Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, a Farm Credit System-backed fund, has invested $3.7 million in organic quinoa-based baby food and toddler snacks company NurturMe.
Its mandate is to invest anywhere along the food and agribusiness value chain and the fund has marked out organic agriculture as an investment theme, along with vertical farming and food waste reduction. Last year ACAP led a co-investment into organic herb business Shenandoah Growers, but this is the first time it has invested in baby food.
“A greater focus on nutrition is driving a boom in the baby foods market as parents look to start early to influence babies’ food habits,” said Tyler Mayoras, principal at Advantage Capital in a statement.
He said that the company, launched in 2014, has doubled its sales over the last two years, because of its innovative approach in making quinoa-based and ancient grain-based, gluten-free baby food. Financing will be used to expand sales and NurturMe’s gluten-free products, according to a release.
Texas-based NurturMe has plans to sell at 5,000 retail locations by the end of 2016, including national chains like BabiesRUs.
ACAP closed on $154.5 million in October 2014 with commitments from nine US farm lenders and $4.5 million from ACAP parent-company Advantage Capital Partners.
The Farm Credit can invest through in Rural Business Investment Company-approved funds, like ACAP.
Other ACAP-portfolio companies includes crop-residue business Pacific Ag, irrigation tech company Hortau and cage free egg company Iowa Cage-Free.