News for September 15, 2022
Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:
Oxwash cleans up in Series A Round
The U.K. eco laundry startup Oxwash has secured £10 million in funding led by Untitled VC, with existing backer Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder), Indeed founder Paul Forster, and Holly and Sam Branson. Oxwash is taking on conventional commercial laundry by offering a gentler wet cleaning technique to replace dry cleaning. Rather than harsh chemicals, Oxwash uses biodegradable detergents and reduces water consumption, saving nearly 4 liters of water per 1kg of clothes washed. Another sustainability effort Oxwash makes is using ozone as a disinfecting agent. Ozone allows fabrics to be sterilized and deodorized at lower temperatures. The new financing will allow for expansion across the U.K and add more e-bikes and electric vehicles to its fleet for pickups and drop-offs to minimize carbon emissions. The company also recently announced that it gained B Corporation Certification.
Instacart acquires Eversight
Oversight is an AI-powered pricing and promotions platform for CPG brands and retailers. The experimentation-based platform allows CPGs and retailers to test customizable prices and promotions to customers directly and at scale. Instacart’s investment in this pricing and promotions expertise will make it easier for more customers to save on groceries. Instacart also recently introduced new incentives to help customers save money: It now offers a 5% cash back on pickup orders, and a new Instacart Chase card gives a 5% statement credit on all purchases.
Funding goes swimmingly for Mermade Seafoods
Mermade Seafoods received $3.3 million in seed funding from OurCrowd, Fall Line and Sake Bosch. Founded in 2021, Mermade Seafood’s technology will streamline scallop production to offer an alternative protein at a lower price point. The food tech company uses circular cellular agriculture technology to produce cultivated scallops. Cell-cultured foods produce a significant amount of often-discarded biowaste. Mermade Seafoods uses that biowaste to feed the algae that feed the cultured cells. The company is working on patenting its version of aquaponics, which it will call cytoponics, to help lower costs. This funding will allow the company to employ more stem cell and algae researchers and plan to reach laboratory-scale production in 2023.
Motatos raises €38M Series D
Swedish startup Motatos announced a €38 million Series D Round, which brings its total funding to €130 million. Motatos is a discounted groceries startup in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the U.K. and Germany. Motatos focuses on selling household goods with a long shelf life such as pantry items, beverages, personal care products and pet food. All products come from the surplus inventory of larger producers for a reduced price. By selling surplus food, the company helps prevent food waste from entering landfills. In 2021, Motatos’ sales were €68 million and are on track for €100 million this year. This Series D Round was led by Swedish bank SEB with U.K.-based VC Exor Capital.
Live Nation invests in high-tech reusable cups
As large crowds return to festivals, Live Nation is trying to prevent the return of seas of plastic cups left on the ground and sent to landfills. The concert promoter has invested $5 million into Turn Systems, a startup that helps venues eliminate single-use cups. Turn Systems provides reusable cups, collection bins and proprietary dishwashers that are said to be 700% faster than traditional dishwashers. Turn’s cups are handed out to fans at no extra cost, but each cup has a scannable code on the bottom that activates the opening of a collection bin for disposal. Other investors include ab InBev, Bjarke Ingels Group and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures.
Misfits Market to acquire Imperfect Foods
Misfits Market is acquiring fellow online grocery platform Imperfect Foods in an all-stock deal. Since its founding in 2018, Misfits Market has raised nearly $530 million. A $200 million Series C Round in 2021 put the company’s valuation at over $1 billion. Imperfect Foods, founded in 2015 to help rescue and redistribute ‘ugly’ produce, raised $110 million in a Series D Round last year, bringing its total to $229 million. While the Misfits Market CEO did not disclose the deal’s valuation, they did say that combining the online grocery platforms will drive sales to $1 billion in early 2024. Until online grocers reach that sales benchmark, profitability is difficult; scaling up will help drive-long term revenue.
Hero to be acquired for $630M
Church & Dwight Co. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Hero, the creator of acne patch brand Mighty Patch, for $630 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Hero’s net sales were approximately $115 million in the previous year. Hero joins Nair, Batiste, Viviscal, Flawless and Toppik to Church & Dwight’s Specialty Hair and Skin portfolio lineup. The total acne treatment market is approximately $700 million. Hero’s 2023 net sales are projected to increase 15% to $150 million.
Klim plants a $6.6M seed
Klim, a Berlin, Germany-based agri-tech startup, has raised $6.6 million in seed funding to help farmers quickly adapt to regenerative farming methods. Nearly 1,700 farmers have signed up to receive support. Klim’s app helps farmers set goals and determine the best ways to improve soil health, increase biodiversity and lower their carbon footprint. Farmers who document their transition and through Klim’s satellite data and monitoring can earn payouts for carbon sequestered at the farm. As farmers’ soil health improves, they can receive funds for undertaking other sustainable measures such as reforesting. The startup is also looking into loans for farmers. Founded in 2020, Klim has raised a total of nearly €8 million. Berlin-based food and green tech investor Green Generation Fund led the most recent seed funding. The investment will help Klim to look at expanding internationally.
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