News for November 23, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Facing the dark side of chocolate

Mondelēz International, Barrel Ventures, Regba Group and Trendlines are investing in Celleste Bio to bring its cell-based chocolate to market. The Israeli food tech startup is combating traditional chocolate’s sustainability and labor issues by producing cocoa through conventional cell culture methods. The chocolate industry has been plagued by human rights violations and is threatened by severe climate change in the regions where cacao grows. Celleste Bio’s technology is similar to replicating animal cells for meat and dairy, and the company produces its cacao cells without genetic modification or manipulation.

 

Topicals raises $10M Series A round

The fastest-growing skincare brand at Sephora, Topicals, has received $10 million in new financing led by CAVU Consumer Partners. In the spirit of providing more than capital, Jenna Jackson, principal of growth at CAVU Consumer Partners, will join Topicals’ board of directors to bring expertise and guidance. Developed in 2020 by Olamide Olowe, Topicals helps treat skin flare-ups through products that have succeeded in third-party, peer-reviewed, clinical studies. The new funding will take Topicals’ omnichannel growth to the next level, expand its team, support channel expansion and grow brand marketing awareness.

 

Peace Out Skincare receives $20M investment

5th Century Partners has invested $20 million as Peace Out Skincare’s first outside investor. The new investment will be used to fund expansion domestically and internationally, create new products, increase the speed of operations, increase marketing efforts and hire key employees. The skincare brand and 5th Century Partners share a passion for inclusion and diversity.

 

Proper Good raises $3.5M in seed funding

Proper Good is here to take over the pantry aisle through its line of shelf-stable meals suitable for multiple diets. Products include oatmeal, soups, chilis and more that are ready to eat in a transparent, fully microwaveable pouch. YETI Capital led the seed round, and other investors included Doug Bouton, the founder of Halo Top and Gatsby Chocolate, who will join the board of Proper Good. The new funding will support the brand’s e-commerce and retail growth. Proper Good recently expanded into more than 2,000 Walmart Supercenter stores nationwide.

 

Keurig Dr Pepper sip on a minority stake in alcohol-free beer maker

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has invested $50 million in Athletic Brewing Company, a zero-alcohol beer company, making KDP a minority equity stakeholder in the business. KDP’s investment is part of a Series D investment round that raised $75 million. Twenty-five existing investors also participated in the round. Some of those investors include TRB Advisors, Alliance Consumer Growth, NFL player J.J. Watt, restaurateur David Chang, tennis player Naomi Osaka and fashion model Karlie Kloss. The new funding will accelerate growth and push the company closer to profitability.

 

New Wave Foods sees rising funds for its seaweed-based snacks

New Wave Foods, a Scottish seaweed producer, has raised an undisclosed six-figure sum from its shareholders. The new funding will increase production capabilities and expand the company’s range of Shore-branded seaweed products, including chips and ramen broth. The global algae protein market is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by 2026. Algae and seaweed are growing in popularity due to their sustainability and high amounts of plant-based protein.

 

Vow’s cultured meat wows in $49.2M Series A round

Australian cell-based meat company Vow’s $49.2 million Series A round was co-led by Blackbird and Prosperity7 Ventures. As a result, Vow’s first product brand, Morsel, will be introduced to the Singapore market this year. In addition, the new funding will be used to expand manufacturing, increase product development and hire more employees across new divisions.

 

Lotus Herbals acquires 20% stake in Yogic Secrets

Indian beauty conglomerate Lotus Herbals has acquired a 20% stake in Yogic Secrets, a nutraceutical and health supplement brand. The new funding will scale up Yogic Secret’s operations in India and expand the brand into the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. This acquisition marks Lotus Herbals’ fifth investment in an emerging beauty and wellness brand since 2020.

 

Snack bar company This Saves Lives acquired by GOOD Worldwide

Kristen Bell and fellow actors Ravi Patel, Ryan Devlin and Todd Grinnell’s snack brand, This Saves Lives, was acquired by GOOD Worldwide for nearly $5 million. So far, This Saves Lives, on a mission to end world hunger, has donated more than 30 million packets of nutrient-dense Plumpy’Nut to children.

 

Athletes indulge in Clio Snacks

Clio Snacks, creator of protein-packed and chocolate-coated Greek yogurt bars, recently had a successful funding round led by Alliance Consumer Growth. Other investors include professional athletes Maria Sharapova, a retired No. 1 tennis player, and Jayson Tatum, who play for the NBA’s Boston Celtics. The new capital comes at a significant time of growth and expansion, with Clio Snacks expecting to reach profitability next year. Alliance Consumer Growth previously led an eight-million-dollar funding round. The new capital will expand distribution, improve manufacturing facilities and increase new product development.

 

Bio&Me raises £1.6M

Gut health food brand Bio&Me recently secured a £1.6 million investment to market and accelerate the brand’s growth. The lead investor of the gut-friendly yogurt and granola brand was food entrepreneur Giles Brook. The new funding will also support expanding the brand’s sales team and launching its latest innovations.

