Sweden: Gullspång creates subsidiary to invest in sustainable food companies

Gullspång Re:food enters the market closing deals in Sweden and the US
Peter Odemark, managing partner at Gullspång Re:food. Photo as seen on the company website

Gullspång, the family office investment firm based in Stockholm and known in the market for its long-term investment philosophy, has established Gullspång Re:food, a subsidiary to carry on investments in companies improving the global food system.

The company has invested in five food and food-related companies to date, including Swedish companies Oatly, low-sugar snacks brand Nick’s, and food waste reduction e-commerce platform Matsmart. Israeli data analytics company Tastewise, and Texas-based Qualitas Health are its first international portfolio companies.

Matsmart and Qualitas Health are the latest investments, which the company announced this month.

Qualitas Health, doing business as iwi, announced today that Gullspång Re:food joined its Series A funding round, which the company announced in January. Sources closes to the company told NutritionInvestor the round close at $12.5 million.

Qualitas also reported that Spanish ingredients company Grupo Indukern joined its Series A by a strategic partnership, as the company gears up for launching a new algae-based protein next year.

Details of the agreements have not been disclosed, but Qualitas said the new alliance gives iwi access to investors’ advanced facilities and teams, along with their expertise.

“We are delighted that Grupo Indukern and Gullspång Re:food are joining the Qualitas enterprise and participated in our investment round,” said Miguel Calatayud, chief executive of Qualitas Health. “Both companies bring decades of experience and deep knowledge of our markets to Qualitas and will be key participants in our growing success.”

Calatayud is bullish about accelerating its growth through the development of innovative, algae-centred products and increase its footprint in the plant-based market.

“Qualitas has a great story to tell,” said Gullspång Re:food managing partner Peter Odemark. “Its algae are cultivated in impressive pond systems built on nonarable land in the desert, place minimal footprint on the natural ecosystem, harnessing natural sun-power for energy and utilizing saltwater, while creating jobs in rural communities. We share the same values and vision for creating a better future, better nutrition and protecting the planet.”

New protein

Qualitas Health is gearing up for launching a new protein and product line sourced from Nannochloropsis algae next year.

Qualitas Health is producing high absorption polar lipid EPA omega-3 from algae

The new protein is said to provide the full complement of essential amino acids and vital nutrients. Qualitas Health claims the ingredient has more total essential amino acids than egg and whey, considered gold standards in protein.

Qualitas Health explained the iwi product range is a highly bioavailable plant-based protein that is soluble in water and is very mild in terms of texture, flavour and aroma.

The company is targeting personalised nutrition, high-performance sport nutrition products, and adult nutrition for protein deficiencies as the main markets for this sustainable, marine-source algae protein.

Food waste reduction

Gullspång Re:food also announced this month its investment in food waste reduction company Matsmart. Founded seven years ago in Sweden, the company tackles food waste by sourcing food products that are about to expire or have the wrong labelling to sell at rock-bottom prices, generally at a 50%-90% discount.

Matsmart, which operates as Motatos in Denmark, is on NutritionInvestor‘s list of start-ups with unicorn potential.