The Forage Capital Ag & Food Business Solutions Fund is a $100MM growth equity fund that invests along the entire agriculture and food industry value chain. The fund focuses on companies that have suffered a significant disruption to their business model.
Forage’s experienced investors have spent the last 20 years investing in:
The Forage team can work with management to stabilize their business and set new growth priorities that capitalize on the innovative opportunities that will emerge as the Canadian economy recovers and prospers.
MOTHER RAW RAISES $6.1 MILLION IN SERIES A FUNDING
TO ENCOURAGE EVERYONE EVERYWHERE TO EAT MORE PLANTS
Canadian Plant-Based Brand of Condiments Partners with Investors to Accelerate Growth Across North America
TORONTO (November 24, 2020) - Mother Raw, the line of fresh, consciously crafted and delicious plant-powered dressings, marinades, dips, condiments and quesos, announced today the closing of their $6.1M USD Series A financing round. The round of funding is led by new investor Forage Capital Partners, alongside Export Development Canada (EDC) and with substantial support from existing investor Whitecap Venture Partners. The new capital will help further propel rapid growth of Mother Raw across North America, well timed with the massive growth in the plant-based foods sector and booming consumer demand. The brand plans to expand its distribution footprint, increase R&D efforts for new product innovation, and amplify marketing and sales initiatives.
Building on the initial Canadian-based start-up and following a significant rebranding and reformulation effort led by Mother Raw CEO Kristi Knowles, the brand has achieved impressive market presence and is now in approximately 3,700+ stores across North America. Sales for Mother Raw have grown 247% from 2019 – 2020 and they have secured over 1,600 new retailers in the U.S. including Meijer, Pavilions, Sprouts, Target, Walmart Canada, Whole Foods and more, even during the pandemic. Since the initial launch of Mother Raw in early 2019, the brand’s growth is rooted in their commitment to organic plant-based ingredients, the agility of self-manufacturing, prominent placement in the growing refrigerated segment, delicious product variety and an accomplished and tenacious team.
Despite the obvious business duress of 2020, Mother Raw flexed their scrappy start-up muscles, rising up to navigate challenges ranging from manufacturing continuity, cancelled consumer and trade events, retailer disruptions and changes to shelf reset timing. The added funding further enables the brand to continue to advance its mission to “Put Good on GoodTM” by encouraging everyone everywhere to eat more plants, while elevating the plant-based eating category to new heights with their delicious, versatile and convenient offerings.
“The Mother Raw team remains steadfast in our focus to delight our consumers, retailers and suppliers as we advance our mission and business to make consciously crafted plant-based foods that deliver on taste,” said Mother Raw CEO Kristi Knowles. “Now with added partners on board, Mother Raw is excited about the future ahead with investment partners who wholeheartedly believe in our mission, are a strategic fit and possess expertise and knowledge to complement our business. I’m confident our combined efforts and timely boost to the business will bring even greater success.”
“We were thoroughly impressed by the depth and accomplishments of the Mother Raw management team and their plans for the future, even more so during this very challenging time for most businesses,” said Jim Taylor, Partner at Forage Capital Partners. “We’re delighted to invest in Mother Raw during a critical time in the company’s development and are looking forward to being a part of their continued success.”
"Mother Raw's impressive growth is attributed to its focus on innovation and quality products that meet the demand of a growing industry," said Carl Burlock, Executive Vice-President and Chief Business Officer at EDC. "We are pleased to support Mother Raw through EDC's investment Matching Program which will enable the company to increase investment in business development and innovation efforts, helping it execute on its ambitious growth plans across North America."
The first investors behind Mother Raw, Whitecap Venture Partners, who have supported its growth since inception, have once again invested and are looking forward to what the future holds. “The team at Mother Raw is building a leading plant- based food brand and we are proud to continue our partnership with the company,” said Russell Samuels, Partner at Whitecap Venture Partners. “Having watched the business develop since 2016, we have never been more excited about the opportunity. We are excited to welcome both Forage and EDC to the Mother Raw team.”
For more information on Mother Raw, please visit www.motherraw.com or @MotherRaw on social.
About Mother Raw
Mother Raw is on a mission to encourage everyone, everywhere to eat more plants. With a philosophy to Put Good on Good™ because what goes on your plants and veggies should be as healthy as your plants and veggies! Inspired and made by nature, not in a lab, Mother Raw offers an impressive variety of 20 delicious, refrigerated dressings, marinades, dips, condiments and quesos to help make eating more plants more tasty, convenient and versatile. Always non-GMO, plant- powered and sold in 100% recyclable glass containers, Mother Raw products are proudly free of the top common allergens - such as dairy, (nuts) gluten and soy. For more information about Mother Raw, please visit www.motherraw.com or @MotherRaw on social.