 

Bloomios acquires Infusionz for $23.5M

Bloomios, a hemp-derived nutraceutical, cosmetics and pet product manufacturer, has acquired CBD gummy company Infusionz. The acquisition includes Infusionz’s portfolio of CBD gummy brands and customers, associated order flow, product formulations, manufacturing operations, equipment and sales team. The newly added operations will double Bloomio’s current production capabilities while reducing costs. The total purchase of $23.5 million consisted of cash consideration of $5.5 million and $18 million of non-cash consideration.

 

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News for November 9, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Young Mountain Tea using new funding for good

Young Mountain Tea has raised $1.1 million to construct a farmer-owned factory in India and produce zero-waste tea bags. The organic tea company will finance this project with a grant from USAID and Frontier Co-op and a pending equity investment. The company also completed a convertible note round led by SWAN and secured debt and lines of credit from Oregon Community Development Financial Institutions Funds and Vermont private foundations to launch its 100% compostable tea bags.

 

Suja Life acquires Vive Organic

Suja Life, a cold-pressed juice and juice shot manufacturer, has acquired the immunity-boosting juice shot brand Vive Organic, which was created by a group of holistic medical professionals. Together, the brands will be able to improve operational capabilities, enhance marketing/sales efforts and further innovate through research.

 

Unilever leads Series B funding for Youvit

Youvit, an Indonesian-based vitamin brand, recently raised $6 million in growth funding led by Unilever Ventures. Existing backers DSG Consumer Partners, as well as new investors, also joined the round. The new financing will grow Youvit’s product offerings and team. Additionally, the brand plans to increase distribution and availability across Southeast Asia and launch its entire product range in Malaysia.

 

CruzFoam leaves no room for plastic with $18M Series A funding

CruzFoam wants to make sure that plastic never enters the ecosystem in the first place. To do so, CruzFoam offers a naturally derived and compostable alternative made from chitin, shells from crustaceans such as lobsters and crabs. In addition, the brand can upcycle these shells that are left over from seafood shops. The new Series A funding will help the brand speed up production and test new prototypes.

 

Extending investments into plant-based hair

Nourie, a plant-based hair extension brand, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding to launch its alternative to synthetic hair extensions. Impact America Fund, Better Ventures and IndieBio led the seed round. The new funding will help prove product-market fit, grow the small team and increase brand awareness. Nourie will launch this month at a competitive price of $35 in the multi-billion-dollar wig and extensions industry.

 

BioVeritas raises $65M

BioVeritas uses fermentation to upcycle food and agriculture waste into ingredients and other uses. The new $65 million funding comes from the company’s majority shareholder Ara Partners. The company will use the new funds to upgrade its facilities, improve processes and deliver large-scale samples to potential customers in the first quarter of 2023.

 

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

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News for October 26, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

The Dumplings that took TikTok by storm receive $10M investment

Xiao Chi Jie, a frozen dumpling brand, went viral on TikTok this year and now has the funding to match its trending status. Caleb Wang and Jennifer Liao started Xiao Chi Jie four years ago in Bellevue, WA, as a restaurant. Then, Xiao Chi Jie pivoted to direct to consumer during the pandemic. Imaginary Ventures recently led a $10 million Series A funding. This investment will see the authentic Chinese dumplings and sauces arrive on shelves in retail. The brand also announced an upcoming rebrand and a new line of frozen noodles inspired by three different regions of China.

 

Sustainable wrap brand Peelo raises pre-seed round

Global early-stage investor and accelerator, Rockstart, announced that it recently invested in Peelo and led a pre-seed round alongside CB Investment management. Peelo makes an alternative to plastic wrap that is reusable/washable/compostable and keeps food fresh for longer. The startup will use the new funding to expand its team, develop new products and enter new markets in northern Europe.

 

Credo Beauty acquires a pioneering clean beauty brand

Credo Beauty, a pioneering clean beauty retailer, announced that it recently acquired Boston-based skincare and beauty brand Follain. Credo will absorb Follain’s online retail business and storefronts. Follain’s founder and CEO, Tara Foley, will support the transition as an advisor and will then begin consulting for purposeful beauty and CPG brands.

 

Soli Organic raises $125M Series D Round

CDPQ led a multi-million Series D fundraising for the indoor farming company Soli Organic with additional investment from Movendo Capital. This round brings Soli’s total funding to $487.5 million. Soli’s soil and precision fertilizer set Soli apart from other indoor farms that typically use hydroponics and vertical farming technology. The recent funding will build new indoor farming locations across the country.

 

A colorful acquisition

Sensient Technologies Corporation, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of colors, flavors and other ingredients, acquired Endemix Doğal Maddeler A.Ş. Endemix is a vertically integrated natural color and extracts company for food and beverages. This acquisition will help Sensient to expand its natural colors portfolio and have operations closer to areas where key botanicals grow. Sensient did not disclose the amount of the deal.

