News for January 3, 2021
Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:
Startup enabling meat cultivation closes seed round with leading investors
A startup that believes its technology is integral in helping the cultured meat market mature has locked in seed funding. Matrix Meats (Columbus, Ohio) was born out of a partnership between Ikove Capital’s Startup Nursery and regenerative medicine company Nanofiber Solutions. It manufactures animal-free nanofiber scaffolds for cultured meat to be grown on. While the company didn’t disclose how much the oversubscribed round brought in, it did name Unovis Asset Management as the leader. CPT Capital, Siddhi Capital, Clear Current Capital and a special purpose vehicle led by the Ikove Startup Nursery Fund were additional supporters. With the funding, Matrix Meats says it will expand its staff and acquire new customers and partners. Currently, it has relationships with 14 cultivated meat producers.
Zevia looks to go global with $200M investment
Having established itself as a leader in the North American better-for-you beverage market, past NCN presenter Zevia (Los Angeles, California) is setting its sights on global expansion with $200 million from Canadian investment management firm Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ). The maker of zero-calorie sodas, mixers, sparkling waters, teas and other stevia-sweetened drinks will use the funds to extend its reach beyond the U.S. and Canada, where it currently sells in more than 35,000 retail locations.
E-commerce software for retailers pulls in $2.4M
Recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that B2B e-commerce company GrocerKey (Madison, Wisconsin) has raised $2.4 million from 18 investors. Using GrocerKey’s technology platform, retailers can implement click-and-collect, home delivery, mobile self-checkout and other digital services for their customers. Like many of its e-commerce peers, GrocerKey has thrived during the pandemic, reporting an 85% increase in second-quarter sales this year. The company has reportedly raised more than $6.5 million in funding since its creation in 2014. Earlier this year, it hired more than 300 fulfillment workers to keep up with the spike in consumer demand.
Organic baby food maker Little Spoon scoops up $22M
Valor Siren Ventures, a food-focused fund backed by Starbucks, led a $22 million round for Little Spoon (San Francisco, California), which delivers fresh organic meals for babies and children to customers in 48 states. With a product line that includes purées, toddler meals and vitamins, the three-year-old company targets parents who value a mix of convenience and fresh, high-quality food for their kids. It also operates a companion website and a parenting community called Is This Normal.
Hooked Foods raises $600K to launch plant-based tuna in Sweden
Ahead of the nationwide launch of its vegan-friendly tuna alternative, Hooked Foods (Stockholm, Sweden) has secured a SEK 5 million (about $600,000) investment. It plans to roll out Toona, made from soy protein, sunflower oil and algae, in restaurant chains in Sweden in the spring. The funds came from incubators Katapult Ocean and ProVeg plus VCs Veg Capital, Wave Ventures and PlusCap. Food Angels Germany and Kale United also participated. Next up will be a vegan-friendly shredded salmon alternative called Salmoon.
FoodMarble collects $2.6M for personal digestive trackers
In its quest to bring digestive health science to everyday consumers, FoodMarble (Dublin, Ireland) has developed a breath analysis device that pairs with an app to help users optimize their diet. With €2.1 million (about $2.6 million) in new funding, the company looks to expand into new markets and R&D projects. Launched in 2018, the device is a handheld breath analyzer that measures the amount of hydrogen present in users’ breath after they eat. When paired with the app, it gives users data about how the food they eat affects their digestion. The funding round was led by Business Venture Partners with participation from SOSV, Breed Reply, Delta Partners and Enterprise Ireland. FoodMarble will seek continued funding through an equity crowdfunding campaign.
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