Food and nutrition company Qualitas Health has secured $10 million in venture funds, as it looks to globally expand its plant-based protein and omega-3 business.
The first close of its new investment round came during a company valuation of $73 million. It was led by food tech investor PeakBridge, together with Arancia Group, Minrav and private investors.
In order to bring sustainable nutritious food solutions to the growing population, Qualitas Health cultivates the algae Nannochrolopsis in pond systems built on non-arable land in deserts of New Mexico and Texas.
Using its cultivated algae, the company produces what it claims to be proprietary, clinically proven, high-absorption omega-3. Qualitas Health markets its omega-3 product under the iwi brand as supplements in the form of soft gels and functional gummies, via a direct-to-consumer platform and more than 5,000 US outlets.
Qualitas Health pools
With the capital, the US start-up plans to expand its algae-derived product offering into alternative protein and is looking to commercialise it by 2022. The funds will also be used to support its research and support its expansion into new markets.
“This investment will be instrumental to accelerating growth in 2021 as iwi advances to the industrial pilot stage of our unique plant-based protein, start the regulatory process, and conduct additional clinical studies,” said Miguel Calatayud, CEO of Qualitas Health.
He added: “We are fortunate to have such prominent partners join us in our journey and we are grateful to our existing and new shareholders for their commitment and ongoing support. iwi experienced significant growth in 2020 with online sales, and strong sales growth is forecast to continue in 2021.”
Nadav Berger, co-founder and managing partner of PeakBridge, said: “Qualitas ticks all the boxes for meeting our investment criteria. It has strong intellectual property, proven scaling capabilities, and tremendous sustainability impact — all of which give iwi a unique edge within the plant-based nutrition industry.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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