At Mandi Ventures, a “miraculous” gumdrop to satisfy investment hunger
- June 18, 2022
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Entrepreneurs Antonio Moreira Salles and his partner Julio Benetti, managers of the venture capital fund Mandi Ventures, had already commented in interviews that they had made an investment in the French startup Les Miraculeux, which specializes in functional supplements. But the size of the check had never been disclosed.
For the French David Gueunoun, founder of the company, has just revealed the size of the round and the investors who entered the cap table of the startup that operates in a market that moves about 2 billion euros a year in France.
According to Gueunoun, the check for 5 million euros, in a round led by Mandi, was accompanied by other investors such as Hubert Patricot, former president of Coca Cola in Europe, and the French venture capital fund Aquasourca.
The investment reveals Mandi’s appetite for companies focused on agribusiness and food located outside Brazil. There are two investments in the country and abroad. Here, Mandi has allocated capital to Gaivota and Tarken. Abroad, the manager invests in Farmers Business Network and Les Miraculeux.
“We invest in them because the entrepreneur is very good, he has a lot of relationship in retail, the product is different and does not need refrigerated transport”, says Moreira Salles to the NeoFeed. Unlike supplement capsules, the company makes gummy bears that perform this function.
It is a different way of capturing consumers – a large part of which is made up of a young audience. This format also helps with distribution. Instead of selling only in pharmacies, the products are sold in markets and supermarkets.
In a country where one in two inhabitants consumes a supplement, it is a great advantage against traditional and more plastered players. The “Sleep”, “Beauty” and “Energy” gummies are distributed in 1,000 points of sale and Les Miraculeux has more than 100,000 customers.
With the funding, the company will invest, above all, in the online operation to reach a greater number of consumers. This supplement market has been going through a strong consolidation movement. Unilever has been making US acquisitions such as the SmartPants brand in 2020.
Late last year, Nestlé paid $5.75 billion for The Bountiful Company, one of the largest US supplement companies, which was owned by private equity giant KKR. “It is a rapidly expanding market in Europe and we have a more modern product”, says Moreira Salles.
Mandi’s investment reinforces the fund’s strategy of betting on startups that can play on the global stage. Moreira Salles himself has investments, as an individual, in foreign companies.
Before creating Mandi, in 2020, he invested money in companies such as Good Catch, plant-based; Provivi, of biological inputs; and Tropic Biosciences, for genetics in the banana market.