Friday, 9 September 2022

Croatian-Slovenian Foodtech Startup Attracts Large Investment

September the 9th, 2022 - One Croatian-Slovenian foodtech startup has attracted an impressive investment and is likely to have its image boosted beyond what the creators ever though possible.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, a winning combination of incredible youthful energy, a tried-and-tested product that quickly conquers the health food market with "know-how" and a financial injection from a venture capital fund - that's the story of Juicefast, a new investment of the Feelsgood fund worth half a million euros.

The Juicefast brand, which will be launched at the beginning of October, is a newly founded Croatian-Slovenian foodtech startup that will unite the current brand and the Healthy Meals pilot project of young entrepreneurs David and Marko Dravinec.

This Croatian-Slovenian foodtech startup and its accompanying entrepreneurial story started back in 2018 from the confines of the small neighbourhood fruit shop Mali vrt (Little garden) where the idea of ​​freshly squeezed 100 percent natural apple juice for detoxification and fasting was first born, 22-year-old David explained.

On the wings of conquering the lucrative (and very rapidly growing) healthy food market, which was also affected by the coronavirus pandemic, given that the spread of the virus emphasised the importance of a good diet and general healthcare, their income growth was rapid: in 2020 it amounted to 1.5 million kuna, then it grew to 2.8 million kuna, and the last figure they reported reached a massive 6.5 million kuna. Juicefast is a neat play on words which alludes to the speed and simplicity of the process.

"We were amazed at how much people liked simple juice. Now we understand that there's a reason in this simplicity. Each of our juices is made with 1.5 kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables. We all know we should eat it, we know it's good for us, we know we'll feel better, but...sometimes we just don't feel like it," he says with a giggle.

"And then, if you can be bothered, you've got to prepare your juices.... Buy the groceries, prepare them, then you've got to clean the juicer after using it, all of which takes time. It's easier to jump down to the bakery and buy it all already done for you. The hectic pace of modern life imposes some other priorities on us, and we often put our health on the back burner. These are problems that we've manage to solve, and we've provided both simplicity and practicality,'' he added.

The range of detox juices offered by this Croatian-Slovenian foodtech startup is made exclusively from fruits and vegetables from domestic family farms, except for exotic species for which Croatia is simply not a natural climate.

The juicing is carried out in a 500-square-metre hall in Laduc using slow-juicing devices that retain nutritional the fruit's values, especially vitamins. Detoxification has become extremely popular in the last few years with a combination of intermittent fasting that gives the body a "break" from constant food intake. The entrepreneurial duo has as such successfully found their niche with a range of juices that are not pasteurised, have no preservatives or additives, but are processed with high hydrostatic pressure.

Feelsgood, the only Croatian venture capital fund that requires a positive social impact from its investments in both Croatia and Slovenia, has invested 500,000 euros in the project, recognising the synergistic effect of the production of juices and healthy meals, sustainable agriculture and cooperation with local producers.

The investment injection, on top of the 250,000 euros from other investors, will be used for the growth and development of the company here in Croatia, as well as to provide the spring in the startup's step for their move to the markets of Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Italy and Hungary. The glittering USA is also on their radar.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Zagreb BiteMe Nutrition Gets Significant Investment from Feelsgood

March the 24th, 2022 - The Zagreb BiteMe Nutrition startup has received a very welcome and significant investment amounting to 2.25 million kuna from the Croatian Feelsgood venture capital fund.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Feelsgood, the very first Croatian venture capital fund to invest with social impact, has signed an investment agreement with the Zagreb BiteMe Nutrition startup, which specialises in the production of raw energy bioplates and biscuits/cookies made from exclusively organically grown ingredients which are all gluten-free and without any additives or sugars.

It is an investment worth a massive 300,000 euros or over 2.25 million kuna that will help the Zagreb BiteMe Nutrition startup to make their 100 percent natural products available to athletes, recreationists and people who like to nurture a healthy lifestyle across even more outlets and markets.

A positive impact on society is one of the basic criteria that Feelsgood is guided by when choosing a company in which to invest. The co-founders and employees of BiteMe Nutrition have developed a category of healthy snack products which boast some truly outstanding nutritional properties and ingredients, and in less than two years, they have made inroads with them here on the Croatian market and on as many as seven international markets.

The Zagreb BiteMe Nutrition startup's array of healthy products encourage healthier consumer nutrition and are the work of certified producers of organic products who care for nature conservation. It is an entirely Croatian startup, a member of the Zagreb Innovation Centre (ZICER), and consists of former professional athletes, recreationists and experienced food technologists and entrepreneurs.

"We understood this significant investment as a recognition of the results we've achieved so far, but also as an incentive to continue to build a story that wants to encourage changes in the eating habits of active people - and globally. We believe that a dynamic lifestyle requires a quality diet every day, even when we aren't able to have a complete meal because we might be at work, training or travelling. This is where our BiteMe products find their perfect purpose. However, raising awareness of the importance of high quality standards in the human diet and natural gluten-free foods is only part of our purpose, a broader understanding of the connection with the environment also plays an important role,'' said Edo Mujkic, co-founder and CEO of the Zagreb BiteMe Nutrition startup.

The main mission of the Croatian Feelsgood Fund is to invest in young and promising companies across Croatia and in neighbouring Slovenia whose business brings positive change in society by meeting at least one global goal of the UN for sustainable development. The fund has been fully developed right here Croatia, and all investment capital of approximately 30 million euros is located within the borders of this country.

The Slovenian family company Medex was the first investor in the Zagreb BiteMe Nutrition startup, which contributed to the strong presence of its products under the BiteMe brand (Raw Bar and Lava Cookies) in that neighbouring market. In addition to the neighbouring nations of Croatia and Slovenia, they can currently be found on shelves in other European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Greece and Estonia. When looking much further afield, they're also present in Hong Kong.

For more, check out our business section.