News for September 27, 2023
Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:
Investment in celeb-favorite facialist’s brand
Former Sephora CEO Martin Brok has invested in Angela Caglia’s skincare brand. Angela Caglia is a renowned esthetician known for her work with celebrities such as Barbra Streisand and Sting. Brok serves as an advisor to her namesake brand, helping with product positioning and strategy. The skincare brand, which focuses on clean clinical products for sensitive skin, closed its first funding round in March, led by a private individual. However, specific terms of Brok’s investment were not disclosed.
Estée Lauder looks to China for new clean beauty
Estée Lauder has made its first investment in a Chinese clean beauty brand called Code Mint. Founded by fashion blogger and reality star Grace Chow in 2021, Code Mint aims to popularize clean beauty in China. The brand’s product offerings include face masks, foundations, lipsticks and toxin-free cleansers suitable for sensitive skin. Estée Lauder’s investment arm, New Incubation Ventures, has taken a minority stake in Code Mint to help the brand leverage its R&D capabilities and become a leader in the emerging Chinese clean beauty market. Details of the investment amount were not disclosed. Code Mint is owned by Hangzhou Jianfa Meixue Technology, with Grace Chow holding a 42% direct stake in the company.
Proven proves itself in a $12.2M Series A
Proven, a personalized beauty brand, has secured $12.2 million in Series A funding led by NewH2 Ventures, with participation from existing investors. The company plans to use this funding to expand its two brands, Proven Skincare and Noteworthy, and grow its team. Proven, which uses AI technology to create customized skincare and fragrance products based on customer preferences, has already raised over $21 million in investments. The company has experienced significant growth, reaching $30 million in revenue, breaking even and expecting profitability by year-end. Proven has also expanded into the U.K. and Europe, partnered with Sephora and launched the DTC Noteworthy scent brand, generating $5 million in revenue
Brazilian startup NUU raises $4M
NUU, a Brazilian startup specializing in regenerative cassava-based foods, has secured $4 million in Series A funding led by the EcoEnterprises Fund and other investors. The company, founded and led by women with an all-female C-Suite, has already achieved positive EBITDA. NUU plans to invest in marketing, sales, technology and innovation to expand its natural cassava-based products business, aiming for an eightfold growth in two years and reaching 6,000 points of sale. The company is focused on sustainability, integrating carbon footprint data onto its packaging, and has received certifications and recognition, including being honored by the United Nations. NUU’s innovative approach involves using cassava starch as an alternative to traditional wheat-based products, aligning with the trend of localized sourcing and with Brazil’s growing frozen food market.
Health-Ade, known for its gut-healthy kombucha beverages, has partnered with iHeartMedia, America’s leading audio company, and Emmy Award-winning host Ryan Seacrest to expand its reach. The collaboration will use iHeartMedia’s extensive network, including radio, podcasts, digital content and live events, to introduce kombucha to a broader audience across the United States. They have also launched a sweepstakes offering an all-expenses-paid trip to the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, featuring a meet and greet with Ryan Seacrest. This partnership aims to make kombucha more accessible and to educate Americans about the benefits of Health-Ade’s products, focusing on their gut health-supporting beverages as alternatives to sugary sodas.
Complete Farmer raises $10.4M
Ghanaian agritech company Complete Farmer has raised $10.4 million in a recent pre-Series A funding round ($7 million in equity and $3.4 million in debt). The funding was co-led by the Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund and Alitheia Capital, among others. Complete Farmer is an end-to-end agricultural marketplace connecting African farmers to global markets, offering cultivation protocols and precision farming instruments. It has successfully brought together over 12,000 farmers in Ghana, overseeing the cultivation of over 30,000 acres of land and reducing post-harvest losses while taking a 30% commission on profits per trade. The investment will be used to scale new product lines and expand operations.
LesserEvil, greater funds
LesserEvil, the maker of organic popcorn and healthy snacks, has secured a significant minority growth investment from Aria Growth Partners, a consumer-focused private equity firm. This investment includes participation from existing investors Valor Equity, Invest Eco and Touch Capital. The funding will support LesserEvil’s expansion efforts, including growing manufacturing operations and expanding retail distribution. LesserEvil has seen substantial growth in recent years by offering organic, better-for-you snacks at mainstream prices and is now poised for further expansion and consumer adoption in the healthy snacking market.
Meati secures $50M Series B
Meati Foods has successfully secured $50 million in Series B funding to accelerate its efforts in scaling production capacity and launching clean, mycelium-based alternative meat products nationwide in the coming year. This funding round, co-led by BOND and Acre Venture Partners and other existing investors, follows an earlier $18 million debt financing for constructing an 80,000 square-foot production facility. Meati aims to become a pioneer in producing whole-cut alternative meat at scale, revolutionizing the category. Additionally, the funding will enable Meati to expand its team and attract expertise from various fields while gaining support from influential investor-advisers committed to sustainable food systems. Meati’s innovative mycelium-based approach promises high-protein, high-fiber and nutrient-dense meats with a minimal environmental footprint.
Vitable raises $7.5 Million
Australian online vitamin brand Vitable has secured $7.5 million in funding, with a total of $15 million in external investment since its 2019 launch. The company, known for its personalized vitamin delivery service, is set to launch a $3 million equity crowdfunding campaign. Vitable’s proprietary algorithm, powered by AI, assesses individual nutritional supplementation needs based on a customer’s responses to a quiz. The company plans to expand into new markets including New Zealand and Southeast Asia, which now contribute to 25% of its sales—Vitable aims to simplify the vitamin industry and improve health outcomes by offering personalized solutions.
A good Series A for Goodles
Gal Gadot’s mac and cheese company, Goodles, has secured $13 million in Series A round funding, with L Catterton leading the investment along with other firms including Third Craft Partners, Willow Growth, Gingerbread Capital and Springdale. Originally marketed for kids, Gadot and her partner Jen Zeszut decided to expand Goodles to a broader audience. The company, launched in 2021, enhanced its mac and cheese by adding more protein and fiber, and it began offering kosher-certified products the following year. Goodles aims to revolutionize traditional mac and cheese by using healthier, cleaner ingredients, aligning with Gadot’s mission to positively impact the planet.
Seed funding for bladder health startup
Jude, a London-based bladder health startup, has secured $4.24 million in seed funding to expand into the U.S. Bladder health is an underserved area with approximately 2.3 billion people experiencing bladder problems globally. While Jude’s initial focus is on women’s health, it plans to address male-specific bladder issues in the future. The startup offers a bladder strength supplement, absorbent products and a support hotline and community. Jude is also planning to launch a digital consultation service and aims to collect customer data to tailor its offerings and potentially collaborate with health insurance companies.
JOKR closes successful Series D round
Online grocery delivery company JOKR, operating in Brazil as DAKI, has secured approximately $50 million in Series D financing, valuing the company at $800 million—down from $1.3 billion after a Series C funding round. JOKR’s CEO, Ralf Wenzel, explained that the decreased valuation aligns with market conditions. The Series D round was led by Convivialité Ventures, backed by Pernod Ricard, and includes new investor Lombard Odier, among others. JOKR has improved its financial performance, offering scheduled deliveries, a wider product selection and successful advertising programs. The funding will help the company achieve profitability and explore expansion opportunities, including potentially re-entering Latin American markets it had previously left.
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.
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