 

Muddy Bites chews on a new investment

The bite-sized chocolate-filled waffle cone snack brand Muddy Bites recently raised $5 million to expand to more than 15,000 stores in 2023. Investors included Reformation Partners, RXBAR founder Peter Rahal, former RXBAR chief operating officer Sam McBride and barkThins founder Scott Semel. Muddy Bites also recently added new hires to its team from Hershey Co., Lily’s Sweets, Hippeas and barkThins.

 

Scout finds $4M in seed round

Craft canned seafood maker Scout’s four-million-dollar seed funding round was led by Semillero Partners, a seed and growth-stage responsible food and beverage investment firm, and Export Development Canada. Almanac Insights, an early-stage investor in CPGs with a positive impact on food systems, also participated. The new funding will accelerate Scout’s operational expansion and brand strategy.

 

Vincere Capital fuels Day One Beverages with investment

Day One Beverages is a CBD sparkling water brand on a mission to democratize CBD. At $2.99 a can, Day One makes adding CBD to one’s daily routine more accessible. The brand recently became the exclusive CBD partner of USA Pickleball. The recent investment from Vincere Capital, facilitated by Aspire Financial LLC and The J Square Investments, will give Day One the capital needed to compete in the CBD wellness market. The team at Day One, which consists of former Red Bull, Anheuser-Busch and other CPG brand executives, plans to rapidly increase retail distribution in California, Colorado, Illinois, Georgia and Florida.

 

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

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News for October 12, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

The Rounds raises $38M Series A funding

Sustainable household restocking service, The Rounds, is an online shopping and delivery service similar to Amazon Prime or Instacart in its timeliness, but boasting less of an environmental impact. Instead of disposable packaging, The Rounds uses a refill system when it drops off household goods. It also picks up customers’ empty containers to refill for next time. Redpoint Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz led the startup’s latest investment round.

 

Aura Bora brings total financing to $10M

The sparkling water brand recently closed a Series A funding round bringing its total funding to $10 million. Only last May, Aura Bora raised $2 million in seed funding for its canned beverages, naturally flavored with herbs, fruits and flowers. The latest funding round was led by Siddhi Capital, with participation from Consumer Ventures, Gaingels, Seaside Ventures and Simple Food Ventures. The new capital will increase operational capabilities, expand retail distribution and generate brand awareness.

 

Wicked Kitchen cooks up a $20M investment

Plant-based innovator Wicked Kitchen has had a busy year. Adding to it is this recent $20M investment, which included funding from actor and vegan advocate Woody Harrelson. Alongside announcing this latest funding, Wicked Kitchen reported that it has more than tripled its YOY sales growth. The company also recently expanded its portfolio by acquiring vegan seafood brand Good Catch. 

 

Gaia’s Farming Co. is shaking up the oat milk game by adding hemp

Launched in January 2022, Gaia’s is creating a sustainable hemp and oat milk beverage. The UK-based company recently raised £500,000 in seed funding, in addition to the £200,000 pre-seed round Gaia’s had last year. Investors were not disclosed, but Gaia’s says it will use the funding to expand its team and continue innovating in the hemp space. The company also recently partnered with Pledge 1%.

 

Pulp Culture raises $7M Series A funding

Pulp Culture, which creates functional beverages comprised of fermented juices, recently announced a new $7 million funding round led by The Kale Fund, Vibrant Ventures and Roger Lienhard. Marc Lustig, Kyle Vogt, Michael Mente and Raissa Gerona, Alexis Ohanian, Four Sigmatic, MUD\WTR and The Feed also participated. The new funds will be used to expand retail growth, grow in e-commerce and complete the construction of a new 13,000-square-foot facility. The company also recently opened a day club/juice bar with a 440-patron capacity called Siesta.

 

Investors are not swatting away this fly larvae protein powder

Livin Farms uses insect larvae as an alternative protein that it turns into a powder. Livin Farms recently announced a new $5.8 million in funding, in addition to its $3.8 seed funding. The startup currently has a 1,400 square meter farm in Austria, where it helps combat food waste by feeding it to the larvae. It takes about 11 days to turn the larvae into powder through proprietary technology, and what is left behind is used as fertilizer.

 

New capital is bringing vegan cheese to Spanish supermarkets

Mommus, a Spanish vegan cheesemaker, has partnered with Valencian Dasca Group to launch its vegan cheeses in Spanish stores. The new capital from Dasca will help Mommus increase production capacity and expand its distribution network. The company has an extensive vegan cheese portfolio and has won awards for its vegan camembert, which is created from 70% cashews and coated in camemberti penicillin (to replicate typical camembert’s white coating).

