Probis partner i USA – NextFoods – har säkrat 16 miljoner US-dollar från riskkapitalister som ska stödja rikslanseringen i USA av fruktdrycken GoodBelly. Detta har i dag offentliggjorts i ett pressmeddelande. GoodBelly innehåller Probis probiotikastam Lp299v och säljs nu både som shot och i en större förpackning (quartergallon). Merparten av investeringen i NextFoods kommer från Maveron LLC, ett Seattle-baserat riskkapitalbolag med bland andra Howard Schultz, den välkände grundaren av och VDn för Starbucks.
”Detta kommer med stor sannolikhet att få avgörande betydelse för oss i USA. Investeringen visar att NextFoods är mycket nöjda med hur GoodBelly utvecklats på testmarknaden och att man har stor tillit till vår probiotika”, säger Michael Oredsson, VD för Probi.
I pressmeddelandet som har skickats ut av NextFoods beskrivs Probi som världsledande inom sitt område. NextFoods har ensamrätt att använda probiotikastammen Lp299v i fruktdrycker på den nordamerikanska marknaden. I pressmeddelandet poängterar NextFoods att företaget planerar att fortsätta arbeta med Probi för att ytterligare utveckla sin produktportfölj.
Pressmeddelandet från NextFoods kan läsas i sin helhet som bilaga till detta pressmeddelande.
NextFoods – Makers of GoodBelly™ Probiotic Fruit Drink – Announces Strategic Investment From Leading Venture Capital Firm Maveron LLC
Company prepares for mass market launch of fruit juice-based probiotic beverages with patented probiotic Lp299v
Boulder, CO, August 5, 2008 – NextFoods, the new functional food company formed by Organic and Natural Products industry pioneer Steve Demos (Founder and former President of WhiteWave, Inc., makers of Silk® soymilk) and seasoned industry and former WhiteWave veteran Todd Beckman, today announced a $16 million investment, led by Seattle-based venture capital firm Maveron LLC. Maveron, co-founded by Dan Levitan and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, is investing in NextFoods and its new GoodBelly™ brand of probiotic fruit drinks to enable the company to cement its leadership position in the fast growing probiotics market through a variety of consumer marketing programs designed to build awareness and drive increased sales and distribution. Various investors, highly experienced in the natural products industry, also participated.
GoodBelly is the first fruit-based, dairy-free probiotic product of its kind in the United States. Licensed from Probi AB, a Swedish biotech company and a leading player in the field of probiotic research and development of effective and well-documented probiotics, the patented and proprietary probiotic Lp299v has been clinically tested and proven for 15 years to improve overall digestive regularity and promote immunity. With exclusive North American rights to Lp299v, NextFoods plans on continuing to work with Probi to expand the offerings in its NextFoods portfolio.
GoodBelly is currently available in two product lines – GoodBelly Probiotic Fruit Drink and GoodBelly Multi – and is distributed nationwide at 1,500 stores, including Whole Foods Market and grocery chains such as HEB, Publix, Wegmans and Giant Eagle.
NextFoods was formed earlier this year with a mission of developing and marketing world-class, functional foods and products with scientifically proven nutritional benefits. Probiotics – which are ‘healthy bacteria’ that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestinal tract – are an $11 billion global product category and one of the hottest domestic food trends for 2008. Probi AB, patent-holder for the proprietary Lp299vprobiotic strain, is the dominant biotech company licensing unique and highly effective strains of these healthy bacteria to food and supplement manufacturers worldwide.
“Maveron’s stellar reputation and strong branding philosophy made them an ideal investment partner for us,” said Steve Demos, CEO and Founder of NextFoods. “It’s our vision to create a strong portfolio of world-class, “next generation” food and beverage brands that are nutritionally superior, appealing and also accessible to modern, health-conscious consumers everywhere. The advancement of human health and nutrition is our new frontier, and Maveron’s partnership with us will help make this vision a reality for the 40% of Americans with occasional or chronic digestive issues.”