About Forage Capital Partners
Forage Capital Partners is Canada’s most experienced team of Ag & Food investors, having managed over $500 million in commitments to the industry over the last 18 years. Forage Capital Ag & Food Business Solutions Fund works to provide its portfolio companies with the stability and flexibility they need to expand and their business models during these challenging times. The fund will invest with creative business owners that are looking to capitalize on new and innovative opportunities that will emerge in the coming months and years as the Canadian economy recovers and prospers. For more information on Forage Capital Partners, visit www.foragecapitalpartners.com
About Export Development Canada
Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies of all sizes succeed on the world stage. As international risk experts, they equip Canadian companies with the tools they need – the trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and connections – to grow their business with confidence. Underlying all support is a commitment to sustainable and responsible business. To help Canadian businesses facing extreme financial challenges brought on by the global response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has expanded EDC’s domestic capabilities until December 31, 2021. This broader mandate will enable EDC to expand its support to companies focused domestically. For more information visit www.edc.ca
About Whitecap Venture Partners
Whitecap Venture Partners is a Toronto based early stage venture capital fund investing in high growth companies across three verticals: Information and Communications Technology (ICT), MedTech and Food/FoodTech. Its team of operators and investment professionals partner with entrepreneurs in verticals where they have deep domain expertise and can bring significant operational and strategic value to companies. Additional information is available at www.whitecapvp.com.
Regina, Saskatchewan, May 19, 2020 – Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has launched a $100-million venture capital fund to support proven, viable companies through unexpected business disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched in partnership with Forage Capital Inc. – a Calgary-based venture capital firm – the Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund is set up to provide companies with the stability and flexibility they need to rebuild their business models during challenging times. FCC is the sole investor in the fund, which will primarily offer convertible debt investments, as well as other flexible financing solutions. (Convertible debt investments give companies the flexibility of paying down debt or providing the investor with equity in the business.)
Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO, said the need for this type of venture capital fund is especially evident in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the need will exist beyond the current crisis as companies can experience business disruptions for various reasons.
“This strategic investment is another way FCC is supporting growth and innovation in the only industry we serve – especially at this time,” Hoffort said. “As a commercial Crown corporation, we serve as catalyst for private investment in Canada’s agriculture and food industry and we are here for the long haul, through all business cycles.”
In addition, FCC also recently invested more than $50 million into three new venture capital funds and provided funding to an innovation and growth accelerator to support various parts of Canada’s agriculture and food industry.
These recent investments include:
InvestEco Sustainable Food Fund – is a $100-million fund to invest in expansion-stage private companies with the goal of promoting health and sustainability in the food and agricultural sector. The fund manager offers expertise in sustainable agriculture and food production and believes these activities are important to environmental and health outcomes. InvestEco has previously invested in many leading food and agriculture brands across North America. FCC’s commitment to this fund is $20 million.
District Ventures Fund – is a $100-million fund that focuses solely on investing in companies operating in the food and beverage sector, health, wellness and beauty consumer goods categories. In addition to capital, District Ventures Capital provides recipient companies with marketing, programming and commercialization support. FCC’s commitment to this fund is $20 million.
Ag Capital Canada Fund – is a $24-million fund aimed at discovering, developing and nurturing Canadian agricultural businesses through capital investment and entrepreneurial expertise. The focus is on established businesses in need of growth capital and business management mentorship. FCC’s commitment is $12 million, which represents 50 per cent of the fund.
Bioenterprise – is a non-profit corporation established in 2000 to provide accelerator, mentorship and support services for entrepreneurs and innovative companies in Canada’s agribusiness and agri-food sector. Through its network of regional offices, Bioenterprise provides hands-on mentorship for innovative entrepreneurs and start-up companies. FCC committed $1.35 million in program support to facilitate expansion of Bioenterprises’ services to underserved areas across Canada.
“Our investments focus on promoting innovation and sustainability within Canada’s agriculture and food industry, supporting start-up to growth stage businesses, as well as filling the gaps in financing for underserved parts of our industry,” Hoffort said. “This is another way FCC can support entrepreneurs and promote innovation and success in this exciting and dynamic industry.”
FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $38 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and food. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and food industries. As a self-sustaining Crown corporation, we provide an appropriate return to our shareholder, and reinvest our profits back into the industries and communities we serve. Visit fcc.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and on Twitter @FCCagriculture.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Farm Credit Canada