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Mooala secures $8.3 million for dairy-free beverages
Mooala (Dallas, Texas), maker of organic dairy-free beverages, has completed an $8.3 million Series A equity financing led by Sweat Equities, bringing its total funding since launch to more than $13 million. Mooala is sold in over 2,500 stores nationwide including Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Kroger and Costco, and says it will increase its footprint to 3,500 stores by January. Best known for Original Bananamilk made with sunflower seeds, Mooala says it expects to double net sales this year. Mooala also makes almond and coconut-oat milks, in addition to non-dairy creamers, one of the fastest-growing plant-based categories in grocery.
Femtech startup raises $9 million for hormone tracking device
Founded to develop a non-chemical contraceptive method, Inne (Berlin, Germany) has raised €8 million (US$8.9 million on Oct. 31) led by Blossom Capital. Inne’s technology provides personal data for reproductive health by allowing users to track their own hormonal cycles using test strips and a reader. The data provide information about fertility and reproductive health and can be used to avoid pregnancy. Inne says the company represents "the largest-scale observation of progesterone patterns, ever."
Ursa Major raises growth equity round led by Fenwick Brands
Fenwick Brands has led a $5 million growth financing for clean skincare brand Ursa Major (Waterbury, Vermont). Founded in 2010, Ursa Major has grown average annual revenue by more than 60% year-over-year for each of the past five years and attracted loyal consumers across the gender spectrum, according to Fenwick. Ursa Major focuses on "super natural" skincare essentials, cultivating a brand ethos that celebrates the outdoors and emphasizes wellness over vanity.
Mirror home gym announces $34 million in new funding
Mirror (New York, New York) a "nearly invisible" interactive home gym, has secured $34 million in Series B-1 financing led by Point72 Ventures. Lululemon and others also participated in the round, which brings Mirror’s funding to $72 million. The company’s full-length "mirror" allows users to see not only themselves but also the instructor and classmates in an interactive display delivering live and streaming fitness classes. The mirror has an embedded camera and speakers, and users can add accessories like a heart rate monitor and fitness band.
Lassonde acquires Sun-Rype for $80 million to expand juice portfolio
Positioning to become a leading fruit-based snack and beverage company in Canada and the United States, Lassonde Industries (Rougement, Quebec, Canada) is acquiring Sun-Rype (Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) from the Jim Pattison Group for approximately CA$80 million (US$61.2 million on Oct. 30). Founded in 1946, Sun-Rype makes ready-to-drink fruit-based drinks and snacks, generating sales of approximately CA$164 million (US$123.8 million) for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30. Lassonde makes fruit and vegetable juices and cider-based beverages, including Apple & Eve, Old Orchard and Rougemont, and has 15 plants across Canada and the United States.
Waterlogic adds two U.S. water dispenser businesses
Waterlogic (Maidenhead, Britain), a global manufacturer and service provider of purified drinking water dispensers, has acquired Pure Water Technology (PWT) Ohio and PWT Georgia, two major water dispenser businesses in the United States. Including these two deals, Waterlogic has acquired 20 companies in the United States, Canada, Chile, Australia and Western Europe since January. The deals add 11,000 dispensers, taking the total number of Waterlogic dispensers in North America to more than 130,000. Waterlogic is owned by Castik Capital, based in Munich, Germany.
Bare Snacks’ former CEO invests in Laiki Crackers
Laiki Inc. (San Francisco, California), a maker of better-for-you crackers, has closed a Series A1 equity round, with the former CEO of Bare Snacks Santosh Padki joining Laiki’s board of directors. The Bare Snacks brand of baked fruit and vegetable chips was acquired by PepsiCo in 2018. Padki was the Series A sole investor in Laiki. Board member John Crean fully participated in the Series A1 round. Laiki crackers are made from black and red whole grain rice and are free from gluten and key allergens. Laiki has rapidly expanded store count from 1,000 to over 6,000 U.S. locations.
Cultured Meat Startup for pets closes seed round
Because Animals Inc. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), a company making pet food from cultured mouse tissue, has closed a seed round of funding with investment from Keen Growth Capital, Draper Associates and SOSV. The bioscience startup says it’s the first to create cultured meat for pet food without using fetal bovine serum, which relies on extracting blood from pregnant cows at slaughter. The company is already selling human-grade cultured probiotic supplements to boost pets’ digestion and immunity, and will soon launch certified organic human-grade dog cookies. Because Animals aims to introduce cultured meat pet food by 2021.
Shiru raises $3.5 million for non-animal proteins
Shiru, a food startup focused on protein, has raised $3.5 million from VC firm Lux Capital, according to Business Insider. Also participating were S2G, which backed Beyond Meat and MycoTechnology, and CPT Capital, backer of Impossible Foods. According to the article, Shiru will build a database of unique proteins that can be swapped into various animal-based foods, rather than one particular kind of food, offering the potential to disrupt an entire class of animal-based products. Shiru leverages computational design to create enhanced proteins.
Fitbit to be acquired by Google
Fitbit Inc. (San Francisco, California), a pioneer of health and fitness wearables, is being acquired by Google LLC in a deal valuing the company at approximately $2.1 billion. "With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster and make health even more accessible to everyone," said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.
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