Natural Products Canada has invested in Chinova Bioworks, a Canadian company whose mushroom-based natural preservative has previously captured the interest of major food industry partners such as DSM Ventures, Rhapsody and AgFunder.
“Chinova has discovered a unique solution to create a clean label, natural preservative that meets the demands of industry and consumers,” says Shelley King, CEO of Natural Products Canada. “We are thrilled with the progress they’ve made since we started working with them 18 months ago, and we’re proud to participate in this investment round with DSM Ventures, AgFunder and Rhapsody.”
“There is a tremendous opportunity right now in Canadian technology and innovation. Canadian research institutions and the country’s longstanding agricultural focus have created an abundance of highly applicable innovations to the food/ingredient/processing industry. Chinova is a great example, meeting a big need for natural ‘clean label’ preservatives. But we’ve also just witnessed the acquisition of Mazza Innovation by Sensient Technologies. Mazza’s advanced botanicals extraction technology met a global need. The quality of these companies and their products and technology, coupled with the supportive national commercialization network is making a lot of people sit up and take notice of Canadian opportunities,” King tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
Chinova, based in Atlantic Canada, is focused on the development of natural preservatives using mushroom chitosan, a natural fiber whose antimicrobial properties are effective against a broad spectrum of microorganisms.
“We are pleased to have NPC as a part of this seed round,” says CEO, Natasha Dhayagude. “The valuable business, technical and financial assistance we’ve received from them has been instrumental to our early success in the market.”
Chinova’s technology, coupled with their ambitious plans for growth, made them an ideal client for NPC’s full range of services, including business and technical advisory services and connections to industry resources, according to Natural Products Canada.
“It’s been a pleasure to help Chinova navigate the ecosystem and grow their business to the point where it was able to attract such high caliber investors,” notes Stephen Ball, Regional Director for Natural Products Canada. “Their scientific acumen, desire to grow, and ability to attract and retain strategic industry mentors puts them in good standing for future growth.”
NPC started its investment fund in 2017 to help Canadian natural product companies achieve their full commercialization potential.
To date, it has made four investments and experienced one exit. Along with financial investment and business advice, NPC connects high-potential Canadian companies like Chinova to Canadian and international investors through personal introductions and strategic investor events and meetings.
Last month, FoodIngredientsFirst reported how Sensient is eyeing the newly acquired botanical extraction company Mazza Innovation as a strategic pillar for all of its business operations, including colors and flavors. Presented under the new name of “Sensient Natural Extraction” and continuing to operate out of Canada, the new business unit provides a clean extraction opportunity for Sensient Technologies Corp. The acquisition is expected to offer opportunities in sustainability, cost reduction and clean label, as the entire botanical being used can be broken down and distributed among the diverse companies that comprise Sensient.