 

Maev announces $10M funding

Human-grade, unprocessed raw dog food brand Maev recently announced a successful $10 million funding round led by MG Partners with participation from BFG Partners, Willow Growth Partners, Springdale Ventures, DX Ventures, Contrary Capital, Good Friends and 1st Course Capital. Maev tripled its number of subscribers in 2022 alone, and has served up over 7 million pet meals since 2020. The new funding will support this rapid growth and product expansion, which is backed by veterinarian research.

 

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

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News for September 30, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Next Level Burger is taking its investment to the next level

Next Level Burger, a vegan burger chain, announced that it raised $20 million in funding. The new funding will be used to accelerate its U.S. expansion, which will quadruple its store count to 1,000 by the end of 2025. The round was led by a strategic organic and natural foods partner, private mission-driven shareholders and early-stage vegan investors Alex Payne, formerly of Twitter and Simple Bank, and Nicole Brodeur.

 

True Food to launch a new brand with $100M investment

Health brand True Food Kitchen announced plans to launch a new fast-casual brand next year in Phoenix, Arizona. The new funding round was led by HumanCo and Manna Tree with support from existing investor Centerbridge Partners. This is the largest investment the 42-unit chain has received since it was founded in 2008.

 

Gotham Greens raises $310M

Gotham Greens received an investment of $310 million to expand its greenhouses nationwide. Since the brand’s 2009 launch, it has raised a total of $440 million. The new investment round was led by BMO Impact Investment Fund and Ares Management, with participation from Commonfund, RockCreek, Kimco Realty Corporation, Manna Tree Partners and The Silverman Group

 

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker invests in RTD beverage

Budda Baker is now a shareholder in LIFEAID Beverage Co. and has invested a significant amount into the company’s new FITAID Energy launch. FITAID Energy is a better-for-you, clean beverage brand available in the United States and Europe. FITAID Energy is LIFEAID’s most successful brand launch to date (the brand launched in mid-2022) and accounts for 26% of the company’s sales.

 

Berlin, Germany-based personalized nutrition company raises 10 million euros

Lykon, a 4-year-old personalized nutrition and dietary supplements company, raised 10 million euros in a Series A round led by venture capital investor Zintinus. Bridge to Growth, another venture investor, and existing investors MA Ventures and Ippen Digital also participated. MA Ventures led a 6.4 million euros fundraising round in 2021, which allowed Lykon to acquire Gaia Nutrition.

 

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

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News for September 15, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Oxwash cleans up in Series A Round

The U.K. eco laundry startup Oxwash has secured £10 million in funding led by Untitled VC, with existing backer Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder), Indeed founder Paul Forster, and Holly and Sam Branson. Oxwash is taking on conventional commercial laundry by offering a gentler wet cleaning technique to replace dry cleaning. Rather than harsh chemicals, Oxwash uses biodegradable detergents and reduces water consumption, saving nearly 4 liters of water per 1kg of clothes washed. Another sustainability effort Oxwash makes is using ozone as a disinfecting agent. Ozone allows fabrics to be sterilized and deodorized at lower temperatures. The new financing will allow for expansion across the U.K and add more e-bikes and electric vehicles to its fleet for pickups and drop-offs to minimize carbon emissions. The company also recently announced that it gained B Corporation Certification.

 

Instacart acquires Eversight

Oversight is an AI-powered pricing and promotions platform for CPG brands and retailers. The experimentation-based platform allows CPGs and retailers to test customizable prices and promotions to customers directly and at scale. Instacart’s investment in this pricing and promotions expertise will make it easier for more customers to save on groceries. Instacart also recently introduced new incentives to help customers save money: It now offers a 5% cash back on pickup orders, and a new Instacart Chase card gives a 5% statement credit on all purchases.

 

Funding goes swimmingly for Mermade Seafoods

Mermade Seafoods received $3.3 million in seed funding from OurCrowd, Fall Line and Sake Bosch. Founded in 2021, Mermade Seafood’s technology will streamline scallop production to offer an alternative protein at a lower price point. The food tech company uses circular cellular agriculture technology to produce cultivated scallops. Cell-cultured foods produce a significant amount of often-discarded biowaste. Mermade Seafoods uses that biowaste to feed the algae that feed the cultured cells. The company is working on patenting its version of aquaponics, which it will call cytoponics, to help lower costs. This funding will allow the company to employ more stem cell and algae researchers and plan to reach laboratory-scale production in 2023.

 

Motatos raises €38M Series D

Swedish startup Motatos announced a €38 million Series D Round, which brings its total funding to €130 million. Motatos is a discounted groceries startup in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the U.K. and Germany. Motatos focuses on selling household goods with a long shelf life such as pantry items, beverages, personal care products and pet food. All products come from the surplus inventory of larger producers for a reduced price. By selling surplus food, the company helps prevent food waste from entering landfills. In 2021, Motatos’ sales were €68 million and are on track for €100 million this year. This Series D Round was led by Swedish bank SEB with U.K.-based VC Exor Capital.

