News for October 27, 2021
Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:
Abbot’s Butcher closes Series A funding
Abbot’s Butcher (Costa Mesa, California) has closed its Series A funding round, led by Melitas Ventures and will participation from celebrities Owen Wilson and Woody & Laura Harrelson. Existing investors Unovis and SOSV also joined the round for the plant-based protein company. The company, which was founded in 2017 by an animal-rights advocate, makes premium alternative meat products from pea protein, vegetables, herbs, spices, olive oil and vinegar. The capital will be used to fuel food service growth and expand retail distribution beyond its 800 stores, as well as new product development.
Cell-cultured milk company Biomilq nabs $21M in Series A round
Biotechnology company Biomilq (Durham, North Carolina) has raised $21 million in Series A funding to bring cell-cultured milk to market that mimics the nutritional value of human breast milk with a lower carbon footprint than traditional bovine-based infant formula. The round was led by global life science investor Novo Holdings, with participation from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon, Spero Ventures, Digitalis Ventures, Green Generation Fund and Gaingels. Kartik Dharmadhikari, Novo Holdings’ partner and Biomilq’s board director, said: “Our mission is to make a growing and positive impact on health, science and society. We are delighted to support Biomilq through its journey pioneering mammary biotechnology.”
Flash-frozen coffee company Cometeer raises $35M in Series B funding
Cometeer (Gloucester, Massachusetts), a coffee tech startup, has raised an additional $35 million in a Series B round, bringing the total raised to date to $100 million. The company brews coffee “through science” in a carefully calibrated process before sealing it in recyclable capsules, offering 10x strength brew that’s flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen to lock in the aroma. Consumers can use the capsules to make hot or iced coffee by melting them with water. The company says it will use the capital to increase manufacturing capacity at its facility, expand its roster of roasting partners and continue to invest in innovation.
Plant-based meal delivery service Allplants gets £38M in funding round
UK-based Allplants (London) raised £38 million in a Series B funding round, marking the largest ever Series B raised by a plant-based food company in Europe. The round was led by Draper Esprit and included companies such as Oatly, Deliveroo and Zoopla. The company will use the capital to expand its kitchen to six times its current size, which will enable it to meet demand from the UK direct-to-consumer market and build its capacity for larger distribution into other channels. Jonathan Petrides, founder and CEO of Allplants, said: “In the five years that we have been cooking, we’ve seen the demand for plant-based food explode. We’ve got a ton of exciting plans to bring the movement to even more people’s kitchens, and this investment will allow us to do just that.”
Amazon’s former vice president raises $27M to help people age healthier
Melissa Eamer, former vice president at Amazon and COO at Glossier, is starting Modern Age (New York, New York) and has raised $27 million in Series A funding led by Oak HC/FT. The company aims to help people live longer, healthier lives by providing digital tools to help users understand their aging options, starting with taking an assessment across variables to determine how old they feel and areas of health and wellness that are most important. The company plans to launch initially in the areas of skin, hair, bones and hormones. Also participating in the round are GV and founding partner Juxtapose, which gave the company a seed round in 2020 to bring the company’s total funding to $33 million.
Sugar-free brand Good Good closes $2M funding round
Good Good (Reykjavik, Iceland), maker of no-added sugar products including jams, spreads and keto bars, has raised $2 million in a Series A follow-up round of investment led by current investors, Icepharma, K2B Investments and Aton.JL. The new funding, which comes a year after the brand had a $3 million Series A round, will help Good Good scale its production and new product innovation efforts. The company was founded in 2015 and sales in 2020 increased by 171% over the previous year, despite the major challenges in both production and distribution resulting from COVID-19. Positive sales growth has continued in 2021 for the diabetic-friendly brand.
Givaudan to boost its natural colors position with DDW acquisition
Swiss flavor manufacturer Givaudan (Vernier, Switzerland) will acquire DDW, The Color House (Louisville, Kentucky). The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, is expected to make Givaudan a key player in natural colors as the move will help build a worldwide natural color platform. No financial details of the deal were disclosed. The company’s 2025 strategy is to expand the company’s global Taste & Wellbeing division, and the DDW acquisition will bring the company closer to this goal. Founded in 1865, DDW is a privately held company specializing in natural colors, with 12 global manufacturing facilities.
Newcomer Do Good Foods gets $169M to turn food waste into animal feed
Do Good Foods (Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania) has started a closed-loop system to convert produce and meats that cannot be sold in grocery stores or used by food banks into animal feed with $169 million from asset manager Nuveen. The company has built a production facility capable of processing 160 tons of excess food from about 450 grocery store each day. It plans to introduce its first product, Do Good Chicken, in supermarkets and restaurants next year. Each package of Do Good Chicken will keep 1 pound of food waste from being wasted, according to the company. It intends to build production facilities similar to its initial facility in Pennsylvania during the next five years.
Kraft Heinz acquires another Brazilian company
Kraft Heinz will make an investment in BR Spices, becoming the majority shareholder of the Brazilian high-end spices brand. The purchased comes just one week after the purchase of Hemmer. BR Spices, which has its own plan in Jandira, will operate independently after the deal is closed, which is expected to be in the fourth quarter of this year. According to a statement from Kraft Heinz, BR Spices has a high growth potential and a portfolio of over 70 products.
INNBeauty lands minority investment
Clean beauty brand INNBeauty (White Plains, New York) received minority investment from Strand Equity and Beechwood Capital to support the company’s rollout with Sephora in North America to 490 stores and 200 Sephora at Kohl’s locations. The company, which launched in 2019 by two beauty industry veterans wanting to make a line of clean products that were more affordable to Gen Z consumers, also plans to use the funding to build out its team. “The beauty editor community is notoriously difficult to impress, so the reason we are receiving so much support is because our products truly perform,” said Jen Shane, co-founder of iNNBeauty. According to the brand, it saw 300% year-over-year growth. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Ireland’s Ornua buys US cheese company Whitehall Specialties
Irish dairy cooperative Ornua (Leinster, Ireland) has purchased U.S. cheese solutions business Whitehall Specialties (Whitehall, Wisconsin) from private equity firm Mason Wells for an undisclosed sum. Whitehall Specialties supplies manufacturers and food service customers with cheese solutions, including imitation cheeses and cheese substitutes. The acquisition is expected to strengthen the position of Ornua’s U.S. ingredients division, Ornua Ingredients North America, in the country’s cheese ingredients market. “By bringing together two market leaders, in complementary parts of the ingredients sector, we are creating a powerful partnership that builds a strong foundation for a long-term, sustainable future,” said Ornua CEO John Jordan.
Culture Biosciences raises $80M in Series B funding
Culture Biosciences (San Francisco, California), a company enabling biotech firms to develop and scale manufacturing processes in the cloud, announced a Series B financing of $80 million led by Northpond Ventures. Synthesis Capital also participated in the round. Andrew Lee, PhD, of Northpond Ventures will join Culture’s Board of Directors. The company fills a need for manufacturing capacity necessary to support the new wave of synthetic biology products expected to come to the market. According to company, today’s global capacity falls 100x short of what would be needed to meet the demand for fermentation-based animal protein in 2030.
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