News for December 28, 2022
Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:
RENEE Cosmetics raises $25M Series B round
RENEE is a D2C cruelty-free cosmetics startup in India. To date, the startup has raised $36 million in three rounds. Evolvence India led the latest Series B round that raised $25 million with participation from Edelweiss Group, Equanimity and 9Unicorns. Earlier in the year, Mensa Brands led a $10 million Series A round. Demand for the brand has grown, and it will begin exporting its beauty products to the UAE and other countries.
NotCo raises $70M Series D round
Food tech unicorn NotCo has raised $70 million to launch “Giuseppe,” its new B2B AI platform. NotCo designed the platform to foster innovation between CPG brands, ingredient suppliers and technology providers. Princeville Capital led the latest funding round, bringing NotCo’s total funding to $400 million. Previous investors have included Tiger Global Management, Union Square Hospitality Group, L Catterton, Trousdale Ventures and Jeff Bezos through Bezos Expeditions. In addition, the company has released a line of branded alt-meat/dairy products and is preparing for an IPO in 2025.
Mars acquires Trü Frü
Mars, a leading snack and confectionery manufacturer, is expanding its portfolio of better-for-you snacking brands with its latest acquisition of Trü Frü. Mars has previously successfully acquired KIND and Nature’s Bakery. Trü Frü creates both shelf-stable and frozen snacks made of fruit covered in premium chocolate. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Hain Celestial sells Westbrae Natural
Hain Celestial is simplifying its portfolio with the divestment of Westbrae Natural to Bush Brothers (the U.S. canned-food company). Hain Celestial acquired Westbrae Natural back in 1997. Some of Westbrae Natural’s product offerings included canned beans, soups, cookies and non-dairy beverages.
Arkeon Biotechnologies secures new €4M investment
Austrian startup Arkeon Biotechnologies brings its total investment to nearly €10 million after raising 6.5 million in seed funding in March and its last announcement of securing an additional four million. The startup uses technology to convert CO2 into proteins for food. Arkeon can generate all 20 essential amino acids by fermenting a specific microorganism while using significantly less land and water than traditional agriculture. Arkeon’s new investors were CL, aws Gründerfonds, FoodHack and Tet Ventures. The new funding will help expand its proprietary technology and create a new research and development center.
Oatbox bags C$7.1M investment
Canadian startup Oatbox recently closed a 7.1 million Canadian dollar financing round. Oatbox specializes in oat-based products and will use the new funding to finalize the construction of its manufacturing facility. The facility, located in Quebec, will expand Oatbox’s development of plant-based products and oat milk and introduce the opportunity to offer operation capabilities for other companies using oats as a base in their products.
EvodiaBio Brews up $6.4M
Danish startup EvodiaBio has raised $6.4 million (45 million Danish Kroner) for its sustainable beer aromas. The startup uses precision fermentation to give non-alcoholic beers a more traditional fragrance. Funding support comes from Nordic FoodTech VC, Danish accelerator BioInnovation Institute and Symrise, a German flavor house.
Big pop for Poppi
With its latest funding, the prebiotic soda brand Poppi is taking the functional beverage category to the next level. The brand has recently raised $25 million in funding led by CAVU. The new funding will be used to approach club retailers, start selling multipacks and develop new flavors.
Fresh capital for healthy fast-casual food joint Alfalfa
Alfalfa recently raised $2 million in seed funding to expand into new locations across southern California and the New York tri-state area. The company uses artificial intelligence to prep food and will also use the new funding to improve its efficiency. Blue Falcon Capital led the seed funding round with participation from Jake Kassan, Sean Johnson, and executives from Bain & Co., Algorand Crypto, Jefferies, Hightower and Piper Sandler.
Unilever India is investing in supplements
Unilever’s subsidiary in India (Hindustan Unilever) recently invested in Ozivia and Wellbeing Nutrition, both D2C vitamin/supplement manufacturers. Unilever did not disclose the financial terms, but the deals are expected to close in about one to three months. Hindustan Unilever will acquire a 51% stake in Ozivia and is buying a 19.8% interest in Wellbeing Nutrition.
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