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News for September 15, 2021

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Butterfly invests in Chosen Foods

Private equity firm Butterfly (Los Angeles, California) has taken a majority stake in Chosen Foods (San Diego, California), maker of avocado-based kitchen staples such as cooking sprays, mayonnaises, dressings and more. “After several years of tracking the avocado industry, we have finally found the perfect partner. Chosen Foods is a leader in not only avocado oil, but all avocado-based cooking and food products,” said Butterfly co-founder Adam Waglay. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Alete Active Nutrition acquires Bonk Breaker Nutrition

Alete Active Nutrition (San Francisco, California), formerly known as RoadRunner Holdings, has purchased Bonk Breaker Nutrition (Los Angeles, California) as it build a portfolio of premium nutrition offerings for athletes. Bonk Breaker Nutrition was founded in 2005 by Division 1 Quarterback Jason Winn after seeing the challenges his teammates had with digesting nutrition products. Winn will continue to run the Bonk Breaker brand, which makes real food energy bars, electrolyte energy chews and protein bars.


CHKN Not Chicken raises $4.5 million in Series A funding round

Plant-based chicken brand CHKN Not Chicken (Portland, Oregon) has raised $4.5 million in a Series A round to launch its product assortment across the U.S., which includes a traditional Naked CHKN variety, a Fiesta CHKN flavor featuring Mexican spices and citrus and a Zen flavor featuring Asian spices and ginger. The startup will also use the funds to expand partnerships with quick-serve and casual dining restaurants. “We are excited to partner with Stray Dog Capital and share their passion for creating a healthier, humane and more sustainable future,” said Brian Pope, co-founder and CEO.


Sonae buys Gosh! Food owner Claybell

Sonae (Portugal) has acquired Gosh! Food owner Claybell (England) for around £64 million. Gosh! Foods produces vegan and free-from products such as bites, sausages and burgers through the Gosh! brand and as a private label partner. The acquisition was for 95.4% of the share capital and the remaining 4.6% minority stake will remain with the current Gosh! Team. The company recorded a normalized turnover of £22 million for its fiscal year ending in May 2021. Sonae’s investment supports its aim to expand its international footprint.


Hydration brand Ultima gets investment from The Firmament Group

The Firmament Group, which provides tailored debt and equity capital, has made a follow-on investment in hydration brand Ultima Health Products (Cortland, Ohio), the first investment within the Wellmore platform that also houses the Great Lakes Gelatin Company, Jade Leaf, LLC, and Feel Good Organics, LLC. Ultima makes powdered drink mixes with electrolytes and minerals without sugar or artificial ingredients. The follow-on debt and equity investment in Ultima was in partnership with WM Partners, a Florida-based private equity firm.


Kevin’s Natural Foods gets minority equity investment

Kevin’s Natural Foods (Modesto, California) has received a minority equity investment from TowerBrook Capital Partners LP, an international investment management firm, and NewRoad Capital Partners. Kevin’s Natural Foods, founded in 2019, manufactures a line of refrigerated sous vide meat entrees and vegetable sides as well as sauces and seasonings, all which are certified paleo, keto and gluten free. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The company will use the investment to fund expansion and innovation.


Jay-Z invests in Misha’s Kind Foods

Non-dairy cheese maker Misha’s Kind Foods (Los Angeles, California) has raised a $3 million seed round with participation from Jay-Z through his firm Marcy Venture Partners and NBA star Chris Paul, among other investors. Misha’s, which launched in 2018, makes non-dairy cheeses made from organic cashews and almonds without oils, starches, soy or nutritional yeast. “These investors, and their enthusiasm, not only confirm the quality and excellence of our artisan cheeses, but they also align with our long-term vision and mission,” said Aaron Bullock, CEO and co-founder of Misha’s Kind Foods.


Compound Foods, making coffee without beans, secures $4.5M in seed funding

Compound Foods (San Francisco, California) uses synthetic biology to create coffee without coffee beans by extracting molecules. The company recently received $4.5 in seed funding for a total of $5.3 million to improve the formulation and scale up the brand as the company works toward a soft launch by the end of the year. Backers of the company include Chris Sacca’s climate fund Lowercarbon Capital, SVLC, Humboldt Fund, Collaborative Fund, Maple VC, Petri Bio and angel investors like Nick Green, CEO of Thrive Market. The company’s founder, Maricel Saenz, started the company in 2020 in response to the effect of climate change on coffee growers around the world.


Catalent buys gummy manufacturer Bettera

TOP the organic project (Boston, Massachusetts) has raised $2 million in an extended seed round for its organic period brand that makes plant-based, hypoallergenic tampons and pads using 100% organic cotton that is free from synthetics, toxins, pesticides, dyes and fragrances. The round was led by Massachusetts-based Mass Mutual through the MM Catalyst Fund, The Impact Seat, Maine Angels and Dirigo Angel Fund. The women-owned brand will use the funds to expand its presence in retailers nationwide as well as for marketing initiatives and growing its team.


TMRW Foods gets $2.6M in seed funding

Plant-based protein maker TMRW Foods (Vancouver, British Columbia) has raised $2.6 million in seed funding from investors Greg Blake, co-founder of Daiya Foods; Eric Patel, director at Fresh Prep; Richard Cooperstein, chief executive officer and senior managing partner of Media Investment Group; and the Milne Group, owners of Virtuous Pie, Mila and Harken Coffee. TMRW Foods’ product offering features a blend of kidney beans, yellow split peas and quinoa and are sold in retailers across Canada. The funds from the seed round will fund further product innovation and North American expansion.


SIMPLi secures seed funding

SIMPLi (Baltimore, Maryland) has raised an initial seed round of funding led by the Abell Foundation, with additional backing from Eat the Change and Honest Tea’s Seth Goldman. Founded in 2020, the company works directly with the communities in Peru, Greece and other countries to bypass all the middle parties to bring single origin, nutrient-dense ingredients to consumers directly. The seed funding will be used to strengthen the company’s national presence, which will include rollout of its regenerative organic red, white and tri-colored quinoa products to 49 Whole Foods Market stores.


Prebiotic soda brand Poppi closes $13.5M Series A2 round

Russell Westbrook of the Chainsmokers and Halsey are among a slew of celebrities investing in Poppi (Dallas, Texas), a prebiotic soda brand that landed $13.5 in its Series A2 funding round. The investment was led by CAVU Ventures and will help the functional soda brand that was previously bootstrapped to expand distribution, scale its team and boost marketing efforts. The company grew its revenue 550% year over year and the funding assists in giving Poppi a burn rate of 12 months and the ability to continue in high-growth mode, co-founder Stephen Ellsworth said.


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