NCN News for May 28, 2019
NCN News

MAY 28, 2019

Recent transactions

Impossible Foods raises $300 million to ramp up production

Impossible Foods (Redwood City, California), maker of plant-based meat alternatives, announced $300 million in Series E funding led by existing investors Temasek and Horizons Ventures. This fifth equity round brings the company’s total raised to $750 million. Impossible Foods says it is fielding “unprecedented demand” for its flagship Impossible Burger. Funds will be used to accelerate the company’s rapid scale up. The financing comes on the heels of Beyond Meat’s IPO on May 2, which raised $241 million to expand its meat alternative business.

Caliva acquires Zola beverages

Caliva (San Jose, California), a vertically integrated cannabis company with more than 500 dispensaries in California, has acquired Zola (San Francisco, California) to expand into the cannabis- and hemp-based CBD beverage space. Zola makes coconut water, organic acai juice and organic, low-calorie sparkling energy waters sold through more than 7,000 retail locations nationwide. Caliva is exploring several product categories for its infused beverages. Zola presented at the NCN Fall 2009 Investor Meeting in San Francisco as Zola Acai. KarpReilly LLC acquired Zola in 2016.

Canopy Growth enters sleep and skin care categories with This Works

This Works (London, United Kingdom), maker of skin-care products and pillow sprays, is being bought by cannabis producer Canopy Growth (Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada) for £43 million (U.S. $54.7 million; CA$73.4 million on May 22). This Works is expected to serve as a vehicle for launching skin-care and sleep-aid products infused with cannabidiol (CBD), an active ingredient of cannabis that does not contain the active psychoactive ingredient THC. “We believe CBD has the potential to disrupt the cosmetic and sleep solution industries,” said Bruce Linton, chairman and co-chief executive of Canopy Growth.

Purple Carrot to be acquired by Japanese produce company

Plant-based meal-kit company Purple Carrot (Boston, Massachusetts) is being acquired by Oisix ra daichi Inc. (Tokyo, Japan), an organic food delivery service, for $12.8 million plus a potential earn-out of $17.2 million. Oisix operates seven distribution centers throughout Japan and works with more than 4,000 farmers. Purple Carrot will keep its corporate headquarters in Massachusetts and its executive leadership team.

Sun Basket raises $30 million

Healthy meal delivery service Sun Basket (San Francisco, California) announced a Series E investment of $30 million led by PivotNorth Capital. Unilever Ventures and others also participated. Sun Basket says it is one of the fastest-growing meal delivery services in the United States, having grown 80 percent CAGR over the past three years. This round brings the company's overall funding to $125 million.

Aleph Farms secures $12 million for cultured meat

Aleph Farms Ltd. (Ashdod, Israel), which grows meat cuts directly from cattle cells, raised $12 million in Series A investments led by VisVires New Protein, with Cargill Protein, Migros of Switzerland and existing investors participating. Capital will be used to commercialize Aleph's prototype cultured meat. Aleph’s process involves taking a sample of bovine cells and replicating them outside the animal, “avoiding the antibiotics, environmental footprint, contamination and animal slaughter which comes with conventional meat production.”

BioClarity announces $13 million first closing

Green skincare brand BioClarity (San Diego, California) announced a $13 million first closing, with Prolog Ventures investing $6 million to lead the round. Founded as a digitally native direct-to-consumer brand, BioClarity will use the funding to accelerate growth. BioClarity's products contain its patented Floralux form of chlorophyll, an antioxidant that is clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of redness and pore size, according to the company. All products are vegan, cruelty-free and made without parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

GreenSpace Brands divests Kiju

GreenSpace Brands (Toronto, Canada) is selling Kiju organic juice and iced tea to Zurban Beverages for CA$8 million ($5.96 million on May 21), representing a transaction value of approximately one times net sales. Proceeds will help pay down debt and provide working capital. GreenSpace develops and sells premium natural and organic food products across North America. Brands include Love Child organic food for children, Central Roast nut and seed mixes, Cedar cold-pressed juices and Go Veggie cheese alternatives from its 2018 purchase of Galaxy Nutritional Foods.

Rocean raises over $6 million to reduce single-use beverage consumption

Rocean (New York, New York) announced financing of more than $6 million for its Rocean One smart water countertop device, which makes a range of water options at home. The device features multi-use pods containing natural fruit flavors, supplements and enhancements. “Consumers are drinking bottled water that is filtered, carbonated, flavored and enhanced with everything from CBD to caffeine … If we want to fight climate change, we need to give consumers all of their favorite beverages without the waste of packaging and shipping them around the world,” said Sunjay Guleria, Rocean's CEO and founder.

