding since its creation in 2014. Earlier this year, it hired more than 300 fulfillment workers to keep up with the spike in consumer demand. 

Organic baby food maker Little Spoon scoops up $22M

Valor Siren Ventures, a food-focused fund backed by Starbucks, led a $22 million round for Little Spoon (San Francisco, California), which delivers fresh organic meals for babies and children to customers in 48 states. With a product line that includes purées, toddler meals and vitamins, the three-year-old company targets parents who value a mix of convenience and fresh, high-quality food for their kids. It also operates a companion website and a parenting community called Is This Normal. 

Hooked Foods raises $600K to launch plant-based tuna in Sweden

Ahead of the nationwide launch of its vegan-friendly tuna alternative, Hooked Foods (Stockholm, Sweden) has secured a SEK 5 million (about $600,000) investment. It plans to roll out Toona, made from soy protein, sunflower oil and algae, in restaurant chains in Sweden in the spring. The funds came from incubators Katapult Ocean and ProVeg plus VCs Veg Capital, Wave Ventures and PlusCap. Food Angels Germany and Kale United also participated. Next up will be a vegan-friendly shredded salmon alternative called Salmoon. 

FoodMarble collects $2.6M for personal digestive trackers

In its quest to bring digestive health science to everyday consumers, FoodMarble (Dublin, Ireland) has developed a breath analysis device that pairs with an app to help users optimize their diet. With €2.1 million (about $2.6 million) in new funding, the company looks to expand into new markets and R&D projects. Launched in 2018, the device is a handheld breath analyzer that measures the amount of hydrogen present in users’ breath after they eat. When paired with the app, it gives users data about how the food they eat affects their digestion. The funding round was led by Business Venture Partners with participation from SOSV, Breed Reply, Delta Partners and Enterprise Ireland. FoodMarble will seek continued funding through an equity crowdfunding campaign.

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 February 3, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Cutback Coach’s mindful drinking program picks up $3.1M

Seeing a “massive, untapped opportunity” to help Americans build healthier habits around drinking, Cutback Coach (San Francisco, California) created a text-message-based program that leverages behavioral psychology tactics to help users cut back on alcohol. The startup, founded last year, closed a $3.1 million seed round from investors Uncork Capital, Adjacent Venture Capital, Fitbit cofounder James Park, Lyft cofounder and CEO Logan Green, MyFitness Pal cofounder Mike Lee and others. 

Phospholutions takes in $10.3M to help farmers use less fertilizer

The U.S. used more than 20 million tons of fertilizer in 2019. Phospholutions (State College, Pennsylvania) raised $10.3 million in a series A to commercialize a fertilizer additive that it predicts will reduce that amount and the corresponding environmental problems. The product improves plants’ uptake of nutrients so farmers don’t use as much of fertilizer. This year, Phospholutions plans to run large-scale field trials and build out its team, which the funding will support. Continental Grain Company’s CGC Ventures led the round, which included Maumee Ventures, Tekfen Ventures, the Ag Ventures Alliance Cooperative and 1855 Capital. 

Mealco scores $7M to help chefs launch delivery restaurants

A technology company focused on eliminating barriers to opening a new restaurant in the age of COVID-19 announced a $7 million funding round. Mealco (New York, New York) says chefs who use its solution start a delivery-only restaurant in six to eight weeks, without renting a kitchen, purchasing ingredients or hiring staff. Chefs create their menus, then Mealco sources ingredients locally, oversees cooks it hired and, through third-party apps, delivers meals to customers. Two New York-based restaurants have launched under its model, and Mealco says 50 chefs are on the waitlist. Rucker Park Capital led the round; FJLabs, Reshape, 2048 Ventures, Oceans Ventures, Wilshire Lane Partners and angel investors also got in on it. 

AI-powered agriculture gets a boost with Aerobotics’ $17M round

In an oversubscribed series B, agriculture technology firm Aerobotics (Cape Town, South Africa) raised $17 million. Its platform employs artificial intelligence, drones and other robotics to help tree and fruit farmers identify problems, estimate yield and better manage their crops. The investment arm of consumer internet company Naspers led the round. Cathay AfricInvest Innovation, FMO: Entrepreneurial Development Bank and Platform Investment Partners also participated. Aerobotics operates in 18 countries across Africa, the Americas, Europe and Australia. It plans to use the investment to further develop its technology. 