 

Live Nation invests in high-tech reusable cups

As large crowds return to festivals, Live Nation is trying to prevent the return of seas of plastic cups left on the ground and sent to landfills. The concert promoter has invested $5 million into Turn Systems, a startup that helps venues eliminate single-use cups. Turn Systems provides reusable cups, collection bins and proprietary dishwashers that are said to be 700% faster than traditional dishwashers. Turn’s cups are handed out to fans at no extra cost, but each cup has a scannable code on the bottom that activates the opening of a collection bin for disposal. Other investors include ab InBev, Bjarke Ingels Group and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures.

 

Misfits Market to acquire Imperfect Foods

Misfits Market is acquiring fellow online grocery platform Imperfect Foods in an all-stock deal. Since its founding in 2018, Misfits Market has raised nearly $530 million. A $200 million Series C Round in 2021 put the company’s valuation at over $1 billion. Imperfect Foods, founded in 2015 to help rescue and redistribute ‘ugly’ produce, raised $110 million in a Series D Round last year, bringing its total to $229 million. While the Misfits Market CEO did not disclose the deal’s valuation, they did say that combining the online grocery platforms will drive sales to $1 billion in early 2024. Until online grocers reach that sales benchmark, profitability is difficult; scaling up will help drive-long term revenue.

 

Hero to be acquired for $630M

Church & Dwight Co. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Hero, the creator of acne patch brand Mighty Patch, for $630 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Hero’s net sales were approximately $115 million in the previous year. Hero joins Nair, Batiste, Viviscal, Flawless and Toppik to Church & Dwight’s Specialty Hair and Skin portfolio lineup. The total acne treatment market is approximately $700 million. Hero’s 2023 net sales are projected to increase 15% to $150 million.

 

Klim plants a $6.6M seed

Klim, a Berlin, Germany-based agri-tech startup, has raised $6.6 million in seed funding to help farmers quickly adapt to regenerative farming methods. Nearly 1,700 farmers have signed up to receive support. Klim’s app helps farmers set goals and determine the best ways to improve soil health, increase biodiversity and lower their carbon footprint. Farmers who document their transition and through Klim’s satellite data and monitoring can earn payouts for carbon sequestered at the farm. As farmers’ soil health improves, they can receive funds for undertaking other sustainable measures such as reforesting. The startup is also looking into loans for farmers. Founded in 2020, Klim has raised a total of nearly €8 million. Berlin-based food and green tech investor Green Generation Fund led the most recent seed funding. The investment will help Klim to look at expanding internationally.

 

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News for August 31, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Eat Just raises $25M to grow business in China

Eat Just, the egg alternative brand, secured an investment of $25 million from private equity firm C2 Capital Partners which provides growth capital and support to companies seeking to scale their business in China. Eat Just’s Just Egg brand has been available on e-commerce platforms and street vendors in Shanghai since 2019. C2 Partner’s anchor investor is Alibaba Group and this transaction marks their first investment in the alternative protein sector.

 

Venus William’s Happy Viking wins a major investment round

Happy Viking, a plant-based superfood nutrition company created by Venus Williams, has recently closed an investment round led by fellow athletes. Serena Williams, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s 35V, Robin Arzón, Michelle Wie West, Megan Rapinoe, Reilly Opelka, Isaiah Hartenstein and Collin Sexton all financed the $2 million round. Venus Williams created Happy Viking after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease, in 2011. She experimented with creating great-tasting recipes with superfood ingredients and a plant-based diet to help aid her recovery and improve her health.

 

Ish receives €5M investment from Anora

Anora, a wine and spirits-based brand house, has now acquired a 26% stake in Ish with its recent investment. Ish is a Danish non-alcoholic beverage company with a portfolio of non-alcoholic spirits, wines and ready-to-drink beverages. The new partnership with Anora will see Ish’s products distributed in Norway, Sweden and Finland. On top of expanding international growth, Anora’s investment will help Ish expand its sales, marketing efforts and new product launches.

 

From YouTube to Coffee—a big investment

YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain’s Chamberlin Coffee has closed a $7 million Series A Funding Round. The brand harnesses Chamberlain’s influencer status and online audience by being digital-driven and geared towards Gen Z when it comes to selling its USDA Organic-certified coffee and other products. The new funding round will help the successful e-commerce brand to create new products and expand retail efforts. Recently Chamberlain Coffee partnered with Swoon to create a co-branded Matcha Lemonade that was nominated for a NEXTY Award.

 

Positive Food Co. raises $7M

Positive Food Co. creates freshly prepared foods such as freshly packaged salads, heat-and-eat meals and vegan overnight oats. The fresh prepared foods market is a $34 billion industry. Co-founders Schuyler Deerman and James Chan began Positive Food by selling fresh, reasonably priced prepared meals out of a cooler in WeWork offices throughout Los Angeles. They then expanded into coffee shops but have pivoted to focus on Whole Foods and other new channels due to the pandemic. The new funding comes from BlueYard Capital, Western Tech, Y Combinator, Gaingels and a mix of entrepreneurs from Thrive Market, Fitbit, Instacart, WordPress and more.