“Maveron believes that the health benefits of probiotics will make them an ubiquitous consumer product domestically, and that Steve and Todd have the vision and execution ability to make NextFoods a market leader,” said Maveron LLC Co-Founder Dan Levitan. “We have seen the tremendous success which they created with the soymilk category and Silk® and believe that NextFoods has the opportunity to achieve even greater success in the probiotic category today.”
About NextFoods NextFoods is the new nutrition venture for Steve Demos, Natural Foods pioneer and the Founder and former President of WhiteWave Inc., and Todd Beckman, former Vice President of Business Development and Operations at WhiteWave, the largest producer and marketer of soy-based products (Silk® brand) in the United States. Based in Boulder, Colorado, NextFoods adheres to a mission which fosters the continuous improvement of human nutrition while demonstrating the values of “Right Livelihood” for responsible and conscious capitalism. The team at NextFoods is comprised of seasoned and passionate industry pros committed to developing a series of world-class, highly nutritious, functional, “next generation” foods while using sustainable, socially responsible organic practices whenever possible. GoodBelly™ Probiotic Fruit Drinks – the first brand in NextFoods’ portfolio – features GoodBelly, a quart-sized fruit drink line designed for modern, health-conscious families, and GoodBelly Multi, a line of single serving fruit drinks featuring concentrated probiotics, vital minerals and a 100 percent daily value of 9 essential vitamins. GoodBelly products are dairy-free, soy-free, wheat-free and vegan, and available nationwide at Whole Foods Market and select top-tier grocery chains across the country. To learn more about NextFoods and GoodBellyproducts,please visit us at www.goodbelly.com.
About Maveron Maveron is a leading venture capital firm based in Seattle, Washington. Dan Levitan and Howard Schultz founded Maveron in January 1998 with the goal of building a firm that would be recognized as the premier financial and strategic partner to leading consumer-based businesses.
Maveron’s mission is to partner with entrepreneurs in the creation of extraordinary companies in order to generate outstanding financial returns. Current representative Maveron investments include fast-growing consumer companies, such as Potbelly Sandwich Works, Pinkberry and KidZui and monetized investments, such as eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), Capella Education Company (NASDAQ:CPLA), Shutterfly (NASDAQ:SFLY), Cranium (acquired by Hasbro NASDAQ:HAS), Qsent (acquired by TransUnion), Quellos (acquired by Blackrock NASDAQ:BLK), Good Technology (acquired by Motorola NASDAQ:MOT) and lucy activewear (acquired by VF Corporation NASDAQ:VFC). Maveron has approximately $850 million under management and 23 active portfolio companies nationwide. Maveron invests up to approximately $20 million in our portfolio companies and look to partner with a small number of new companies each year. For more information about Maveron, visit www.maveron.com.
About Probi Probi is a leading player in probiotic research and development. The company’s research is carried out using living micro-organisms with scientifically proven health effects. The main research areas are: stomach and gastrointestinal tracts, immune defense, metabolic disorders as well as stress and recovery. Probi’s business concept is based on offering efficient and well-documented probiotic product concepts with comprehensive patent protection, which result in the possibility of considerably higher royalty levels than for the sector as a whole. Probi’s customers include leading companies in the functional foods and dietary supplements marketing areas. Since the middle of the 1990s, the Company has had continuous income from commercialized products. The global market for probiotic products shows a favorable underlying growth. New insight into the advantages of probiotics, an increasingly greater health interest and authorities’ increasing documentation demands and regulations are the primary trends that support Probi. Probi’s shares are listed on the Nordic Exchange. For further information, visit www.probi.com. ### Media Contacts:
Om Probi Probi är en ledande aktör inom probiotisk forskning och utveckling av effektiv och väldokumenterad probiotika. Forskningsområdena är: mage och tarm, immunförsvar, metabola syndromet samt stress och återhämtning. Probis kunder är ledande företag inom affärsområdena functional food och kosttillskott. Bolagets totala intäkter var 44,7 miljoner SEK 2007, varav merparten royaltyintäkter. Probis aktie är noterad på Stockholmsbörsen, den nordiska listan, Small Cap och har cirka 4 000 aktieägare. Läs mer på www.probi.se.