LOS ANGELES — Califia Farms®, a leading independently owned plant-based food and beverage company founded by natural product visionary Greg Steltenpohl, announces it has completed one of the largest private capital raisings within the natural foods sector, through a $225 million Series D financing led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Other investors in the financing include Singapore headquartered investment company Temasek, Canada based Claridge, Hong Kong based Green Monday Ventures, and a Latin America based family with significant interests in coffee and consumer products.
The new investor group will take a minority stake in Califia Farms, with representatives from QIA, Temasek, and Claridge joining the Board of Califia, alongside founder Greg Steltenpohl and existing investors Sun Pacific, Stripes and Ambrosia.
Demand for plant-based beverages is exploding worldwide as consumers seek healthier, great-tasting dairy alternatives. This latest funding round will help Califia Farms build on the success of its oat platform and launch other lines. Proceeds will also allow Califia to further invest in increased production capacity, substantial R&D, deeper U.S. penetration, and continued global expansion.
Inspired by the legendary Queen Califia, namesake of the state of California, Califia Farms was founded in 2010 and has become one of the fastest-growing natural food and beverage companies of scale in the U.S. and select international markets. Califia is on a mission to discover and share ‘what plants can do’ to help people transform their health and adopt a lower carbon ‘foodprint’1.
Califia is looking forward to working with a more global investor base, as the company continues to grow and fulfill its mission. “The more than $1 trillion global dairy and ready-to-drink coffee industry is ripe for continued disruption, with individuals all over the world seeking to transform their health & wellness through the adoption of minimally processed and nutrient rich foods that are better for both the planet and the animals,” said Greg Steltenpohl, Califia’s Founder and CEO. “Califia’s role is to help plant the future.”
“Speed to market is critical for companies at our stage and we are thrilled that our new partners share our vision to be the leading independent brand in the plant-based sector. Each of our partners brings significant resources and global expertise to accelerate our next stage of our growth,” he added.
Barclays acted as exclusive financial advisor and sole placement agent to Califia Farms on the capital raise, and Akin Gump served as legal counsel.
About Califia Farms (pronounced “Cal-ih-FEE-ah” like California)
Inspired by Queen Califia, the mythical namesake of the state of California, Los Angeles-based Califia Farms was founded in 2010 and has become one of the fastest-growing natural beverage companies in the U.S. Renowned for offering the best-tasting plant-based beverages on the market artfully packaged in unique curvy bottles, Califia is now a leading refrigerated Plant Milk, Dairy Free Creamer and Ready-to-Drink Coffee brand in the Natural and Specialty channels. Califia’s premium plant milk beverages make it easy for people to make delicious ‘plant powered’ choices that produce 60-80 percent fewer greenhouse gases than consuming cow’s milk2. Most recently Califia launched a breakthrough line of Oat Milks, Dairy Free Probiotic Yogurt drinks and Nitro Cold Brew coffees. Califia is on a mission to return food to its original nourishing purpose by applying creativity and innovation to make plant-based food and beverages that are both good for you and good-for-the-world.
About Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)
Qatar Investment Authority is the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar and is a major contributor to realizing the Qatar National Vision of 2030. QIA was founded in 2005 to strengthen the country’s economy by diversifying into new asset classes. Building on the heritage of Qatar investments dating back more than three decades, QIA’s growing portfolio of long-term investments help complement the State of Qatar’s wealth in natural resources. Headquartered in Doha, and with a subsidiary in New York (QIA Advisory), QIA is structured to operate at the very highest levels of global investing. As a world-class investor, QIA adheres to the strictest financial and commercial disciplines. QIA has a strong track record of investing in multiple asset classes, including listed securities, property, alternative assets and private equity in all the major markets globally. QIA seeks socially, economically, and environmentally responsible investments and looks beyond short-term returns, as QIA pursues balanced and sustainable growth to maximize long-term returns. For more information, please visit www.qia.qa
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)
Graeme Wilson / Harry Cameron
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Temasek is an investment company with a net portfolio value of S$313 billion (US$231 billion) as at 31 March 2019. Temasek’s Charter roles as an investor, institution and steward, shape its investment stance, ethos and philosophy, to do well, do right and do good. Its investment philosophy is anchored around four key themes – Transforming Economies, Growing Middle Income Populations, Deepening Comparative Advantages, Emerging Champions. Temasek actively seeks sustainable solutions to address present and future challenges, as it captures investment and other opportunities that help to bring about a better, smarter and more sustainable world. Headquartered in Singapore, Temasek has 11 offices around the world: Beijing, Hanoi, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore in Asia; and London, New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Mexico City, and Sao Paulo outside Asia.
Claridge is a Montreal-based family office that represents the interests of the Stephen Bronfman family, with a focus on maximizing long-term capital appreciation. Claridge is actively engaged in managing a diversified portfolio of investments in private companies as well as interests in third-party managed funds in a variety of industries across the globe. As a strategic financial investor, our direct equity participations span a range of industry sectors, including holdings in food, technology, entertainment, renewable energy, and real estate. Claridge focuses its investments in small and medium-sized businesses and contributes its expertise in partnership with management to accelerate growth.
About Green Monday Ventures (“GM”)
Green Monday is a multi-faceted social venture group that aims to tackle climate change, global food insecurity, public health and animal welfare issues. Founded on April 22nd, 2012 (Earth Day) in Hong Kong, GM has targeted to champion a sustainable food system by advocating a once-a-week plant-based meal philosophy. In doing so, the aim is to make sustainable living simple, widespread and actionable. Green Monday has developed a hybrid model that consists of a social branch and different venture branches. The social branch consists of Green Monday Foundation which runs education, public advocacy and other not-for-profit social campaigns.
About Sun Pacific
Sun Pacific® is the owner of America’s most preferred brand of mandarins, Cuties®, and the number one kiwi brand in North America, Mighties™. They are also one the largest navel orange and table grape growers in California, with the exceptional brands Vintage Sweets® and Air Chief®. For more information on Sun Pacific, please visit www.sunpacific.com.
Stripes is a leading growth equity firm that partners with founders who are building market-defining consumer and software companies globally. Stripes’ consumer practice invests in innovative brands that are rooted in great product. Stripes strives to serve its partners by delivering critical resources to create transformative companies. For more information on Stripes, please visit www.stripes.co.
About Ambrosia Investments
Ambrosia Investments is an investment group focused on providing growth capital for disruptive brands and businesses in the food, beverage and ingredients industries across multiple geographies including Europe, United States and Asia. Founded by Serge Schoen, a seasoned operating executive, Ambrosia looks to bring entrepreneurial experience and advice to its portfolio companies, while also maintaining a long-term perspective. For more information on Ambrosia Investments, please visit www.ambrosiainv.com.
2 Geyer, R. and Kendall, A. (2018) Cradle to Gate Life Cycle Assessment of Califia Almondmilk. Universities of California at Davis and Santa Barbara.