Tag: organic

Published on PR News Wire

NEWBURY PARK, Calif., April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Veestro, the leading gourmet plant-based meal delivery service, announced today that it has secured $1.5 million in financing, an investment led by M&A Capital, Inc. and Starcorp International S.A. The funding will accelerate the company’s aggressive growth driven by health-minded consumers looking for convenient solutions to meal planning and preparation.

Since the company’s launch in 2013, sales have increased by more than 300% per year, mainly due to the ever-increasing trend of healthy eating paired with the growing need for day-to-day convenience.  “Plant-based diets are generating conversations every day which are fundamentally transforming the way consumers think about the food they eat,” commented Mark Fachler, Founder and CEO of Veestro. ”America is becoming more and more health conscious, yet at the same time they are looking for solutions to make life easier. This is where Veestro comes in, offering the solution for people who want to eat healthy, organic, plant-based meals, but don’t have the time to go food shopping or to cook a meal. It saves them from the trap of ‘fast food’, which is usually extremely unhealthy.”

Building on this momentum and the current demands driven by consumer behavior, Veestro will use the financing to build and equip a new 20,000 sq. ft. production facility, establish a new distribution center on the East coast, support marketing efforts, and finance a select few strategic hires. As Veestro executes expansion plans in the first half of 2016, the brand also looks to unveil a rebranding in the first half of the year.

“Finding innovative, successful, and disruptive business concepts in the food industry is a challenging task,” noted Oliver Preuss, Principal, Starcorp International S.A. “Veestro encompasses all of these attributes and more.  Their delicious, healthy and organic plant based home delivery meal business concept embraces society’s ever evolving awareness of the benefits provided by living a healthier lifestyle. Veestro allows easy access for busy individuals to the advantages afforded by healthy organic food. We believe to have found the ideal partner to take advantage of this ever growing market trend.

Carlos Garcia de Paredes, Director at M&A Capital, Inc. echoed the brand growth potential sharing, “Not only is the organic food industry growing at double digits every year, but is only 5% of the food industry as a total.  With the healthier lifestyle of millennials, and their preference for convenience, there is no doubt Veestro will become a household name.”

Our vision has always been about making healthy food available to everyone,” noted Monica Klausner, Co-Founder and CMO of Veestro. “We are thrilled to be partnered with M&A Capital, Inc. and Starcorp International S.A. to accelerate this process.”

The Giannuzzi Group, LLP acted as legal counsel to Veestro.

For more information on Veestro, please visit www.veestro.com.

Engredea News & Analysis
MetaBrand Capital | Engredea News & Analysis

October 7, 2014


MetaBrand Capital, a “conscious capital” private equity fund and the new investment pillar of MetaBrand—a full-service firm providing product formulation, outsourced operations, and sales and marketing services to natural, organic and nutritional food and beverage brands—announces a $5.75 million investment in Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Runa LLC, supporting the growth of the natural, “healthy energy” food and beverage category utilizing the Amazonian guayusa tree-leaf.

Taking the Triple-Bottom Line approach to corporate social responsibility one step further, MetaBrand founder and longtime natural products entrepreneur Eric Schnell embraces the “Quadruple Bottom-Line,” a socially and environmentally aware business philosophy dedicated to People, Planet, Profit—and Purpose. Through the MetaBrand Capital fund, the company will primarily focus on growth capital investments in the food, beverage, nutrition and natural and organic product industries with strategic partners that embody and embrace a similar socially conscious business approach.

“This is the first major investment for MetaBrand Capital,” says Schnell. “Runa represents all the criteria that we see in the Quadruple Bottom-line business model. MetaBrand has previously partnered with Runa in helping to pioneer the ‘healthy energy’ beverage category, and this strategic partnership allowed us to see that Runa truly is a perfect example of what a conscious capital investor cares about—fair trade, organic and natural, socially responsible with a strong moral obligation to give back. We absolutely believe in Runa’s authentic story, vision and potential for the brand. The investment was the natural progression of our commitment to their mission.”

Other notable investors joined MetaBrand Capital in the round, including Mark Rampolla, founder of Zico; and Brian Krumrei, managing director, TSG Consumer Partners; plus investors from the music and entertainment industry including Jon Fishman, drummer for the band Phish, and Coran Capshaw, founder of artist management company Red Light Management. Nick Giannuzzi, attorney, The Giannuzzi Group, LLP, represented Runa in the deal.

Guayusa, cousin to yerba mate, leads ‘healthy energy’ beverages
Runa, cofounded in 2009 by college classmates Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie, is a privately held company that sells beverages made from guayusa (pronounced “gwhy-you-sa”) leaves. Guayusa is a native Amazonian super-leaf with as much caffeine as a cup of coffee and double the polyphenols of leading green tea products. Unlike traditional teas, guayusa has no tannins, so it tastes surprisingly smooth and naturally sweet. Indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon have brewed guayusa like tea for thousands of years as an essential part of what makes them “Runa”—fully alive.

With a mission to improve the livelihoods of indigenous farmers in the Amazon, Runa’s founders believe that consumers everywhere can benefit from the bounty of the rainforest without destroying it, starting with the people who live there. Runa works directly with more than 3,000 indigenous farming families who are proud to see guayusa shared around the world. These families are Runa’s partners in a Fair Trade relationship, and by organically growing guayusa in traditional forest gardens they help protect the rainforest.

“We’re anticipating strong multi-category growth of the guayusa ingredient, and we’re truly excited to work with the powerhouse MetaBrand team in our efforts to become a leading brand and ingredient platform in the organic, specialty and conventional markets,” says Gage. “With this new investment, we plan to increase our support of the distributors and retailers that have helped us build our brand so far, and go deeper in key markets where Runa is growing. We are committed to being focused and targeted with our sales growth, and are excited to educate more consumers about the benefits of guayusa and the spirit of the Runa brand.”

“Runa has successfully pioneered and established a clear market demand for guayusa as a unique ingredient,” says Debbie Wildrick, MetaBrand chief advisory officer. “The company has emerged as one of the fastest growing certified organic and natural ready-to-drink brands in the U.S., and we see the opportunity for guayusa as an ingredient to have useful applications in a range of healthy products—from beverages to dietary supplements. We see guayusa as the next green tea trend, and look forward to helping Runa define clear sales and distribution strategies across food, drug, mass and convenience store channels.”