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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