 

Square Baby pulls in $1.8M

Square Baby is a science-based nutrition brand offering customizable meal services for babies. The brand is committed to providing veggie-forward, balanced meals that help with food allergy prevention. The new $1.8 million investment will help the brand to expand nationally and serve a rapidly growing waitlist of 10,000 families. The investment will also fuel DTC growth, create new eco-friendly packaging and expand the brand’s team.

 

More money in mycelium

Mycel, a South Korean startup, uses a root-like structure of mushrooms (mycelium) to create fungal-based biomaterials that are replacements for leather and meat. Mycel recently announced that it has raised $10 million in a pre-Series A round of funding. The startup will use the new funding to open a new production plant in South Korea that will scale up production and increase the number of employees. The brand has also been in talks with global cosmetic brands to co-develop mycelium-based leather fashion products and beauty ingredients. The brand is aiming to commercialize its mushroom leather in 2023.

 

Vividly raises $18M Series A

Vividly (formerly Cresicor), the leading modern trade promotion management solution, recently announced an $18 million Series A financing round. The round was led by led by 645 Ventures and Vertex Ventures US, with participation from existing investors Costanoa Partners and Torch Capital as well as Green Spoon Sales. The CPG industry spends at least 20% of its revenue on trade promotion management. Vividly provides cloud-based software that helps brands manage all aspects of their trade promotion management and data analytics. Vividly has raised $23 million to date and will use the new funding to scale its team and accelerate product development.

 

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News for August 15, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Moo-ving on up

Cloud-based dairy supply chain software, Milk Moovement, closed a $20 million Series A round led by VMG Catalyst. Milk Moovement helps to create full supply chain visibility for both dairy farmers and their distribution partners. Shipments can be tracked and routed in real-time and delivery schedules are optimized to create a significant decrease in food waste and lost profits.

 

Perfecting paleo bread

Flower Foods, the US baking company behind Dave’s Killer Bread and Wonder has invested an undisclosed amount in Base Culture. Base Culture creates all-natural snacks aligned with the founder’s Paleo lifestyle. From sliced bread to brownies many of Base Culture’s products are Paleo Certified, Certified Gluten-Free, Certified Grain-Free, dairy-free, soy-free, Non-GMO Project Verified and Keto Certified. The investment will help the brand grow in distribution, marketing and manufacturing.

 

Great Wrap gets a great investment

This stretch wrap startup has raised $11 million in a Series A round backed by investors from the United States, Australia and Singapore. The 100% compostable stretch wrap is created out of waste from a local potato processor. The wrap breaks down into carbon and water in less than 180 days. Great Wrap plans to expand internationally and prevent tons of waste in Australia and beyond.

 

Sustainable beauty brand raises $7M

Ogee creates USDA Organic skincare and makeup products from sustainable ingredients. This $7.07 million Series A Round was led by Birchview Capital LP and included previous investors FreshTracks Capital and Coastal Ventures. The new funding will allow Ogee to continue expanding its product line made from healthy, high-performing ingredients, and to reach more international markets.

 

OWYN secures growth investment from Purchase Capital

Purchase Capital, an affiliate of United Nutritional Brands, invested an undisclosed amount into OWYN, a plant-based protein brand and creator of ready-to-make pancake and waffle mixes. OWYN will use the new funding to distribute to more national retailers, grow in online retail and increase advertising and marketing efforts.

 

$4.7M raised for OB/GYN-founded women’s vitamin brand

Unilever Ventures led the seed round for Perelel, a personalized subscription-based vitamin regime and health community. Perelel supports women with vitamins during every stage of the reproduction cycle, from contraception to a third-trimester prenatal pack. The mission-driven brand also provides supplemental resources for every step of the pre- to post-natal journey.

 

Blossom Botanical Water acquired by EARI Beverage Group

EARI Beverage Group’s acquisition of Blossom Botanical Water expands the group’s portfolio into the functional and craft beverage market. Blossom creates plant-based waters using botanicals and has generated roughly $4 million in gross sales along the east coast and midwest since its inception.

 

Meati Foods meets a $150M investment

Meati Foods, the developer of the Eat Meati brand of mushroom root proteins, recently closed a $150 million Series C funding round. The closing of this round, led by Revolution Growth, brings the company’s total funding to $278.6 million. Using mycelium, Meati creates whole-cut meats made of 95% mushroom root. Meati has debuted in restaurants across Colorado and Arizona, as well through e-commerce. The new funding will allow the completion of its new facility and production efforts.

