NCN NEWS for August 31, 2017
Revive Kombucha raises $7.5 million in Series B funding led by Peet’s Coffee
Revive Kombucha (Petaluma, Calif.), a family owned maker of fermented beverages, has secured a $7.5 million Series B round of financing led by Peet’s Coffee. Also participating are the Series A lead investor Prolog Ventures, Good Eggs, Rodeo Ventures, Greenhouse Capital, Blueberry Ventures, and Blair Kellison, CEO of Traditional Medicinals. New investors include Strand Equity and Beechwood Capital. Revive Kombucha will be delivered via Coldcraft, Peet’s chilled direct-store-delivery network, expanding Revive’s market reach throughout California to over 1,600 food service, grocery, and Peet’s coffee bar locations. Founded by Sean and Rebekah Lovett in 2010, Revive Kombucha is organic, non-GMO, and Fair Trade certified; the company will continue to use craft brewing and natural fermentation methods, Peet’s said.
B&G Foods to acquire Back to Nature
B&G Foods Inc. (Parsippany, N.J.) has agreed to acquire Back to Nature Foods Company LLC, (Madison, Wis.), a maker of natural and organic granola, cereals and snacks, from Brynwood Partners and Mondelēz International for approximately $162.5 million in cash, representing a purchase price multiple of approximately 9.6 times adjusted EBITDA. B&G Foods expects the acquired business to generate net sales of approximately $80 million on an annualized basis. Kraft Foods acquired Back to Nature from Organic Milling Inc. in 2003, when the brand posted 2002 revenues of nearly $10 million. In 2012 Kraft sold a controlling stake in Back to Nature to Brynwood, which set up a joint venture with Mondelēz to operate Back to Nature, with SnackWell’s, a “better for you” snack brand subsequently added to the joint venture. B&G brands include Green Giant, Ortega, Cream of Wheat and Maple Grove Farms.
Eagle Foods acquires Popcorn Indiana
Eagle Foods, a manufacturer of condensed milks and snacks, acquired Popcorn, Indiana, Englewood, N.J., a manufacturer of ready-to-eat popcorn. Other snack brands owned by Eagle Foods include G.H. Cretors Popcorn and Hi I’m Skinny snacks. G.H. Cretors manufactures R.-T.-E. popcorn while the Hi I’m Skinny line features superfood sticks, quinoa sticks and protein sticks. The company also manufactures popcorn products for the private label market. Eagle Brands is majority owned by the private equity firm Kelso & Company, New York. Other brands sold by Eagle Brands include the Eagle, Magnolia, Pet and Milnot condensed milk brands. Popcorn Indiana presented at NCN V in October 2009 in San Francisco under the name of Dale and Thomas at the time, when the company with both brands reported retail gross revenue of over $30 million under the management of a former Goldman Sachs VP.
Encore Consumer Capital invests in Veggie Noodle Co.
Veggie Noodle Co. (Austin, Texas) has announced a minority investment from Encore Consumer Capital. The noodle maker will receive investment to the tune of $14 million, according to an article on Project NOSH. Founded by Mason Arnold in 2015, Veggie Noodle Co. makes noodles from “spiralized” organic vegetables like zucchini, sweet potato, butternut and beet. The noodles are gluten-free, low calorie, non-GMO and contain no preservatives, added sugars or salts. Distribution has grown from a single store in Austin to more than 1,400 stores in over 35 states, including major retailers like Whole Foods, Kroger, Target and Sprouts. Arnold previously founded Greenling, an organic food delivery service based in Texas.
HERB raises $4.1 million seed round
HERB (Los Angeles, Calif.), a cannabis technology company, has raised $4.1 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures with participation from Slow Ventures, Michael Lazerow, Bullpen Capital, Shiva Rajarama, Liquid 2 Ventures and others. “During our research into the cannabis industry, it became clear to both myself and our team at Liquid 2 Ventures that HERB was the most professionally run business for relevant, informative, cannabis content,” said Joe Montana, hall of fame quarterback and investor in HERB. “With the trend quickly leaning toward national or even global legalization, we think it will be imperative that there is a reliable source of educational content, which will ensure that cannabis consumers are well-informed about the benefits as well as the risks of using the plant.” HERB’s mission is to educate, influence, and represent the cannabis community.
Cardax attracts $2.75 million in investment
Cardax Inc. (Honolulu, Hi.) reported that it has received investment subscriptions of approximately $2.75 million since filing the Company’s Form 10-Q on August 11, 2017. Funds will support the launch of Cardax’s national marketing campaign for ZanthoSyn, an astaxanthin supplement, in connection with the recently announced General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) national expansion. The marketing campaign will focus on physician awareness and GNC store personnel education, in addition to general corporate purposes. Cardax’s mission is to develop and commercialize safe anti-inflammatory dietary supplements and drugs, with an initial focus on astaxanthin.