Dr. Prager’s sells majority stake to PE firm Vestar

Vestar Capital Partners (New York, New York), has made a majority investment in Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods (Elmwood Park, New Jersey). A pioneer in the plant-based and better-for-you foods business, Dr. Praeger’s was started in 1994 by a pair of cardiologists and grew into a family owned business with a large line of frozen veggie burgers, vegetable-based snacks and seafood. Vestar has a number of other investments in the better-for-you food industry, including early-stage investor BIGR Ventures, consumer data company IRI and baking brand Simple Mills. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 

Wesana Health nabs $4M to use psychedelics to treat TBI

A new $4 million convertible note round for Wesana Health (Chicago, Illinois) will support the company as it enters the emerging psychedelics space. Founded by former professional hockey player Daniel Carcillo, Wesana Health states that its mission is to treat traumatic brain injury and other mental health ailments using psilocybin (the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”) and other natural therapies. It plans to use the funding to begin preclinical and clinical work on such treatments and build out its senior leadership team. The Conscious Fund and Ambria Capital led the funding. 

Vegan pizza maker One Planet eyes Scandinavia with £360K round

Plant-based investors Veg Capital and Kale United, along with angel investors, are getting behind One Planet Pizza (Norfolk, England) with a £360,000 (about $490,000) funding round. Started in 2016 by a father-son team, One Planet Pizza sells frozen plant-based pizzas packaged in a sleeve made from recyclable materials. The funding will give it more resources and bandwidth to improve its production capacity, release new products and break into the Scandinavian marketplace this year. 

Brain health supps startup Heights takes off with £1.7M from crowdfunding

Equipped with £1.7 million (about $2 million) raised via the Seedrs crowdfunding platform, Heights (London, England) has formally launched a subscription service for what it calls high-quality, sustainably sourced, plant-based supplements for brain care. Several notable entrepreneurs participated, as well as early stage investor Forward Partners. Heights says it will use the funds to grow its customer base and develop new products, including a forthcoming probiotic aimed at cognitive and mental health. 

Bayer leads $40M series B for anti-allergy food tech firm

Ukko (Tel Aviv, Israel) closed a series B for its AI-based approach to eliminating food allergies and sensitivities. Bayer’s corporate venture unit, Leaps by Bayer, led the $40 million round. Other investors included Continental Grain Company, PeakBridge Ventures, Skyviews Life Science, Fall Line Capital, Khosla Ventures, Innovation Endeavors and TIME Ventures. Using a combination of artificial intelligence and bioengineering, Ukko says it can map and alter problematic aspects of a food protein that trigger an allergy. It’s developing both functional food ingredients and medical therapeutics. 

Egg-white snack brand Quevos secures investment from Kind founder

During an appearance on the TV show Shark Tank, snack brand and NCN past presenter Quevos (Chicago, Illinois) won over guest judge and KIND founder Daniel Lubetzky. He made a deal with the startup reportedly involving a $200,000 investment and another $200,000 as a line of credit. Quevos makes a range of low-carb, egg-white based chips in flavors such as sweet barbecue and sour cream and onion. The chips are sold online and in 1,000 retail outlets. 

Pea milk startup secures £4.8M for growth in U.S., UK, Canada

Funding continues to flow into dairy alternative companies as plant-based milk maker Sproud (Malmo, Sweden) announces a £4.8 million (about $6.6 million) investment from VGC Partners. The startup will use the funding to grow its team, develop its product offerings and build its brand in core markets including the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Sproud’s line of shelf-stable milk substitutes are made with a blend of pea protein, oils and vitamins. The company launched in 2018 and made its debut in the U.S. and Canada last year. 

BlueNalu brings in $60M for lab-grown seafood

Cell-based seafood startup BlueNalu (San Diego, California) has $60 million in debt financing to support its work toward launching its cultured mahi — possibly this year. The startup’s seafood products are grown from fish cells. BlueNalu says plans are underway to open a pilot production facility, complete its regulatory review with the FDA and begin testing its products in some U.S. foodservice locations. The financing came from Rage Capital, Agronomics, Lewis & Clark AgriFood, McWin, KBW Ventures and Siddhi Capital. 

Grocery delivery without the plastic lands Modern Milkman £5M

The Modern Milkman (Lancashire, England), which delivers fresh groceries from local suppliers to customers’ doors in returnable and reusable packaging, has raised £5 million (about $6.9 million) from ETF Partners. Though it began as a local milk delivery service, the startup has expanded to include other farm-fresh groceries such as juice, eggs, butter, bread and produce. Users order through the website or app for next-day delivery. With the funding, Modern Milkman hopes to grow its sustainable grocery service across the U.K. 

