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Gathered Foods raises $10 million for plant-based seafood
Gathered Foods, maker of the Good Catch (Newtown, Pennsylvania) brand of plant-based seafood products, has closed a $10 million convertible note round co-led by New Crop Capital and Stray Dog Capital, according to Forbes. Good Catch previously announced an $8.7 million Series A funding round in August 2018 led by New Crop Capital. The first Good Catch product is plant-based tuna made with a six-protein blend including pea, soy and lentil. Forbes reported that Gathered Foods is building a $20 million facility in Ohio capable of producing $100 million in plant-based meat products each year. Crab cakes and fish burgers are planned for next spring.
BP Ventures backs Calysta’s alternative protein technology
Calysta (Menlo Park, California) has announced a $30 million investment from BP Ventures to support a worldwide rollout of its FeedKind protein, a family of natural, sustainable feed ingredients for fish, livestock and pets. Calysta produces its sustainable single-cell protein via a proprietary gas fermentation process using naturally occurring non-GM microbes. Calysta's initial market opportunity is in aquaculture, where FeedKind could help boost growth by reducing reliance on conventional protein sources. BP’s backing is “the best indicator yet that Calysta's solution to food insecurity in a resource-constrained world can and will achieve global scale," said Alan Shaw, Calysta president and CEO.
Lerer Hippeau leads seed round for CBD beverages
Sweet Reason Beverage Co. (New York, New York) has raised $2.5 million in a seed investment round led by Lerer Hippeau, with RiverPark Ventures and others participating. The women-owned and -operated company offers sparkling flavored waters infused with water-soluble CBD from organic Colorado hemp that is CO2-extracted to maximize bioavailability, according to the company. The sugar-free, sweetener-free brand is available in over 200 New York and online retailers, including Dean & Deluca. “RiverPark Ventures has been evaluating the CBD category for the last few years and believes that beverage will be a leading delivery channel," said Managing Partner Andy Appelbaum.
Delivra boosts Harvest One’s health and wellness portfolio
Harvest One Cannabis Inc. (Toronto, Ontario) has acquired the specialty biotech company Delivra Corp. (Hamilton, Ontario), adding the LivRelief brand to its health and wellness portfolio. Using its proprietary transdermal system for delivering pharmaceutical and natural molecules through the skin, Delivra has developed a line of natural topical creams for joint and muscle pain, nerve pain, wound healing, varicose veins and other conditions. Harvest One, a vertically integrated global cannabis company, will add cannabinoid-infused products to Delivra’s product range. Harvest One reported revenue of CN$3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2019, up from CN$33,000 in the same period a year ago.
Pod Foods raises $3 million to distribute emerging brands
Pod Foods (Chicago, Illinois), a software and data-enabled distribution and logistics platform designed to bring emerging food brands to retailers at a fraction of the current cost, has closed a $3 million equity seed round led by Moment Ventures. M12 and Unshackled Ventures also participated. A year after launching in the San Francisco Bay Area, Pod will use funding to expand into new markets. “The traditional middleman model doesn’t help small businesses succeed,” said Fiona Lee, co-founder. “Instead, it leaves brands struggling to break through to the market and meet consumer demand.” Pod Foods’ B2B platform aims to streamline the wholesale-food distribution market for small businesses.
Swander Pace acquires health food veteran Bragg
Bragg Live Food Products Inc. (Santa Barbara, California), a champion of raw, organic apple cider vinegar, has been acquired by Swander Pace Capital with Dragoneer Investment, singer Katy Perry, actor Orlando Bloom, and the founder of Pressed Juicery participating. The veteran health food company is also known for its liquid amino acids, nutritional yeast, dressings and seasonings. Bragg was founded in 1912 by the controversial health advocate and fitness enthusiast Paul C. Bragg. Swander Pace CEO and managing director Andrew Richards told Bevnet that Bragg’s annual sales are approximately $150 million.
WM Partners acquires Ultima Health
HPH II Investments Master Fund, managed by WM Partners, has acquired Ultima Health Products Inc. (Cortland, Ohio), a provider of sugar-free electrolyte hydration products. Terms were not disclosed. Ultima was founded in 1996 by a nutritionist and long-distance runner who created the sugar-free supplement blend for U.S. track-and-field athletes competing at the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, the brand also appeals to active lifestyle consumers, children and seniors and those following paleo and keto diets. Ultima sells through distributors, retail chains and e-commerce platforms.
Natur raises funds to grow hemp consumer products business
Natur International Corp. (Amsterdam, Netherlands) has completed a $7.2 million capital round with a non-U.S. investor group. The company envisions growing through strategic alliances, mergers and joint ventures, in addition to sales of its new hemp-infused consumer products. Natur was founded in 2015 to market functional, natural and organic plant-based foods and beverages including shots, bars, juices, smoothies and snacks. It expanded its product portfolio recently to include full-spectrum CBD consumer products. In May, Natur announced a deal with a European horticultural seed production and breeding center to gain access to specific organic hemp-based isolates and oils.
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