 

Blume is blooming

In just five weeks this Vancouver-based superfood latte brand has raised $2 million CAD. Blume makes its drink mixes locally out of all organic and natural ingredients such as functional favorites turmeric and reishi. This female-founded brand is now funded by a group of investors that is nearly 50% women—many of which are other CPG founders. Investors include Judy Brooks (SmartSweets & Blo Blow Dry Bar), Ethan Song (Frank & Oak), Jerin Mece (Nude Vodka), Mike Fata (Manitoba Harvest) and Th51. The new capital will help Blume expand into the US market, grow its team and host in-person events fostering community.

 

Blue Ocean Barns completes $20M Series A Round

Hawaii-based Blue Ocean Barns is an agricultural technology company. The investment round was led by Valor Siren Ventures. Blue Ocean Barns will use the new financing to expand its tank-based farming. It will also help to commercialize Brominata, the brand’s seaweed-based digestive aid for cattle, which helps to reduce GHG emissions from livestock throughout the supply chain.

 

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 June 1, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Granarolo acquires a majority stake in White & Seeds

Italian dairy manufacturer Granarolo has acquired a 51% stake in White & Seeds with the possibility of buying the remaining shares in the next few years. White & Seed sells dairy and snack products such as yogurt, bars, muesli, porridge and spreads. Granarolo has been focusing its attention on products that promote well-being and sustainability. White & Seeds founders are sports lovers and expert nutritionists who cater to an audience attentive to wellness but lacking in time and looking for natural ingredients and flavors.


Seed investment plants Heywell as the fastest-growing sparkling adaptogenic water brand

Female-founded Heywell received a seed investment from Masterfund, a venture capital investment firm based in Seattle, WA, that invests in women-led, revenue-positive startups. Spins data reports that the $5.2 billion natural energy and other functional beverages market is growing at 24.6%, powered by Gen Z and Millennial consumers’ quest for cleaner plant-based products. Heywell was an Expo West 2022 NEXTY Awards finalist.


Slutty Vegan to open 20 new locations with a $25M investment

Atlanta-based Slutty Vegan currently has five locations and will expand to another 20 fast-food chain locations thanks to a $25 million Series A funding round. The expertise of investors from New Voices Fund and Danny Meyer will help build a vegan comfort food empire. Locations are planned for Brooklyn and Baltimore. The funding will also be used to hire chief operations and marketing officers. The black female-founded startup has seen rapid growth and is also currently selling dips distributed in Atlanta grocery chains. It is important to Pinky Cole, Slutty Vegan’s founder, to promote BIPOC community health and food equity.


Investors have an appetite for mycelium

Mycelium continues to trend this year as more startups aim to bring the plant-based meat alternative to the shelf. The latest startup to receive funding is Bosque Foods, with a $3 million seed round. A challenge with mycelium that has given some investors pause is the difficulty with scaling production. What is different with Berlin-based Bosque foods is that they grow big slabs of mycelium in a bioreactor used for solid-state fermentation instead of fermentation in a liquid cell culture bioreactor tube. These slabs can be cut into something that closely resembles a pork or chicken cutlet. Producing alt-meat that resembles real cuts of meat and not ground meat is usually one of the biggest challenges when it comes to alt-meats texture.


Plant-based cheese startup sets its sights on new European markets

Dutch-based startup Willicroft has secured a €2 million seed investment led by Paulig’s venture arm PINC and Rockstart. The investment will bring Willicroft’s range of plant-based cheeses to the U.K., Germany and Nordic Markets. It will also help the brand bring on senior talent, fast-track its product evolution and continue to become the world’s first net-positive plant-based cheese company. Rockstart said of the brand, “Willicroft is taking plant-based dairy alternatives to the next level. Alongside making delicious products, they are helping farmers to transition to sustainable production by enabling a local supply chain without the need for monocropping or highly processed ingredients. They have spent the last years understanding their consumers and their footprint, and the next phase will be to put those learnings to scale.”


How do you like your eggs? Yo! Egg is helping restaurant patrons answer plant-based

Yo! Egg has announced that it plans to launch in U.S. restaurants this year with its plant-based sunny side up and poached eggs. Yo! Egg hopes to tackle the unsustainable amount of water required for producing eggs and the risk of diseases transferred from the animals to humans. The plant-based egg market is expected to grow steadily over the coming years to reach up to $800 million in value by 2027. Many other plant-based egg companies start by creating a liquid or powdered egg, but Yo! Egg is taking on producing the whole egg. The brand’s sunny side up egg and poached eggs have already been successful at restaurants in Israel. The brand is also working on hard-boiled, scrambled and baking varieties.


HUNGRY, the tech catering platforming, is adding NatureBox to its plate

HUNGRY is a technology platform that caters to and delivers different snack varieties. The platform is backed by Jay-Z’s Marcy Partners and has gained momentum as people return to the office. HUNGRY’S acquisition of NatureBox will allow it to add more snack varieties to its platform and revenue. CEO Jeff Gras said, “NatureBox had previously raised roughly $60 million in venture capital funding. We project that NatureBox will add at least 20% to HUNGRY’s overall revenue in 2022, and we expect our business to double in sales in 2023.”


