News for July 7, 2021
Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:
Danone Manifesto Ventures take minority stake in Harmless Harvest
Danone Manifesto Ventures (New York, New York), which previously led a $30 million funding round in Harmless Harvest (San Francisco, California) has now purchased a majority stake in the coconut water producer. The acquisition of the Harmless Harvest stake is the first in the U.S. for Danone’s venture arm and will help the Fair for Life Certified company with additional resources and operational capacitates to support its growth and sustainability initiatives.
High-protein donut maker gets sweet deal with $2M seed round
Elite Sweets (Austin, Texas) raised $2 million in a seed funding round led by Siddhi Capital with participation from Constellation Capital, Capital Factory, SputnikATX and angel investors. The company, founded by twin brothers when they were college students, makes a line of almond flour donuts sweetened with allulose and erythritol that boast 12-13 grams of protein per each individually packaged pastry. Funds from the raise will go toward expanding the team and investing in marketing and product development.
Beeflow to save the bees and help farmers with $8.3M seed round
Beeflow (Venture County, California) is on a mission to extend bees’ lifespans and be more efficient in pollinating particular crops such as blueberries and almonds. The startup, which uses scientific technology to make bees healthier in colder weather, has raised $8.3 million in a Series A funding round. This effort, in addition to the company’s second product, which trains the bees to target a specific crop for pollination, has increased crop yields for farmers up to 90%. The financing round was led by Ospraie Ag Science, with participation from Future Ventures’ Steve Jurvetson, Jeff Wilke, Vectr Ventures, SOSV’s IndieBio and Grid Exponential.
The Hershey Co. sells premium chocolate brand Scharffen Berger
Premium chocolate maker Scharffen Berger (Ashland, Oregon) is once again in private hands. The brand, which Hershey purchased in 2005, has relocated to a new facility in Ashland, Oregon, where it produced the company’s first batch of chocolate in June. Three longtime Hershey executives have joined the company, which is being advised by its founder, John Scharffenberger.
The Single Origin Food Company draws $1.1M in seed funding
The Single Origin Food Co (Wilmington, Delaware), producer of the alternative honey product Vegan Un-Honey, secured $1.1 million in its seed round. The product, made from plant-based ingredients and fortified with organic flower pollen, launched in Sprouts Farmers Market and is being rolled out across Whole Foods Market, Natural Grocers and Safeway Albertsons stores. The seed round was led by A’Z Angels. Single Origin creates long-term partnerships with farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remove animals from the food chain.
Sugar-reducing juice startup Better Juice nabs $8M seed round
Better Juice (Rehovot, Israel) has raised $8 million in seed funding to create enzymatic technology that reduces the amount of sugar in natural juices. The single machine can be integrated into the juice-manufacturing process and convert juice sugars into dietary fibers and non-digestible sugars, reducing up to 80% of all sugars in the juice. Focused on orange juice, Better Juice plans to bring its product to market in the next few months. The round was led by iAngels, with participation from Maverick Ventures, Food Tech Lab TFTL, The Kitchen Hub, NEOME, Schestowitz Group and Semillero.
Healthy Skoop sold to Brand Holdings
Brand Holdings LLC (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), a holding company focused on acquiring direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies in sports nutrition, beauty and functional foods, and more, has acquired Healthy Skoop from the Seurat Investment Group. Founded by Colorado naturopathic doctor James Rouse and friends, Healthy Skoop makes plant-based protein powders and partnered with Brand Holdings to launch a new line of Breakfast Protein Powders on its website. “I am beyond excited to have this partnership with Brand Holdings. Healthy Skoop began in my kitchen as a way to serve my patients and now has grown far beyond what I ever expected,” Rouse said.
Once Upon a Farm gobbles up frozen baby food delivery company Raised Real
Once Upon a Farm (Berkeley, California), which was founded in 2017 and has reached $30 million in revenue, has purchased competitor Raised Real (San Francisco, California), which makes frozen baby food and operates on a subscription model. With this acquisition, Once Upon a Farm will add a frozen direct-to-consumer product line to its lineup. Earlier this year, company CEO John Foraker said the company was exploring direct-to-consumer because it’s where “much of the growth is coming from.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Raised Real’s CEO and cofounder Santiago Merea will be staying with the company.
Plastic-free infant food brand Tiny Organics gains $11M in Series A round
Founded in 2020, Tiny Organics (New York, New York) raised $11 million in its Series A funding round, led by Springdale Ventures. The company, which makes plant-based infant food in plastic-free containers and aims to be completely plastic free in 2021, will use the funds to scale the team, build brand and customer awareness, and develop new product categories and sales channels. The round had additional participation from InvestEco, Silas Capital, Human Ventures, VegInvest, Babylist, Gaingels, XFactor Ventures, Natureza and Howard Morgan, joining previous investors Elizabeth Street Ventures, Rocana Ventures, Chingona Ventures, Bonin Ventures, Gary Vaynerchuk and Liz Lange.
Plant-based meat producer Heura secures €16M in funding
Mediterranean plant-based meat brand Heura (Barcelona, Spain) has raised €16 million ($19 million on June 29) to develop vegan pork and expand to the United Kingdom and the United States. The Series A funding round was led by Impact Fooding. Heura makes chicken and beef alternatives and has backing from Lever VC and Green Monday, as well as soccer stars Chris Smalling, Cesc Fábregas and Sergi Roberto. The company tripled its revenue in 2020.
Mycoprotein producer Mycorena secures $9M in funding
Mycorena (Gothenberg, Sweden), a mycoprotein producer, raised $9 million in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Belgium-based Veos Group, a supplier of proteins and functional ingredients. The company’s flagship ingredient, Promyc, is made with upcycled food waste such as bread dough. It’s being tested as a protein ingredient in several commercial vegan products. Claiming to be one of the fastest-growing food tech startups in Sweden and soon to be Scandinavia’s first-of-its-kind facility for large-scale mycoprotein manufacturing, the company plans to use the funds for team and research expansion and development capabilities as well as production scaleup.
Kindra receives $4.5M to launch products to address menopause
Kindra (Los Angeles, California) has raised $4.5 million in a seed funding round to drive continued growth and expansion. As a modern wellness brand addressing an overlooked category, Kindra’s mission is to support women on their menopause journey through essential products, reliable information and an engaged community. The round was led by the Female Founders Fund. Primetime Partners, Anne and Susan Wojcicki, Katie Couric Media, The Community Fund and H Ventures also invested in this round.
Pea protein producer Novo Farina gets over £3M in funding
Novo Farina (Norfolk, England) has raised more than £3 million in an investment round led by British venture capital investor and author Richard Koch, with participation from other private investors. Novo Farina’s lead product, NovoTex, is a textured pea protein developed for use as meat alternatives. The company also produces pea flour and pea crumb. In 2020, the company launched its first retail product—baked pea-based curls called Simpleas Snacks. “I am delighted to invest in Novo Farina, which has a unique series of healthy and ecologically sound food products and which is a terrific pioneer and star business,” Koch said.
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