Plant-based omega-3 pioneers, Qualitas Health, DBA iwi, announced it has secured $10 million in venture funds at a $73 million post-money valuation. The investment round is being led by world-class foodTech investor PeakBridge VC, Malta, together with Arancia Group, a privately owned Mexico-based food ingredient/food service conglomerate, Minrav (the company’s largest investor) and additional private investors. Additional convertible notes held by Minrav Holdings, Sasa, Trucent and other single investors are converted to equity.
The investment will accelerate customer acquisition, and commercialization of the company’s unique plant-based protein. The funds will also be used to deepen its strong clinical science and IP and accelerate its expansion into additional geographies.
iwi is a globally renowned producer of the highest absorption polar lipid EPA omega-3 marketed direct-to-consumer and to retailers in the US market. iwi disrupted the algae-farming paradigm by growing its distinctive microscopic algae in cultivation pond systems the size of football stadiums built on non-arable land in the pristine deserts of New Mexico and Texas.
Unique to iwi’s process is that it relies on saltwater, with the sun as the main source of energy and places zero strain on the natural ecosystem. This allows iwi to cleanly cultivate immense amounts of the ancient sea vegetable Nannochrolopsis. This algae is one of the few existing plants that contains all of the essential amino acids — the building blocks of proteins — plus vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and essential fatty acids, especially omega-3. The process reflects the company’s desire to bring sustainable nutritious food solutions to feed the growing global population.