Nestlé to expand its health portfolio in Brazil with the acquisition of Puravida

Nestlé Health Science reached an agreement to acquire Puravida, a Brazilian nutrition and health lifestyle brand. Puravida produces nutritional supplements, protein powders and ready to drink beverages under the belief that vitamins and minerals play a vital role in our health and wellness. This acquisition will expand Nestlé’s consumer health portfolio in Brazil. Nestlé Health Science Latam said of the acquisition that “Bringing together Puravida and Nestlé Health Science’s deep expertise in nutrition research and development will result in further innovation, expanding the breadth and depth of the portfolio in the consumer and healthcare professional channels. Our retail presence will open new opportunities for Puravida’s growth and our strong network with healthcare professionals will expand the brand’s presence.”


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 May 16, 2022

2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

 
Sweet deals: Ferrero acquires Fulfil Nutrition

The international confectionery group Ferrero, of the Italian chocolate fame, has acquired the Irish vitamin and protein bar group Fulfill Nutrition via an all-cash transaction. Ferrero will take over the business outside of North America, where Hershey, who bought a minority stake in 2019, and Barry Connolly, Fulfil’s founder, will remain in control. Connolly is still the majority owner of the business, and the sale is estimated at 150 million euros.

 
Food-tech is here to create allergy free alternatives to your favorite pantry items

Voyage Foods raised $36 million in Series A financing, bringing its total funding to $41.7 million. Voyage Foods aims to reinvent pantry staples using sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients. Its products, including coffee without coffee beans, chocolate sans cacao and a peanut-free spread, are molecularly similar to the traditional pantry staples. These, though, are free from the top nine major allergens. Funding was co-led by UBS O’Connor and Level One Fund, with participation from Horizons Ventures, SOSV’s Indie Bio and Social Impact Capital.

Serena Williams helps more women score points by investing in WILE

WILE is a vegan menopause supplement brand created by women to help empower them and reduce the stigma around this natural hormonal process. WILE currently produces various plant powder supplements, tinctures and functional beverages that offer support women for in their 40s-60s having symptoms of hot flashes, stress and mood swings, as well as supporting overall wellness. Williams invested an undisclosed amount during the $3 million seed round.

 
Down to Cook Inc.’s Adda Veggie begins to add a lot of capital

As part of a $1.5 million seed round, Down to Cook received a $300,000 investment from the ICA Growth Fund. ICA assists women and BIPOC entrepreneurs via mentorship and capital in the Bay Area. With its Adda Veggie line of meal starter kits, the startup also raised more than $60,000 in an equity crowdfunding campaign.

Beyonce continues to make lemonade out of lemons

Two years ago, Beyonce posted a shot of her getting into a limo with a bottle of Lemon Perfect—an enhanced water drink—in the cupholder. Fans spotted the beverage, one of Beyonce’s favorites, and the image went viral. Beyonce is now a backer saying, “I don’t typically enjoy drinks without added sugar, but Lemon Perfect is delicious. It was an easy decision to invest in something that not only tastes great and is healthy, but also, and most importantly, allows choosing a healthier lifestyle to be affordable and accessible to everyone.” The $31 million Series A funding also saw support from Beechwood Capital, Goat Rodeo Capital, Melitas Ventures, NNS Capital and Trousdale Ventures.

Leonardo DiCaprio joins Lewis Hamilton’s The NEAT Food Co as a strategic investor

DiCaprio has long been an environmental activist advocating for sustainable alternatives. NEAT is a vegan fast-food chain from the UK that focuses on alternative proteins as a means of reducing global emissions. NEAT will soon be opening more locations globally in addition to bringing its products to retailers in the U.S. NEAT’s most recent valuation is $100 million. It is starting a $30 million Series B funding round to help improve on versions of its products, introduce new ones and continue its global expansion.

Canada’s leading roasted bean snack receives a $6.2M investment

Three Farmers Foods Inc. received $3 million from District Ventures Capital and $3.2 million from existing investors to help grow its distribution across Canada and penetrate the U.S. market. Grown and manufactured in Canada using sustainable practices, Three Farmers Food believes in food production transparency and giving everyone equitable access to healthy food.

From farm to food service: Tractor Beverage Co. plans $60M funding round

Tractor Beverage Co. claims to be one of North America’s fasting growing beverage brands, thanks to its Certified Organic full line beverage service solution for foodservice operators. Tractor has entered into a long-term, exclusive sales partnership with Keurig Dr Pepper. Keurig Dr Pepper will be a lead investor in this funding round and will support expanding infrastructure and marketing. Tractor gears its marketing towards younger and more health-conscious consumers.

 

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.