Natural beauty manufacturer SV Labs sells to PE firm

Smith & Vandiver Corp. (Watsonville, California), a contract manufacturer for natural beauty and personal care products, has been acquired by San Francisco Equity Partners for an undisclosed price. Better known as SV Labs, the company works with its customers—including CPG companies, emerging natural brands, online sellers and national retailers—on R&D, formulation, manufacturing, packaging and more. SFEP says it will offer the “nimble” and “innovative” company operational and strategic support as it continues to scale. Other beauty brands in SFEP’s portfolio include Japonesque, Yes To and Jane Iredale. 

Cricket purveyor Entomo Farms raises CA$3.7M, plans new consumer brand

Unnamed investors in Canada and Asia led a CA$3.7 million (about US$2.9 million) financing round for past NCN presenter Entomo Farms (Norwood, Ontario, Canada). Founded by a trio of brothers in 2014, the company supplies sustainable protein alternatives in the form of cricket powders and whole roasted insects to dozens of brands and food companies. Entomo Farms says it’s expanding its facilities to meet growing demand and plans to launch a new consumer brand this 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.

News for January 20, 2021


Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Muniq takes in $8.2M for gut health nutrition

Muniq (Los Angeles, California), a startup founded by Uplifting Results Labs, has added $8.2 million in series A funding to support its mission to address chronic health conditions by harnessing the power of the gut microbiome. In May, Muniq debuted a line of nutritional shakes with prebiotic resistant starch to help people improve their blood sugar, lose weight and keep their gut bacteria healthy. Alpha Edison, Acre Venture Partners, former NBA player Baron Davis and SimplyProtein founder Cathy Richards backed the latest round, which will fund clinical research, new product development, new hires and efforts to strengthen brand awareness. 

VCs show continued interest in cultured meat with $6M Vow Food round

Most of the high-profile cultured meat companies that have been in the spotlight in recent years are focused on creating mainstream products like beef, pork, chicken and seafood in a lab. Vow Food (Sydney, Australia) takes a unique approach with a portfolio that includes exotic meats such as kangaroo, alpaca and water buffalo. The Australian startup has collected a $6 million seed round led by Square Peg Capital and joined by Blackbird Ventures, Grok Ventures and Tenacious Ventures. Like other cultured meat companies, Vow cultivates and nourishes animal cells to create its products, bypassing the process of raising and killing animals. The company recently completed a new lab and design studio and added more than a dozen people to its team. 

CookUnity gets $15.5M for chef-to-consumer meal subscriptions

Following an exceptional year of growth, meal delivery company CookUnity (Brooklyn, New York) closed a $15.5 million series A to expand across North America. At the center of the company’s approach are chefs whose handcrafted meals bring an elevated dining experience to consumers’ homes. Launched in 2018, CookUnity’s weekly subscription service allows customers to choose from more than 300 small-batch meals. With the new funding provided by Fuel Venture Capital and IDC Ventures, the startup says it will open new kitchens in California and Texas, and onboard more than 100 more chefs. 

Mondelez boosts snacking portfolio with Hu buy

Less than two years after making a minority investment in Hu (New York, New York), Mondelez International (Chicago, Illinois) has acquired the premium snacking brand for an undisclosed amount. Hu, which comes from the phrase “Get Back to Human,” was founded in 2012 on the premise of simple, real ingredients. It’s since become a leader in premium chocolate with its paleo-friendly chocolate bars and has expanded its offerings to include grain-free crackers. It will join brands including Perfect Snacks, Enjoy Life Foods and Tate’s Bake Shop as part of Mondelez’s North American Ventures business. 

New Wave Foods brings vegan seafood to market with $18M series A

The founders of New Wave Foods (San Francisco, California) set out to fill a white space in plant-based seafood. Now they’re ready to launch a vegan shrimp made from seaweed and plant proteins with restaurants and foodservice operators. New Enterprise Associates led an $18 million series A to power the company through its launch. Evolution VC Partners, Tyson Ventures and other investors also participated. New Wave plans to follow up with additional versions of its shrimp product and other forms of plant-based shellfish. 

Jabil buys Ecologic to scale sustainable packaging

NCN past presenter Ecologic Brands (Manteca, California) joins international manufacturing provider Jabil’s (St. Petersburg, Florida) packaging solutions division to get its eco-friendly packaging into more hands. Brands like L’Oreal and Seventh Generation use Ecologic’s paper bottles and containers made from recycled materials to cut their plastic use and meet their sustainability goals. “In Ecologic, Jabil Packaging Solutions gains a commercially mature paper bottle solution enabled by deep material expertise and innovative manufacturing processes,” the brand said in a statement. Meanwhile, Jabil brings global scale and engineering expertise to the deal. 

