News for February 28, 2022
Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:
Got Chickpea milk? Global Food and Ingredients snags YoFiit
Touted for its high protein and omega-3 content, chickpea milk may be the latest alternative dairy product to get investors’ attention. Global Food and Ingredients (GFI) has acquired YoFiit, a Canadian snack, granola, and chickpea milk brand operated by Your Fitness Dish Inc. One of very few chickpea milk companies, YoFiit is conducting extensive R&D to expand its range with plant-based yogurts, egg replacements, and more milk alternatives.
Splendid Spoon secures $12M in Series B funding
Thanks to its unique take on the meal delivery service trend, investors are digging Splendid Spoon’s plant-based model. The company delivers to every state in the continental U.S. and offers more than has 50 plant-based items. One differentiator for the company is that customers can shop on-demand without signing up for a subscription. Splendid Spoon doubled its growth rate since 2020, has over 20,000 subscribers and recently secured $12 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Nicoya with participation from Danone Manifesto Ventures, Torch Capital, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Fleiss and Ashok and Meera Vasudevan, founders of Tasty Bite.
Good Culture grows, secures $64M in Series C
(Irvine, Calif.) Good Culture, the clean-label cultured foods brand focused on cottage cheese, announced the completion of $64 million in Series C funding led by Manna Treet with participation from SEMCAP Food & Nutrition and celebrity investor Kristen Bell. The company has experienced 79% Compound Annual Growth Rate over the last five years, while increasing its distribution footprint to over 10,000 stores and is focused on securing funding from sources aligned with its mission to create foods that are healing for people and the planet.
Olipop quenches investors’ thirst for innovative functional beverages
Functional beverage brand Olipop, which makes flavored functional sodas with digestive health benefits, completed a $30M Series B funding round, led by Monogram Capital Partners. Other investors included former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and her husband Raj, Anjula Acharia, Rocana Venture Partners, and celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Joe Jonas and Mindy Kaling. “Our goal has always been to offer a product that can truly occupy the space that traditional soda has filled while also contributing to consumers’ overall wellbeing,” said Ben Goodwin, co-founder, CEO and formulator at Olipop.
Over the moon: Moon Juice Raises $7M Series C
A company representing the intersection of beauty and wellness has secured additional funding for its line of wellness supplements and topical beauty products. The brand, which launched in 2011, recently raised a $7M Series C led by emerging growth fund True Beauty Ventures. Prior to this, Moon Juice didn’t take on any outside capital since 2017 and has revenues reported in excess of $20M.
Purely Elizabeth closes $50M Series B
Purely Elizabeth, which has a product line of nutrient-dense breakfast foods, has closed a $50M Series B financing round, which was backed by the newly launched food and nutrition division of Seminal Capital (SEMCAP). The company’s portfolio includes pancake and waffle mix, granola and oatmeal, and the company says that it plans to introduce new products as well as launch into a new category. Purely Elizabeth will use the new funds to invest in marketing and product innovation, and to support its growth in the ecommerce channel.“Since 2016, SEMCAP’s John Haugen and Ryan Newcom have served on my board and played an instrumental role in helping scale the business,” said Elizabeth Stein, Purely Elizabeth founder and CEO.
A sea of opportunities for plant-based seafood company Mind Blown
Adding to the list of natural products brands receiving investment and endorsement from celebrity chefs, The Plant-Based Seafood Co., producers of award-winning Mind Blown seafood products, announces an investment of an undisclosed amount from celebrated chef Spike Mendelsohn. The Plant-Based Seafood Co. is a female-founded company whose best-selling Mind Blown line includes plant-based shrimp, scallops, oyster, lobster and crab cakes. The owners previously operated a traditional seafood company, and say their industry experience helps them create plant-based seafood with realistic tastes and textures.
Everything Legendary closes $6M Series A
The future is looking bright for the Maryland-based, black-owned alternative meat company that has closed a $6 million Series A funding round led by CircleUp Growth Partners with additional investments from General Mills’ 301 INC and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban. In less than a year since launching, it gained national distribution in 1,500 grocery stores, including Safeway and Target, and will be available in 5,600 grocery stores soon. “What has our investors excited about us is they can see that we aren’t just another plant-based product … we are looking to disrupt the multi-billion-dollar industry with unprecedented flavor, premium ingredients and high-energy marketing that sets our brand apart,” said Duane “Myko” Cheers, co-founder of Everything Legendary.
Plastic-free delivery service Zero Grocery on the way … to success
Zero Grocery’s model that strives to provide both the convenience and speed consumers are used to from their delivery services, as well as meet consumer demand for more sustainable options, is garnering investor attention. Zero Grocery is a plastic-free grocery, home and personal care delivery startup founded in 2019 by CEO Zuleyka Strasner, who started the company in 2019. Three years ago, it had raised just $4.7M in funding. Today, the company announced another $11.8 million in new seed funding, led by Sway Ventures, to give Zero $16.5M in funding to date.
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