HumanCo will get $35M and buys gluten-free pizza maker In opposition to the Grain

Dive Temporary:

  • HumanCo, the holding firm with a portfolio of better-for-you and pure manufacturers, raised $35 million in bridge spherical funding. Corporations 8VC and Jazz Enterprise Companions participated. Private buyers included former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, former Complete Meals co-CEO Walter Robb, athletes Venus Williams and Andy Roddick, and former fashions Brooklyn Decker and Cindy Crawford.
  • The platform firm additionally took a majority stake in grain and gluten-free bakery firm In opposition to the Grain. HumanCo plans to assist the family-owned, Vermont-based model develop into one with nationwide recognition, and is making investments in gross sales, advertising and innovation.
  • HumanCo, based by Jason Karp and Ross Berman, has made its identify as a buzzy platform for meals innovation. Karp and Berman each have important expertise within the funding realm, and Karp beforehand co-founded CPG model Hu — acquired by Mondelēz in January — and its related New York restaurant Hu Kitchen. 

Dive Perception:

If HumanCo weren’t already a talked-about model within the realm of wellness and pure merchandise, this newest funding spherical could possibly be sufficient to push it there. With a roster of funders made up of luminaries in enterprise, sports activities, well being and leisure, it is clear that various sectors of society see this firm as one of many paths to the way forward for meals.

Past these beforehand talked about, HumanCo additionally noticed private investments from purposeful drugs knowledgeable Dr. Mark Hyman, Important Proteins founder Kurt Seidensticker, Thrive Market co-founder Nick Inexperienced, singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, leisure trade businessman Rande Gerber, Vista Fairness Companions co-founder Brian Sheth and former Focus Manufacturers president and COO Kat Cole.

And these buyers aren’t simply folks and corporations who know the meals enterprise. They’re the celebrities who common shoppers idolize, tacitly giving HumanCo an additional endorsement with their private cash.

“HumanCo is the brand new customary bearer in indisputably wholesome and scrumptious meals manufacturers,” Cole mentioned in a written assertion. “Having led profitable, international manufacturers over 15 years and having invested within the higher manufacturers house for seven, I can confidently say there isn’t any one placing as a lot high-impact intention and high-standard motion into constructing wholesome meals manufacturers than Jason Karp and HumanCo.”

The brand new funding provides HumanCo extra means to get to that future by buying manufacturers with potential and growing its personal merchandise. In opposition to the Grain is the third acquisition in HumanCo’s historical past, following plant-based cheese firm Monty’s in 2019 and nondairy ice cream model Coconut Bliss in July 2020. HumanCo additionally owns better-for-you frozen pizza bites model Snow Days, which it developed internally and launched in March.

In opposition to the Grain — which focuses on grain-free frozen pizzas, brownie and cake mixes and bread and bagels — serves a shopper area of interest and suits into HumanCo’s portfolio of rigorously sourced and allergy-friendly merchandise. In opposition to the Grain was based greater than a decade in the past by Nancy and Tom Cain, former teachers who developed their recipe for gluten-free pizza after Tom and one in every of their kids had been recognized with celiac illness. It grew to a $20 million a 12 months firm with 100 staff, promoting merchandise in about 15,000 shops nationwide, in response to a 2019 article in VT Digger. 

Tom Cain informed native paper the Brattleboro Reformer final month that the corporate had lengthy wished to increase, however did not have the experience or means to take action. HumanCo Chief Working Officer Amy Zipper informed the newspaper that the Cains, their staff and the Vermont operations of In opposition to the Grain would all keep in place.

Whereas this funding spherical and acquisition characterize new alternative for HumanCo, it is not the one one which looms sooner or later. Final December, a particular function acquisition firm co-sponsored by HumanCo and CAVU Enterprise Companions began buying and selling on the NASDAQ. The SPAC, which is at the moment valued at $374.8 million, will ultimately be used to assist an organization that meets HumanCo’s well being, wellness and sustainability values go public, Karp mentioned in a earlier interview. Whereas no one is aware of when that deal will occur, it is clear there are buyers who place their belief in Karp’s selections.

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