News for February 15, 2024

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

More mushroom money

Organic mushroom provider M2 Ingredients secured investment from Meaningful Partners, alongside support from White Road Investments and InvestEco. The investment underscores the growing interest in sustainable food practices and highlights confidence in M2’s mission and potential for growth in the organic food market.


A buzzy investment

Nasekomo, a Bulgarian insect farming startup, secured €8 million in funding to pursue its franchise model for insect agriculture. By combining automated facilities and advanced breeding techniques, Nasekomo aims to tap into pet food and aquaculture markets, leveraging black soldier fly larvae to convert organic waste into valuable proteins and lipids.


Freja secures £2M

Freja, a bone broth brand, has secured £2 million in funding from industry leaders and sports personalities, including Paul Polman of Unilever and Harry Kane. Founded in 2020, the brand has experienced rapid growth at 400% per year and offers a range of natural, protein-rich broths addressing various health concerns like gut health and immune support. The investment aims to fuel U.K. growth and international expansion, positioning Freja as Europe’s leading bone broth brand.


Timeline Nutrition closes successful Series D

Swiss longevity supplement brand Timeline Nutrition secures $66M in Series D funding, led by Nestlé Health Science and L’Oréal’s V.C. arm BOLD, to expand its science-backed anti-aging technology, Mitopure, across new products and sectors, including food and beauty. With the anti-aging market offering substantial returns, biotech companies like Timeline are capitalizing on the opportunity to delay age-related deterioration, leveraging direct-to-consumer models to scale ingestible solutions.


Old McDonald had a robot

Saga Robotics, a Norwegian tech company, has secured $11.5 million in funding to expand its AI-powered agricultural robot, Thorvald, in the U.S. and U.K. Thorvald reduces plant diseases, promotes sustainable food production and reduces pesticides by 60-90%. The new capital will fuel growth in American vineyards, expand operations in British strawberry farms and develop new tools. Thorvald 3 will lead the way with enhanced capabilities like UV-C light treatment and data collection for crop prediction.


Food as medicine

Foodsmart, a food-as-medicine and telehealth startup, is expanding its “Foodscripts” program to reach 7.4 million patients across major healthcare systems, supported by a $10 million funding injection. The expansion aims to integrate nutrition into healthcare, offering a long-term, cost-effective alternative to managing chronic diseases compared to expensive GLP-1 drugs.


Funding 15 years of plastic-alt research

UK-based clean-tech startup Xampla secures $7m in funding, bringing total investment to $17.6m, to accelerate plastic elimination efforts. The funds will be used to expand the consumer brand Morro’s applications into new markets, leveraging biodegradable, plant-based materials developed over 15 years of research at the University of Cambridge. Xampla aims to support major brands in transitioning away from single-use plastics, with existing partnerships including Britvic, ELEMIS and Gousto, while exploring future applications for its innovative materials.


$15.4M for cocoa-free chocolate

Planet A Foods secures $15.4 million in Series A funding to expand globally with its cocoa-free chocolate, ChoViva, amid climate-related challenges in the cocoa industry. Founded by siblings Max and Sara Marquart, the Munich-based company aims to provide sustainable alternatives to cocoa, leveraging fermentation technology to create its product from natural ingredients like oats and sunflower seeds. With plans for international expansion starting in the U.K. and extending its fermentation platform to other plant-based ingredients, the company intends to use the funding to scale production and hire additional scientists.


Alter Eco acquired

Trek One Capital has finalized its acquisition of Alter Eco Foods, a prominent producer of premium organic dark chocolate bars, truffles, granola and quinoa. With Alter Eco’s commitment to eco-friendly practices and its leading position in the organic/natural retail sector, the acquisition marks a strategic move for both companies. Keith Bearden, the newly appointed CEO of Alter Eco, expresses anticipation for the partnership with Trek One to elevate the brand’s offerings further.


The Coconut Collaborative raises £1.5M

The Coconut Collaborative, a UK-based dairy-free yogurt producer, has successfully closed a £1.5 million Series B funding round with support from existing shareholders like Ground Force Capital. This investment will propel the company from its initial startup to a scaling phase, leveraging its momentum to drive growth in the coming years.


Brita acquires Larq

The German filtration giant Brita has acquired Larq, a Bay Area-based smart water bottle startup known for its U.V. light technology to reduce bacteria. The acquisition marks Brita’s entry into the North American market under an existing brand, leveraging Larq’s online sales expertise and innovative hydration tracking and app connectivity approach. Larq will maintain its product line while exploring synergies with Brita’s filtration technology for future offerings.


Odyssey secures $6M

Odyssey, a mushroom-based energy beverage startup, has secured an additional $6 million in funding, totaling $14 million since its inception two years ago. Their drinks, infused with Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps mushrooms, offer cognitive benefits alongside an energy boost, addressing the demand for healthier alternatives in the functional beverage industry. With expanding distribution and strategic investment, Odyssey aims to fuel its growth, emphasizing a broader movement towards healthier consumption habits.

The Zero Proof closes Series A

The Zero Proof, a leading online retailer of adult non-alcoholic beverages, has successfully closed its Series A funding round led by Asahi Group Beverages & Innovation, further solidifying its position in the $1.8 billion U.S. market. The company plans to use the funding to expand its distribution network, hire salespeople and broaden its non-alcoholic spirits and wine portfolio. With a 300% revenue growth in Q4 from 2022 to 2023, The Zero Proof anticipates continued success driven by the growing demand for adult non-alcoholic beverages, particularly among Millennials.

Creations Foods acquires Highkey

Creations Foods, a US-based company focusing on healthier snacks, has acquired Highkey, another US-based peer, in an undisclosed deal. This acquisition aligns with Creations’ strategy to expand its portfolio of better-for-you snack brands following its previous acquisition of Moon Cheese. Creations aim to strengthen both brands in the market and actively seek further acquisitions in the better-for-you snack segment.


Disclaimer: NCN does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any NCN news item. Before relying on any NCN News item the information should be independently verified.

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