News for May 26, 2021
Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:
UK-based seaweed processing startup Oceanium nabs $2.75M
Oceanium (Oban, Scotland) closed a Seed II round of funding to open up the market for sustainable seaweed farming. The seaweed processing startup—which is among a number of startups repurposing seaweed into new foods and materials—will use the funding to scale its biorefinery and processing model. The round, which was for approximately £2 million (US$2.7 million), was led by Green Angel Syndicate and World Wildlife Fund. It follows a previous round from venture capital firms Katapult Ocean and Sky Ocean Ventures, as well as Scottish Enterprise.
Plant-based chicken brand Daring gets $40M from Drake and others
Plant-based chicken brand Daring (Los Angeles, California) has raised $40 million in a Series B funding round. The round, led by D1 Capital Partners, received participation from existing investors Maveron (which last year led an $8 million Series A funding round for the company) and Palm Tree Crew, as well as musician Aubrey Drake Graham, known as Drake. The chicken alternative producer will use the funds to grow its team, support product development and accelerate growth in retail and food service channels.
Açai superfood brand Sambazon raises $45M
Sambazon (San Clemente, California), which produces a range of organic food and beverage products made with superfood açai, has secured a $45 million investment from NextWorld, a San Francisco, California-based investment partnership. “Sambazon is a market leader built around a deep sense of purpose, innovative açai products, a large addressable global market and a long-term commitment to leveraging their strong growth in the CPG marketplace to build a larger omnichannel brand,” said David Fife, a partner at NextWorld who will join the Sambazon board of directors.
Tea Drops picks up $5M in Series A funding round
Bagless tea startup Tea Drops (Los Angeles, California) raised $5 million in funding in a Series A round led by BrandProject, with additional participations from its previous investors AF Ventures, Cue Ball Capital and Halogen Ventures, as well as new investor Siddhi Capital. The capital, which brings the company’s total funding to $8.4 million, will help the brand that started in 2015 and is referred to as the “bath bombs of tea” to expand from its current direct-to-consumer model to an omnichannel business.
Eat Just secures $170 million to scale its cell-based meat business, Good Meat
Eat Just (San Francisco, California)—makers of standout egg replacement brand Just Egg—has raised $170 million in funding to scale its cell-based meat subsidiary, Good Meat, and to increase capacity and accelerate research and development of Good Meat’s cultured meat products. The $170 million investment and a new partnership with JW Marriott Singapore South Beach points to growing corporate and consumer interest in more sustainable food choices, said Mirte Gosker, managing director, Asia-Pacific, at the Good Food Institute.
Pongamia tree producer Terviva secures $54M and partners with Danone
Terviva (Oakland, California) has raised $54 million in equity funding to commercialize a regenerative plant protein and culinary oil from pongamia trees. Danone will partner with the company to explore new food products using pongamia, which Terviva says can sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The company plans to close an additional $24 million in equity and debt before the end of the quarter to further fund this expansion and estimates it will open a facility to manufacture pongamia-based foods in the U.S. next year.
Polish personalized supplement company Sundose grabs $6M in funding
Sundose (Lublin, Poland) raised $6 million in a Series A funding round led by DX Ventures and Atmos Ventures with participation from Investible Club, Polipo Ventures, Aria and others. The company, which launched in 2017, intends to use the funds to further develop its personalization engine, scale production and expand its operations to serve customers in more European markets.
NASCAR Cup Champion Kyle Busch’s Rowdy Energy gets $13M in funding
Rowdy Energy (Mooresville, North Carolina), the better-for-you energy drink brand created by two-time NASCAR Cup Champion Kyle Busch and beverage entrepreneur Jeff Church, has completed a $13 million fundraising round. The company’s 40 investors include the private equity fund CircleUp, Marcus Lemonis, The Kraft Group, Scott Borchetta and Fanatics Executive Chairman Michael Rubin. The funds will be used to further Rowdy Energy’s marketing initiatives as well on unique programs in partnership with retailers.
Label Insight purchased by NielsenIQ for undisclosed sum
NielsenIQ (Chicago, Illinois) has purchased Chicago firm Label Insight, which NielsenIQ says will make the company “the most comprehensive and robust data provider within the $175 billion health and wellness space with the richest source of product attribution data, in tandem with its gold-standard, global retail measurement system sales data and panel insights.” NielsenIQ, formerly known as Nielsen Global Connect, was sold by Nielsen Holdings in November for $2.7 billion.
