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Hundred vitamins announces $8 million investment
Hundred (Berlin, Germany), a personalized vitamin subscription company, has announced an $8 million investment from Insight Partners. The direct-to-consumer supplement service creates a custom mix based on a five-minute consultation taking into account nutrition, movement, sleep and stress. Subscribers are paired with a nutritionist to help them stay on track and adjust their regimen as needed. “We know that vitamins without guidance don't work and health improvements are slow and often hard to reach by yourself," said Dario Galbiati Alborghetti, Hundred founder and CEO. "Our service aims for better health without excessive costs and is designed to evaluate the whole person over time." Hundred was a presenting company at the NCN Fall Investor Meeting in San Francisco in November.
DSM acquires AVA in personalized nutrition
Royal DSM (Heerlen, Netherlands) has acquired AVA (Boston, Massachusetts), strengthening its personalized nutrition platform. Financial details were not disclosed. AVA uses artificial intelligence to analyze behavior, wellness and consumption patterns and provide users with nutritional recommendations and live coaching. Personalized nutrition is a pillar of DSM’s nutrition strategy and the company said, AVA “unites previously announced partnerships and investments.” These include collaboration with Panaceutics, a manufacturer of tailor-made supplements, in addition to investments in Tespo (home dispenser for liquid vitamins) and Mixfit (personalized nutritional beverages). Mixfit was a past presenter at NCN investor meetings. DSM is an NCN Cornerstone Investor.
Flying Embers hard kombucha closes Series B
Fermented Sciences Inc. dba Flying Embers (Ojai, California), a brand of organic hard kombucha, has closed a $25 million Series B round co-led by the Ecosystem Integrity Fund and PowerPlant Ventures. More than 70 distributors in 30 states have signed on with the company, according to Whipstitch Capital. Whipstitch Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Fermented Sciences in the transaction. Flying Embers’ canned probiotic beverages are sugar-free and brewed with an adaptogenic blend of ashwagandha, turmeric, ginger and astragalus. Positioned as a better-for-you alcoholic beverage, the brand ranges from 4.5% to 7.5% alcohol by volume. Fermented Sciences was founded in 2017 by Bill Moses, former CEO and co-founder of KeVita sparkling probiotic beverages, acquired by PepsiCo in 2016. Whipstitch Capital is an NCN Sponsor and Investment Banking Partner.
Whoop ‘wearables’ closes $55 million Series D
Foundry Group has led a $55 million Series D round in Whoop (Boston, Massachusetts), maker of a wrist strap that tracks physiological data to help users train, recover and sleep. The combination of debt and equity will be used to scale Whoop’s customer base and invest in product development. Unlike most other wearables, Whoop’s business model provides consumers with a free strap in return for a monthly subscription to its data and insights service. Users can monitor heart rate, performance readiness and “strain” accumulated throughout the day not just during workouts.
Banza announces $20 million growth funding
Chickpea pasta company Banza (New York, New York) has announced $20 million in growth funding led by Enlightened Hospitality Investments and Prelude Growth Partners. Brothers Brian and Scott Rudolph launched Banza in 2014 to make alternatives to comfort food classics traditionally made with wheat, corn and rice, starting with chickpea pasta dishes like mac and cheese. With this latest funding, the team will add more dishes and scale investment in its U.S.-based supply chain. The company owns a manufacturing facility in California and partners with U.S. chickpea farmers.
FitLab adds Momentous to performance portfolio
Sports nutrition company Momentous (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) has closed $5 million in Series A funding led by the venture capital fund FitLab. The financing includes a partnership between Momentous and MVMNT Inc., a FitLab portfolio company for fitness brands built around professional athletes and sport brands. Momentous will develop products for MVMNT’s brand partners and will also relocate its headquarters to Los Angeles, California. Momentous products are NSF Certified for Sport and include plant and whey protein powders and recovery supplements. Other FitLab brands are XPT and Freeletics.
Butterfly acquires majority stake in 'clean' nutrition company
Private equity firm Butterfly is acquiring a majority stake in Orgain Inc. (Irvine, California), a producer of organic protein powders, drinks and bars. Physician and cancer survivor Andrew Abraham, M.D., founded Orgain in 2009 to provide a healthier alternative to mass-market nutrition shakes. Orgain’s stevia-sweetened shakes are made with grass fed organic milk and whey protein concentrates; its plant-based shakes use organic pea protein. In June, Butterfly completed its acquisition of carrot and juice company Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup Company for $510 million.
The Water Guy expands Cott’s water business in mid-Atlantic
Publicly traded Cott Corporation (Toronto, Canada and Tampa, Florida), a bottled water company for home and office delivery in North America and Europe, announced two acquisitions in November. In the Netherlands, Cott subsidiary Eden Springs acquired Viteau International BV. In the United States, subsidiary DS Services of America Inc. acquired The Water Guy (Birdsboro, Pennsylvania), one of the largest independent bottled water distributors in the mid-Atlantic. The Water Guy customers will have access to Crystal Springs and other products like LaCroix, Mountain Valley Spring and FIJI water brands. Cott, which also provides coffee products for foodservice, anticipates revenues of $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2019.
WellWell functional beverages closes Series A round
Sports nutrition and wellness brand WellWell (New York, New York) has closed a $3.9 million Series A funding round led by Sweat Equities, Bevnet reported. Former Earthbound Farms CEO Charlie Sweat has joined WellWell’s board of directors. WellWell’s bottled beverages come in fruit flavors and contain botanicals and other ingredients to support mental alertness, sleep, recovery and hydration, in addition to providing plant-based protein. Earlier in November, Sweat Equities led an $8.3 million Series A investment in banana-milk brand Mooala.
Agronomics invests in Rebellyous Foods meat alternatives
Agronomics Ltd., an investment firm focused on environmentally friendly “modern foods,” is backing Rebellyous (Seattle, Washington). The $250,000 investment will convert to 1% equity in the next priced funding round. Rebellyous makes plant-based versions of breaded chicken nuggets, patties and strips. Made with wheat protein and soy protein isolate, the frozen items are targeted at schools, hospitals, corporate cafeterias and restaurants. Agronomics also recently invested in Shiok Meats cultured seafood products, VitroLabs cruelty-free leather, Bond Pets animal-free cultured pet food, New Age Meats cultured pork products and BlueNalu cellular aquaculture.
Ungerer strengthens Givaudan’s regional business in U.S.
Flavor and fragrances giant Givaudan (Vernier, Switzerland) is acquiring Ungerer & Company (Lincoln Park, New Jersey), a specialty ingredients supplier notable for essential oils and predominantly natural ingredients for flavors and fragrances. Ungerer has a global presence and a local and regional customer base in North America. Founded more than 125 years ago, Ungerer has eight manufacturing facilities and 650 employees.
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