Bonne O Holdings closes Series B for Spärkel beverage system

Bonne O Holdings Inc. (Toronto, Canada) closed the final tranche of a $7.5 million Series B financing led by NY Group Partners in the United States. Funding has been used to develop and launch Spärkel , a sparkling beverage device that infuses “real ingredients” and bubbles into drinks using individual carbonators rather than relying on a CO2 tank. Each carbonator costs 50 cents and carbonates one 25.4 oz. bottle.

Fem-care start-up develops ‘cramp-fighting’ tampon

Daye (London, United Kingdom), a fem-care startup developing CBD-infused tampons for menstrual cramps, has raised a $5.5 million seed round from Khosla Ventures, with Index Ventures and Kindred Capital participating, according to TechCrunch. The company’s goal is to address three primary issues: dysmenorrhea, manufacturing standards and sustainability. CBD is safer than over-the-counter painkillers, and the vaginal canal has the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors, founder Valentina Milanova told TechCrunch. The tampons will be available this fall.

Hatch raises $5 million to grow pregnancy lifestyle brand

Hatch (New York, New York), a lifestyle brand appealing to women during pregnancy and postpartum, received a $5 million Series A investment led by Silas Capital. Founded in 2011, Hatch offers maternity clothing and “clean” beauty products. After opening two retail locations in New York, New York, and Los Angeles, California, Hatch says it has grown from a digitally native, direct-to-consumer brand into an omni-channel business. “The maternity market is early in a monumental shift, as a wave of millennial women become first-time mothers,” said Silas partner Brian Thorne.

Core secures $4 million seed funding for meditation device

Core​ (San Francisco, California) has raised $4 million in seed funding for its meditation trainer that helps users deal with stress and anxiety and improve performance potential. Spero Ventures led the round. Founded in 2016, Core’s handheld device measures stress levels via an electrocardiogram and guides the user through meditation. “Mental well-being is just as important as nutrition and physical activity is to a well-balanced lifestyle,” said ​Sarah McDevitt​, founder and CEO of Core.

Hemptown earmarks investment for multi-state expansion

Hemptown USA (Central Point, Oregon) announced a CA$23 million ($17.1 million on May 14) round of financing led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. Hemptown plans to acquire a GMP-certified nutraceutical facility to develop cannabinoid products for the health and wellness industry and to enter the consumer packaged goods sector by building and acquiring high-potential brands.

Indus acquires Humble Flower personal care products

Indus Holdings Inc. (Salinas, California) has acquired Humble Flower Co. (Los Angeles, California), a producer of cannabis-infused lotions and oils with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) to hydrate skin and provide topical relief from pain, psoriasis, eczema, dry skin and other ailments. Humble Flower products are available at licensed dispensaries and retailers throughout California. The Indus family of brands includes edibles, vaporizers, beverages, oils and cannabis.

Solabia Group acquires Algatech

Solabia Group (Paris, France) has acquired Algatech Ltd. of Israel, a cultivator of microalgae ingredients for the supplement, food and cosmetic industries. The strategic investment will support Algatech’s focus on research and development, as well expanding its production capabilities. Algatech will become the centerpiece of Solabia’s nutrition division. Algatech produces algae at a photo-bioreactor facility in Israel’s Arava Desert. According to Algatech, nearly a million species of algae have the potential to be valuable sources of ingredients, including proteins, omegas, vitamins, carotenoids and polysaccharides, but only a handful are currently commercialized. The transaction provides an exit for Grovepoint Capital and JCA Charitable Foundation.

Impact investor backs Bright Greens and Libre Naturals

S CAP’s Food & Beverage Fund announced its first two investments: Bright Greens (Rockville, Maryland) offers flash-frozen fruit and vegetable smoothie cubes to make “blender-less” smoothies; and Libre Naturals (Duncan, British Columbia, Canada) makes granola and protein bars free from the top 10 allergens and gluten. “Self-diagnosed allergen sensitivity affects purchase decisions for food by as many as 15% of baby boomers, 21% of Gen Xers and 28% of millennials. The growth in this segment is strong moving forward,” said S CAP General Partner Andrew Towle.

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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