Israel’s SavorEat launches plant-based egg subsidiary
Food tech startup SavorEat (Rehovot, Israel) has created a new subsidiary called Egg’n’up to focus on developing plant-based egg alternatives. SavorEat uses 3D-printing technology to develop vegan, kosher and gluten-free meat alternatives and will team up with investor Millennium Food-Tech to start the new venture with $2.5 million. SavorEat’s patent-pending technology uses 3D-printing cartridges containing plant-based ingredients and a nano-cellulose fiber to provide texture for the analogue. Egg’n’up is slated to debut its first product by Q4 of 2022.
Supplement startup Gem raises $10.5M in seed round
CircleUp Growth Partners led a $10.5 million seed round for Gem (Los Angeles, California), a next generation take on dietary supplements: The company makes chewable, cube-shaped bites made from plant-based ingredients. In 2020, Gem saw 400% growth and sold 8 million bites through its online platform. The company will use the capital to expand its product into retail and add additional plant ecosystems to its portfolio of science and intellectual property, as well as to grow its team from 10 to 40 employees.
Sky Organics expands from Amazon into retail with help of Nexus
Nexus Capital Management, a private equity firm in Los Angeles, made a strategic growth investment in Sky Organics (Miami, Florida), a beauty brand specializing in curly hair care and antiaging products. Sky Organics launched in 2018 and sells on Amazon. The terms of the investment weren’t disclosed. Michael Cohen, partner at Nexus, said, “Sky Organics’ focus on natural, sustainable, better-for-you products fits perfectly within Nexus’ umbrella of mission-based companies.” William Hood & Co. was the financial advisor to Sky Organics on the deal with Nexus.
Latinx clean beauty brand Ceremonia outpaces projections by more than 50%
Ceremonia (New York, New York) launched in 2020, targeting an often-overlooked demographic in the beauty space: Latinas. Founder Babba C. Rivera raised $1 million in venture capital funding last year and another $2 million in the company’s latest seed round, co-led by Silas Capital and Beliade. Ceremonia has outperformed revenue projections by more than 50% in the company’s first six months and surpassed $100,000 in revenue.
Stage acquires artisanal cheese brand Haystack Mountain
Haystack Mountain Creamery (Longmont, Colorado) has been acquired by Stage, a specialized growth venture fund that invests in technology-enabled and consumer products businesses in need of fresh capital and operating expertise. Haystack Mountain, which started at the Boulder Farmers Market in 1989, has received 80 total awards, including 20 first place awards for its cheeses—the Guild of Fine Foods’ Best American Cheese Award in 2017 and 2018 among them. Board member Mark Retzloff, co-founder of Horizon Dairy, Aurora Organic Dairy and Alfalfas Markets, said, “There is so much excitement surrounding the team at Haystack. Jackie Chang is an outstanding talent that is well-known throughout the industry for her passion and unwavering commitment to excellence.”
Copper Cow Coffee raises $8.5 million in Series A financing
Copper Cow Coffee (Los Angeles, California) closed its Series A funding round of $8.5 million that was co-led by Cultivian Sandbox and Arborview Capital, with participation from Siddhi Capital, Silverton Partners, Social Starts, Montage Ventures, CRCM and Stormbreaker Ventures. Copper Cow sources ethically and sustainably from Vietnamese farms that practice organic agricultural and processing methods. The company has tripled its revenue annually since launch and is distributed in more than 3,000 retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts and Walmart worldwide.
Synergy Flavors buys Innova Flavors
Synergy Flavors (Wauconda, Illinois), which was built by cheese producer Carberry, has announced its acquisition of savory flavor and ingredient supplier Innova Flavors (Lombard, Illinois) from Griffith Foods Worldwide for an undisclosed sum. Innova Flavors specializes in creating customized meat and savory flavors and will complement Synergy’s current offerings for rapidly growing plant-based alternative food and beverages globally. “This acquisition offers significant benefits to Synergy customers by providing them access to a proven range of flavors to meet the growing demand for natural flavorings and savory ingredients,” said Rod Sowders, president and CEO of Synergy Flavors.
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.