Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, a $155 million USDA-licensed Rural Business Investment Company, has lead a $3 million investment into Vintage Italia, the fund’s first snack food investment.
Silas Capital, an investor in early-stage consumer businesses, and Emil Capital Partners, whose food and drink portfolio companies include Cheribundi and organic chocolate maker Nibmore, also invested.
The funding will help the business, which sells ‘pasta chips’ accelerate growth and sell new products through retailers including Walmart, Costco and Safeway.
The ACAP fund is a partnership between Advantage Capital and nine farm credit organisations including the Farm Credit Bank of Texas, and AgriBank. The vehicle focuses on low-waste, environmentally friendly farming and food production, and has already made several health and organic food investments, committing $3.7 million to organic quinoa-based baby food and toddler snacks company NurturMe, as well as $2 million to organic packaged poultry producer Hip Chick Farms this summer.
Although not a health or organic-focused food company, ACAP stressed that the investment in Vintage Italia, a maker of pasta-based snacks, targets food in the “better-for-you” category.
“Since its introduction to the market in 2013, Pasta Chips has been setting a new standard for products in the better-for-you snack aisle,” said ACAP principal Tyler Mayoras. “Vintage Italia is changing the snack brand marketplace and proving that baked chips can be regionally inspired, healthful and tasty.”
ACAP’s portfolio also includes Iowa Cage-Free, American Botanicals and precision irrigation company Hortau, for which it led a $10 million raise earlier this year. ACAP closed on $154.5 million in October 2014 and has a five-year investment period.