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03/15/2021

Alternative-Protein Sector Attracts Investors

Eat Beyond portfolio company Nabati raises $7.7M to expand its plant-based products
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Alternative-Protein Sector Attracts Investors
Nabati currently offers three plant-based product lines -- dairy-free cheesecakes, cheese alternatives and plant-based meats -- with plans to add more product lines.

As popularity of the ethical food market steadily rises, investment issuer Eat Beyond Global Holdings Inc.’s portfolio company Nabati Foods Global Inc. has closed an oversubscribed $7.7 million private placement — and has restructured with plans to go public.

Founded in 2014, Nabati is a family-owned food tech company based in Canada offering whole, natural, plant-based, gluten- and soy-free foods for health-conscious consumers.

It previously revealed its intentions to raise $4 million, but due to tremendous demand, has increased this to $7.7 million. The net proceeds will be used to fund Nabati's proposed go-public transaction, as well as for business development, working capital, plant expansion, and to purchase equipment to expand production capacity and develop new product lines.

"Once the financing was announced for Nabati, the company received thousands of inquiries from interested parties looking to invest," Eat Beyond CEO Patrick Morris said. "This new capital can help to catapult Nabati to the next level by enabling the company to expand its production capacity to meet the ever-growing demand for its products. Eat Beyond looks forward to working closely with Nabati to support their innovation, growth and expansion."

Nabati currently offers three plant-based product lines -- dairy-free cheesecakes, cheese alternatives and plant-based meats -- with plans to add more product lines. Its products are available in more than 300 stores across Canada and in 120-plus stores in the United States. The company has recently expanded its distribution channel mix to include e-commerce and industrial sales, complementing its grocery and foodservice channels.

Nabati said in January that it gained a listing for its first chain of supermarkets in the United States, Food Bazaar Supermarket, with the support of KeHE Distributors LLC. Naperville, Illinois-based KeHE serves more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty product retailers throughout North America.

“We launched our dairy-free cheesecakes in the U.S. earlier this year and signed on with KeHE Distributors in October, who has been an excellent partner supporting our growth and connecting us with retailers as we expand distribution throughout the U.S.,” said Ahmad Yehya, CEO of Edmonton, Alberta-based Nabati. “We are now moving forward with a project to expand our production capacity as well, in order to meet our growing order commitments throughout North America.”

Nabati also plans to enter the European market in 2022.

"Nabati has seen unprecedented growth over the past year, despite the uncertainty consumers are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic," added Yehya. "We designed our products and mix of distribution channels to be able to weather economic challenges, and we are now seeing the fruits of that labor."

Other companies in Eat Beyond’s portfolio include The Very Good Food Co., Eat Just Inc. and Good Natured Products Inc.

Last week, Eat Beyond said that Good Natured showed strong growth over the past several months. Good Natured offers nearly 400 earth-friendly, plant-based products free from chemicals of concern. Eat Beyond purchased a stake in Good Natured in November 2020 at 14 cents per share, with each share receiving one-half warrant at 21 cents. On March 4, Good Natured revealed gross proceeds of $23,115,000 from a short-form prospectus offering of common shares at an issue price of $1.20 per common share. This represents an increase in the value of Eat Beyond's stake in Good Natured of more than 800%.

Vancouve, British Columbia-based Eat Beyond Global Holdings Inc. is an investment issuer focused on the global plant-based and alternative-food sector. Eat Beyond identifies and makes equity investments in global companies that are developing and commercializing innovative food tech as well as plant-based and alternative-food products.