GreenSpace buys cold pressed juice maker Cedar
GreenSpace Brands Inc. (GSB, Toronto, Canada) is to acquire The Cold Press Corp. (Toronto, Canada), maker of Cedar brand premium cold-pressed juices and probiotic-enriched juices, for between approximately $5.4 million and $6.4 million in cash and shares. Over the trailing three months ended July 31, 2017, Cedar earned gross revenue of approximately $1.25 million, representing year-over-year growth of 200%, GreenSpace said. “Recent product expansion into hydration and probiotic focused juice products highlight the alignment with the GSB pursuit of the ‘gut health’ category, which we feel is increasingly important to Canadians,” said Matthew von Teichman, CEO of GreenSpace, which develops, acquires and markets premium natural food brands. GreenSpace’s quarterly gross revenue of $12.9 million for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2017 was higher than for its entire 2016 fiscal year. The company’s main brands include Life Choices Natural Foods, Rolling Meadow Dairy, Nudge, Kiwi Pure and Holistic Choice Pet Food. In January 2017 GreenSpace completed the acquisition of Nothing But Nature Inc., which owns the organic juice brand Kiju.
Redd Bar extends early-stage round
Redd Bar (Research Enhanced Design + Development) has announced that FreshTracks Capital and CEI Ventures, along with other angel investors, recently joined an early-stage round of capital previously announced in May 2017. “Recent momentum and the all-star quality of the investor base introduced to us through Whipstitch led us to extend the round and oversubscribe. We are fully closed now with this raise and look forward to working with the new investors and continuing our rapid growth,” said Redd CEO Peter Van Alstine. Whipstitch Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Redd in the transaction. Whipstitch is an NCN Sponsor and Investment Banking Partner.
Ollie raises Series A to deliver fresh meals for dogs
Ollie Pets Inc. (New York, N.Y.) has raised a $12.6 million Series A financing round, according to TechCrunch. Ollie is a subscription based dog food delivery service that makes human-grade meals using fresh ingredients and tailored to dogs’ individual nutritional needs. Canaan Partners led seven investors in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to roughly $17 million. Also competing to deliver fresh and frozen healthy pet meals in the United States and the UK are The Farmer’s Dog, The Honest Kitchen, NomNomNow, Lucky Dog Cuisine, Darwin’s, The Farmer’s Dog, Tails.com, Butternut Box, Honey’s Real Dog Food, and PetPlate.com.
ChromaDex sells analytical testing business to LabCorp
ChromaDex Corp. (Irvine, Calif.), a developer of proprietary nutritional ingredients for supplements, food, skin care, sports nutrition, and pharmaceutical products, has agreed to sell its analytical testing services business to LabCorp (Burlington, N.C.). LabCorp’s Covance Food Solutions will operate the business. ChromaDex’s R&D facility, reference standards business, and regulatory and safety consulting resources are not part of the sale. ChromaDex reported net sales of $5.3 million for the three months ended July 1, 2017 compared to $8.8 million for the prior year’s second quarter. ChromaDex also announced closing the $5.1 million third and final tranche of the $25 million strategic investment led by Hong Kong business leader Li Ka-shing. In May ChromaDex launched Niagen nicotinamide riboside, an ingredient associated with anti-aging benefits, into the functional food space. The firm’s mission is “to grow from a strong science based ingredient company to a vertically integrated anti-aging platform company focusing on Niagen and NAD precursors,” according to Rob Fried, president and chief strategy officer.
Flagship Food Group acquires Glutenfreeda Foods
Flagship Food Group (Greenwood Village, Colo.) has acquired Glutenfreeda Foods Inc. (Burlington, Wash.), including its USDA manufacturing facility. Terms were not disclosed, but Flagship management indicated that the deal would increase its brand distribution in thousands of new retail outlets, including traditional, natural, and specialty food retailers in both the United States and Canada. Key managers will join the Flagship team. Glutenfreeda was founded in 2006 and makes gluten free granola, oatmeal, burritos, sandwich wraps, tortillas, and flatbreads. Flagship Food brands include Lilly B’s organic prepared food which was launched in 2015.
FrieslandCampina sells Riedel juices to concentrate on dairy
Royal FrieslandCampina (Ede, Netherlands) will sell its fruit juice manufacturer Riedel to the Dutch investment company Standard Investment. Riedel makes chilled fruit and vegetables juices including Appelsientje, CoolBest cold pressed juices, DubbelFrisss, DubbelDrank, Taksi and Extran brands. Earlier this year, FrieslandCampina announced that it would sell Riedel because the company wants to concentrate on its dairy portfolio. Guido Grobbink, partner with Standard Investment, said “we drink as a whole about 25 percent less fruit juices than we did 10 years ago and this has had an impact on Riedel.” However, Grobbink sees opportunities in emphasizing “the inherent qualities of fresh and other fruit juices and the importance of these for a well-balanced lifestyle.” Riedel was founded in 1879 and has revenues of about €125 million.
Happify Health lands $9 million
Happify Health (New York, N.Y.), a company that combines evidence-based emotional health interventions with engagement and gaming technology, has announced a $9 million funding round. Happify Health provides solutions for individuals, health plans, employers and care delivery systems to address the depression, anxiety and social isolation that can accompany chronic illness. Happify Health’s digital intervention platform provides more than 60 programs and over 2,500 activities that use evidence-based science, engagement strategies, software and gamification to improve to improve emotional health and significantly reduce costs, the company said.
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