U.S. impact venture capital firm S CAP has made an undisclosed investment in Libre Naturals, a Duncan, British Columbia-based maker of allergen-free snacks and cereals.
Founded in 2012 by President Alana Elliott, Libre Naturals makes granola bars, protein bars, unbaked granolas and oatmeal cups that are free of the top 10 food allergens as well as gluten-free.
Libre Naturals sells its products online and through select retailers in Canada and the United States. It expects to grow distribution across new retail channels over the next few months.
S CAP invests in clean technology and food and beverage companies.
Photo: Alana Elliot, founder and president of Libre Naturals.
Impact Investor S CAP Announces Investments in its Food & Beverage Fund
NY-based venture capital firm funds two innovative portfolio companies in high growth sectors of Snacking/Mobile Meals and Healthy Beverages
NEW YORK, May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — S CAP announced this week that it has funded Bright Greens, creator of blender-less smoothies, and Libre Naturals, maker of allergen-free snacks, as the first investments in its Food & Beverage Fund.
S CAP’s Founder Kunal Sethi says the two companies are ideal candidates for the fund which is “designed to address an investment opportunity to bridge the pioneer gap at just the point where the potential for scaling a brand exists,” he says. “We lead or co-lead almost all investment rounds to ensure the Founder is focused on scaling their business. These two companies are ripe for expansion, and we’re excited to partner with them to support that growth.”
Sethi says that S CAP’s approach to building authentic long-term and hands-on relationships with founders is rooted in its deep operational experience in Food & Beverage. “Our general partners are former Food & Beverage executives who have spent their careers building and leading F&B companies,” he says. “S CAP brings both skills and capital to accelerate performance for our portfolio companies.”
Bright Greens, based in Rockville, MD, was founded by Brian Mitchell, who was looking for a way to solve the problem of incorporating enough fruits and vegetables in a daily diet. “Having a family often means deciding between what’s really healthy, and what’s really convenient. I wanted to create an option for myself and my own family that gave us the nutrition we needed and fit into our busy lives,” says Mitchell. “Bright Greens can help everyone trying to find that balance.”
Bright Greens offers four blends of frozen “smoothie cubes” made from fruits, vegetables, and other super foods that can be made into a smoothie in just a few seconds by adding hot water in a shaker bottle – no blender needed. The Bright Greens frozen smoothie cubes are available in Bright Blueberry, Mintergreen, Peaches & Green, and Pineapolis flavors.
“What we appreciate about Bright Greens is its use of real fruits and vegetables instead of heavily processed powders that lack the nutrition of whole plants,” says S CAP General Partner Jim Cali. “They flash freeze their smoothies immediately after blending for better nutrition. Finally, there’s the great convenience of no food waste or cleaning of kitchen equipment associated with traditional smoothie preparation from fresh or even frozen fruit.
“The smoothie market is $4 billion and growing in the U.S. and projected to hit $17 billion globally by 2024, so this is a market ripe for disruption and innovation,” he says. “We’re pleased that eighteen94 capital, Kellogg Company’s venture capital fund, has invested and is partnering with Bright Greens too. We all believe Bright Greens has great potential to become an amazing company!”
Currently available in many Whole Foods Markets and other natural food stores, Bright Greens expects to expand distribution across multiple retail channels over the next few months. Learn more about Bright Greens by visiting www.brightgreens.com.
S CAP’s second investment is Canadian-based Libre Naturals, manufacturer of allergen-free foods: granola bars, protein bars, unbaked granolas, and oatmeal cups.
Founder Alana Elliot was frustrated by her inability to find acceptable, tasty snack foods while managing her family’s six life-threatening food allergies. “Never underestimate the power of a mom on a mission,” she says. “Libre Naturals products are manufactured in our own facility and are free from the top 10 food allergens as well as gluten free. We deliver delicious cereal and snacks that allergen sensitive consumers can trust. We are especially excited about our new protein bars that use 100% plant protein and have no soy or dairy protein.”
S CAP General Partner Andrew Towle says Libre Naturals is poised to meet the expanding market for snack foods geared towards allergen sensitive consumers. “Allergen sensitivity affects 8% of children – equating to 5.6 million households – and 11% of adults, one-third of whom are allergic to more than one food type,” he says.
“In addition, 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 and Libre Naturals is in a great position to deliver the tasty, allergen-free snacks that consumers are demanding.”
Libre Naturals is focusing its marketing efforts on schools, universities, and families that have allergen sensitive members. “If you have one allergen sensitive kid in your family, in your classroom or on your team, you must buy allergen-free snacks for the whole group,” says Elliott. “Most schools and universities purchase snack foods with allergen sensitivity in mind and commit to full allergen free snack foods to ensure no risk of reaction from any of their students.”
Available now on line at www.LibreNaturals.com, on Amazon, and select retailers in Canada and the U.S., Libre Naturals expects to expand its distribution across new retail channels over the next few months.
About S CAP
S CAP is a NY-based impact investor focused on investing in Food & Beverage and Clean Tech companies at the late Seed and Series A stages. We work with a diverse set of value-added investors including strategics, high net-worth individuals, family offices, corporates, and institutional limited partners located worldwide. We enable our investors to invest in the fund and/or co-invest with our fund all the way to exit. This provides our investors with access to select strategic investment opportunities and continued financial support for our portfolio companies.
We are committed to accelerating companies that are positively impacting our world with healthier, all-natural, environment friendly, and high-integrity products. Our goal is to achieve sustainability for entrepreneurs while accomplishing maximum ROI for our investors. Visit S CAP at www.scap.nyc.
For S CAP – Kunal Sethi
For Bright Greens – Jim Cali
For Libre Naturals – Andrew Towle