PowerPlant Ventures looks to reinvigorate Zico

In 2013, Coca-Cola (Atlanta, Georgia) bought a majority stake in one of the original coconut water brands, past NCN presenter Zico (El Segundo, California). Now, as it works to pare down its portfolio and focus on profitable brands, Coke has sold Zico back to its original founder’s growth equity firm. PowerPlant Ventures (Hermosa Beach, California) and its cofounder Mark Rampolla didn’t disclose how much they paid for Zico but announced that the brand will now be called Zico Rising. It will become part of PowerPlant’s portfolio, which also includes Beyond Meat, REBBL and Vive Organic. 

Personalized sports nutrition startup Gainful adds $7.5M

Gainful (San Francisco, California), which sits at the intersection of sports nutrition and personalized nutrition, has completed a $7.5 million series A funding to support growth of its supplement subscription service. A Gainful subscription starts with a personalized recommendation for one of its protein powder formulations, which are made without artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. It also includes access to a registered dietitian and additional products including electrolyte and pre-workout drink mixes. BrandProject and Courtside Ventures led the series A round, with participation from AF Ventures, Round 13 Capital, Barrel Ventures and the founder of global sports agency Polaris Sports. 

$20M series A powers Weezy to deliver groceries on demand

Grocery delivery—but without the wait—is the premise of UK startup Weezy (London, England), which has garnered $20 million from investors to open two fulfillment centers in London. Left Lane Capital, DN Capital, Heartcore Capital and angel investors including Groupon cofounder Chris Muhr provided the capital, which will help Weezy grow its grocery delivery services across London and the broader United Kingdom. Launched in July, Weezy sources groceries from wholesalers and independent sellers, then deploys delivery people on bicycles or electric mopeds to deliver them in 15 minutes on average. 

Investors back allergy-friendly brand Partake Foods with $4.8M

Partake Foods (Jersey City, New York) has raised $4.8 million from high-profile investors including Rihanna, Black Capital, John Foraker, CircleUp Growth Partners, Black Star Fund, Marcy Venture Partners and others. Partake sells its vegan, gluten-free cookies and baking mixes nationwide at Target, Whole Food Market and Sprouts stores. The new funding will help expand the team and product line, and amp up marketing efforts. Founder Denise Woodard is passionate about increasing opportunities for Black- and female-owned businesses in the food industry, and she is leading a fellowship program to foster inclusivity in the industry. 

Qualitas Health attracts $10M to commercialize algae-based protein

Qualitas Health (Houston, Texas), through its omega-3 supplement brand iwi, is working to commercialize an algae-based protein in 2022. To help it get there, the company has secured $10 million in capital from PeakBridge VC, Arancia Group, Minrav and other private investors. Qualitas grows microscopic algae in saltwater pond systems built in the deserts of New Mexico and Texas. The algae it grows contains all of the essential amino acids as well as vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s. This investment will support the company as it moves into the industrial pilot stage, starts the regulatory process and conducts more clinical research. 

Premium pet food brand Open Farm scoops up $65M

To fuel its growth and innovation in the premium pet food market, Open Farm (Toronto, Canada) has received 80 million CAD ($65 million) from General Atlantic and other investors. Open Farm makes food for dogs and cats, ranging from dry food to fresh meals and supplements. With ethically sourced ingredients, traceability initiatives and packaging reuse and recycling programs, the company has experienced fast growth over the last five years and is now in more than 5,500 retailers in the U.S. and Canada. 

No Meat becomes latest addition to Livekindly’s plant-based portfolio

Plant-based food brand Livekindly Collective has bought No Meat, a vegan meat alternative range developed by British supermarket chain Iceland Foods. Launched in 2018, the line includes meat-free burgers, sausages, chicken strips and more. It’s carried by Iceland, Asda and Ocado in the UK. No Meat joins a portfolio that also includes Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat and Oumph!. Under the deal with Iceland Foods, the grocer will also begin to sell Livekindly’s other brands in Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores. Livekindly, in its current form, came into being last year when Foods United bought Livekindly Media and subsequently raised a $135 million round to become a plant-based food powerhouse. 

AMP’s recycling robots pick up $55M

Today’s recycling systems require a lot of manual labor, but AMP Robotics (Denver, Colorado) is trying to change that. The company has raised a $55 million series B to scale its waste-sorting system that leverages AI algorithms and picker robots to recognize, pick and sort recyclable items from material streams. The round saw participation from Valor Equity Partners, GV, Sequoia Capital, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, Congruent Ventures and Closed Loop Partners. It brought the company’s total funding to nearly $75 million.

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.