Danone backs AccelFoods Fund II

The commitment to the food start-up fund marks the third investment made by Danone's newly-established venture capital unit.

Less than a year since its launch by the French yogurt company, Danone Manifesto Ventures has added a third company to its portfolio by investing in AccelFoods, a New York-based firm that describes itself as a ‘start-up fund for start-ups’ in the food and beverage sector.

“We reopened the fund to bring in capital from several new limited partners, including Danone Manifesto Ventures, growing the aggregate capital for AccelFoods Fund II from $20 million to $35 million,” a spokesman for AccelFoods told Agri Investor. He declined to comment on the specific amount committed.

“We are excited to enter into this partnership with AccelFoods, which shares our vision for investing in disruptive early-stage companies and collaborating with them to reach their full potential,” Danone Manifesto Ventures’ managing director Laurent Marcel told Agri Investor in an e-mailed response.

“We value the passion and energy of the AccelFoods team as well as the portfolio, network and reputation they have built in the early-stage CPG [consumer packaged goods] space in such a short period,” he added.

Founded in 2013 by Jordan Gaspar and Lauren Jupiter, AccelFoods has to date backed 28 companies with a diverse product range – from aloe water to snack bars containing cricket protein to chocolate-covered almonds. The firm invests in innovative early-stage food and beverage companies with revenues ranging from launch to $10 million. “Our investments range from $250,000 up to $3 million,” the spokesperson said.

Danone Manifesto Ventures’ mission, according to a separate statement, is to support the development of innovative companies with high growth potential that share Danone’s vision of nutrition. The venture capital unit will provide financial and operational support, giving the businesses it invests in access to Danone’s experienced teams.

In turn, Danone will be able to build on new ideas and practices from younger companies to promote healthier, more sustainable eating practices, the company said in a statement.

Danone Manifesto Ventures’ other portfolio companies include: Michel et Augustin, a French company that designs and markets a premium range of biscuits, dairy products, fresh desserts and beverages; and Farmer’s Fridge, a salad vending machine company based in Chicago.