Entering the middle of Pride Month, LGBTQA+ led CPG businesses continue to gain traction among consumers and investors with companies, including BeePublic and Explorer Cold Brew, closing their latest rounds. I gathered some key headlines from the past week to highlight the overall industry progress towards inclusivity, and exclusive deals I’ve heard on the street:
- Explorer Cold Brew, the specialty coffee company founded by Cason Crane, announces its first capital raise of $1.5 million, which will support the company’s initiative to become the go-to option for cold coffee at home by fueling the growth of its highly popular e-commerce offering, funding further product innovation, and reaching a wider set of national customers. Fun fact: Crane was the first openly LGBT person to scale the Seven Summits (the highest mountain on each continent), bringing the pride flag to the summit of Mt. Everest in 2013.
- GT’s Living Foods‘ founder and CEO GT Dave, has announced the Synergy Scholarship on behalf of a new, non-profit entity, the GT Dave Foundation. The Synergy Scholarship fund is a $250,000 commitment awarded to LGBTQ+ youth pursuing entrepreneurial careers. The announcement of the Synergy Scholarship comes as part of a larger summer 2021 initiative, CommUNITY
celebrating three key pillars: uplifting diverse peoples, preservation of the planet, and accessibility to nutritious foods.
- Cannabis-infused social tonic brand Cann has been named by Paper Magazine as “Thee Summer Drink”, and its founder Luke Anderson said their duty has always been inclusive in their marketing in an effort to help legitimize the LGBTQ+ community within the cannabis industry.
- LGBT entrepreneur-founded coffee shop BeePublic that aims to build a socially responsible food supply chain has closed a funding round. More detailed info to come!
- Love Good Fats‘ founder Suzie Yorke announces continued partnership with Rainbow Railroad, a registered charity that helps LGBTQIA+ people escape persecution and violence, and the company has raised $50,000 to support the organization so far.
- Daily Harvest, backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners and VMG Partners, is reportedly planning for an IPO after reaching $200m in sales. The company has raised $43 million in total funding to date.
- Canaccord Genuity Group has acquired a portion of plant-based technology company The Very Good Food Company for $15 million, which the latter will use to fund the commencement of operations at its production facility in California, accretive acquisitions within the plant-based food sector, U.S. eCommerce and wholesale expansion efforts, International eCommerce launches and for general corporate purposes.
- Løs Sundays, the fast-growing, and award-winning, premium tequila brand, has closed a $3.5 million Series A funding round led by CircleUp Growth Partners, joining earlier investments from Ketch Ventures and Room9. CircleUp’s Karen Howland believes Løs Sundays’ edgy marketing resonates with the younger female demographic which is often overlooked by mainstream tequila brands, and they will continue to invest in companies “that are disrupting large and stale categories”.
- Upcycled food trend continues to gain momentum with RIND Snacks closing $6.1 million led by Starbucks-backed Valor Siren Ventures, with follow-on investment from Melitas Ventures. Other players in the category that recently went through successfully fundraise include The Ugly Co. and Renewal Mill.
- All Market Inc., the owner of Vita Coca is planning to go public in Q3 that could value the company at more than $2billion after investors rushed to back Oatly’s initial public offering, according to Bloomberg.
- Israeli plant-based nutrition company Equinom that leverages a novel approach to improve seeds and deliver high-quality source ingredients, has raised $20 million in Series C Funding led by Phoenix, with participation from Fortissimo, BASF Venture Capital, Trendlines and Maverick. With the new injection of funds from investors, Equinom will continue to expand its operations in sales, marketing, research and development across the globe.
- Cambridge Companies SPG-backed LifeAid Beverage has closed its latest round. More detailed info to come, please stay tuned!