News for November 22, 2023
Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:
Founders re-acquire supplement business
Arizona Nutritional Supplements, a prominent contract and private-label manufacturer of specialty vitamins, minerals, and supplements, has been re-acquired by its founders, Aaron Blunck and Jonathan Pinkus. This move signals a new phase of innovation, customer dedication, and expansion for the company, initially founded in 1996. Known for its commitment to providing high-quality products and expert support in the health and wellness industry, the acquisition by its visionary founders emphasizes its dedication to propelling the company to greater heights. The founders express excitement about this acquisition, marking a significant milestone in the company’s journey and highlighting their mission to deliver quality products and exceptional service
Sunnyside secures $11.5M funding
Sunnyside, a mindful drinking app, has secured $11.5 million in Series A funding led by Motley Fool Ventures. The funding will support the launch of “Sunny,” an AI-mindful drinking coach that generates recommendations for Sunnyside’s team of human coaches. The app, available for $99 per year, helps users track their daily drinks, offers personalized coaching, and features a community chat for sharing experiences. Since its launch in 2020, Sunnyside claims to have helped over 200,000 people reduce their drinking by an average of 32%, cutting out 13.5 million drinks and saving users over $50 in the first month.
Pricepally secures $1.3M funding
Nigerian online grocery store Pricepally has secured $1.3 million in seed funding, with support from investors including Samurai Incubate, SOSV, and ELEA. The startup, which initially focused on three Nigerian cities, plans to use the funding to expand its operations and reintroduce group buying options to enhance affordability for consumers. Pricepally differentiates itself by sourcing fresh produce directly from farmers, negotiating prices, minimizing middlemen, and fostering transparency in the market, which has contributed to its customer retention and steady growth, with over 80% of its revenues coming from existing buyers.
$17.5M funding for mushroom automation
TechBrew Robotics, based in British Columbia, Canada, has rebranded as 4AG Robotics and secured $17.5 million in equity financing. The company addresses labor challenges in the mushroom industry with its autonomous harvesting robot. The robot, designed for indoor mushroom farms, autonomously scans mushroom beds, picks ripe mushrooms, trims the stems, and places the produce in containers for sale, operating continuously for over 24 hours without human intervention. 4AG Robotics aims to become a global leader in indoor agriculture robotics, starting with the mushroom industry, which faces labor shortages impacting supply and demand in Canada, the world’s eighth-largest mushroom producer.
L-nutra secures $47M investment
L-Nutra, a nutri-technology company focused on longevity science nutrition programs, has successfully closed a $47 million first tranche investment in its Series D fundraising round. Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna Inc., and Brentwood Associates, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, lead the investment. L-Nutra, founded in 2009 by the University of Southern California and Dr. Valter Longo, aims to enhance healthy aging and metabolic health through its Nutrition for Longevity pipeline, ProLon®, and its Nutrition as Medicine pipeline, L-Nutra Health. The funding will support the global expansion of ProLon® and increase access to the company’s diabetes remission program.
$10M eco-friendly funding
Sustainable packaging startup Fibmold has raised $10 million in funding led by Omnivore and Accel. Founded in October 2022, Fibmold produces eco-friendly molded fiber packaging using natural fibers like bamboo, bagasse, husk, wheat straw, and waste paper. The company aims to help businesses transition away from single-use plastics, offering fully recyclable and naturally biodegradable alternatives. With the sustainable packaging industry seen as a $300 billion opportunity, Fibmold competes in the Indian market with rivals like Cirkla. At the same time, the sector’s growth aligns with the increasing global focus on sustainability.
New CPG platform secures funding
Keychain, a CPG (consumer packaged goods) manufacturing platform, has secured $18 million in a seed funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Founded by Jordan Weitz, Umang Dua, and Oisin Hanrahan, who co-founded Handy, the platform employs AI to streamline the connection of brands with manufacturing partners. Keychain’s goal is to reduce the time it takes for CPG companies to find suitable manufacturing partners from months to days, fostering innovation in product development. The platform, currently invite-only, plans to open to select retailers and brands in the coming year, with aspirations to expand its services to cover the entire manufacturing process, including sourcing, onboarding, and compliance.
Nestle invests $100M in Wonder Group
Nestle has invested $100 million in food-delivery startup Wonder Group, forming a strategic partnership to sell high-tech kitchen equipment and prepared ingredients to businesses like hotels, hospitals, and sports arenas. The collaboration aims to provide easier, faster, and more affordable high-quality meals for families at home. Wonder, valued at $3.5 billion, recently acquired Blue Apron for $103 million and plans to leverage Nestle’s expertise to scale rapidly. The partnership will start with Nestle producing pizza and pasta tailored to Wonder’s kitchen equipment, offering improved food quality and additional revenue streams for businesses in the food service industry.
Natch secures funding
Mumbai-based snack food startup Natch has secured Rs 3 Crore in seed funding, led by Artha Venture Fund and with participation from DSP Family Office. Founded in 2017, Natch focuses on natural, uncomplicated ingredients, avoiding preservatives and artificial flavors. The funding will expand its omnichannel presence, enhance distribution, intensify marketing efforts, and drive innovation in product development. It plans to leverage its established distribution network to enter metropolitan and tier 1 cities in India and expand in the quick commerce sector.
Zedd invests in BetterBrand
Los Angeles consumer food tech company BetterBrand has welcomed DJ and producer Anton Zaslavski, known as Zedd, as an investor. Zedd joins a group of notable investors, including actor Patrick Schwarzenegger and others. BetterBrand, led by founder Aimee Yang, specializes in innovative products in the $12 trillion refined carb market, utilizing proprietary technology to create baked goods with non-GMO, clean-label ingredients. The company’s flagship product, ‘The Better Bagel,’ offers a low-carb alternative with more protein and no added sugar. To celebrate their partnership, Zedd and BetterBrand are launching a limited edition product, the Zedd x The Jalapeño Cheddar Better Bagel, available online from November 8th, 2023..
General Mills acquires Fera Pets
General Mills has acquired pet food supplement brand Fera Pets for an undisclosed amount, marking its entry into the pet supplement category. The purchase is the inaugural move by the company’s newly launched growth equity fund, aimed at scaling and expanding acquired businesses for future integration into its core portfolio. This strategic acquisition allows General Mills to strengthen its presence in the pet industry, following its 2018 entry with the $8 billion acquisition of Blue Buffalo, aligning with the growing trend of pet wellness as families increasingly prioritize their pets’ health.
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