Food Venture Financing News - Weekly Issue No. 31
In This Issue:
- Potential PPP Extension
- PPP Forgiveness
- Help Finding a "Finder?"
- Food Venture Financing Trends
- CPG Corporate Venture and Private Equity Investment Funds News
- Links to Relevant Content and Events
Potential PPP Extension
- Senate Majority Leader McConnell scheduled two votes this week to extend, and allocate additional funding to, the PPP program.
- It is unclear whether the votes – which are similar to a failed GOP bill in September – can pass the GOP-majority Senate without Democratic support.
- These votes were scheduled against the backdrop of a Tuesday deadline set by Speaker Pelosi for an agreement between the Trump Administration and House Democrats on a broad stimulus bill.
- As a reminder, the SBA has announced that it has begun processing PPP forgiveness applications.
- The SBA also recently released a new streamlined application for borrowers with PPP loans of $50,000, which exempts those borrowers from any penalties in forgiveness based on reductions in headcount and/or wages.
Help Finding a "Finder?"
- The SEC proposed a new safe harbor last week for those who engage "finders" in helping raise capital. The SEC's Public Statement is here.
- A "finder" can help businesses navigate capital raises by making critical introductions to investors.
- Depending on specific facts, however, the finder may be deemed to be an unregistered broker/dealer, which can have serious legal consequences for the business and its capital raise.
- It remains to be seen if the safe harbor will be adopted (and what it will ultimately look like), but the SEC's moves are a positive development in response to the capital crunch many food and beverage businesses are experiencing.
Food Venture Financing Trends
- Kroger announced that it will add more than 50 new products to its plant-based product line, Simple Truth Plant Based, highlighting the food industry’s new focus on the plant-based-protein sector.
- Indoor farming and sustainability initiatives continue to accelerate. Driscoll's and Plenty Unlimited Inc. announced a joint partnership that will grow Driscoll's strawberries in vertical indoor farms on a yearlong basis.
- HSR filings for M&A transactions increased significantly last month, signaling a renewed pipeline of M&A transactional activity.
CPG Corporate Venture and Private Equity Investment Funds News
Our featured CPG corporate venture investment fund this week is Chicago-based Arbor Investments.
- Arbor Investments recently raised $1.67 billion in two new funds for investments in the food and beverage industry.
- Arbor Investments V LP raised $1.5 billion in investor commitments, and Arbor Investments' new mezzanine debt fund, Arbor Debt Opportunities Fund II, LP, secured $168 million in capital commitments.
- The firm targets investments in food and beverage brands, as well as businesses that serve the sector, including packaging and distribution companies.
- Arbor takes controlling stakes in mid-market companies, typically investing $100 million to $280 million in portfolio companies.
Links to Relevant Content and Events
- Plenty Secures $140 Million in its Series D Financing Round: The Round led by Softbank Vision Fund 1 and Includes World Berry Leader Driscoll's
- Six Megatrends Shaping the Food Industry
- Food and Beverage Investor Raises $1.65 Billion in Latest Funding Round
- Oxygen-Infused Water Brand Raises $15 Million
- Fermentation Sees Foodtech Investors Bubbling Up in 2020
- With $68m in Fresh Funding, Revol Greens Plans to Build the World’s Largest Indoor Farm
- Pontifax AgTech Closes Latest Fund at $302 Million
- LIVEKINDLY Raises $135 Million to Expand Its Alt-Protein Operations in the U.S.
- Kroger's Simple Truth® Brand Expands Plant Based Collection with Launch of Emerge™ Chick'n and 50+ New Items
- Rabobank Unveils 45 Food & Ag Startups That Will Participate in FoodBytes! Pitch
Naturally Bay Area QUICK BITES Lunchtime Series
Know Your Roots! Building a Purpose-Driven Organization
Thursday, October 22nd, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. PT
What does a pro soccer team know about building a mission-driven business? A lot! The Oakland Roots Sports Club has established a winning team and a passionate fanbase while keeping purpose and community initiatives at the core of their mission and work.
Join us in our talk with their leadership team, including their Chief Purpose Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chair Of Their Board, and more ... They'll provide tips and a guide to how they've created a great team and goodwill that is propelling this homegrown phenomenon to new heights!
- Members of the Oakland Roots Sports Club Leadership Team
- Pete Brennan: Host, Naturally Bay Area & Co-Founder, Soñar Foods
Naturally Bay Area QUICK BITES Lunchtime Series
Finding Growth Given Continuing Behavioral Shifts From COVID
Wednesday, October 28th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm P.T.
- Jessica Malach: VP Partnerships & Insights at Social Nature
- Christie Lee: Founder of Nourishing Food Marketing
- Jennifer Berliner: Moderator, Naturally Bay Area & Head of Go To Market, Planet FWD
Please check out DWT's newly re-launched Startup Law Blog
At DWT, we are proud to have one of the largest Food & Beverage legal practices in the country, with over 40 attorneys representing food innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors at every level of the food chain, from Farm to Label.
Please contact our Food and Beverage team if we can assist you in any way in these unprecedented times.
The facts, laws, and regulations regarding COVID-19 are developing rapidly. Since the date of publication, there may be new or additional information not referenced in this advisory. Please consult with your legal counsel for guidance.
DWT will continue to provide up-to-date insights and virtual events regarding COVID-19 concerns. Our most recent insights, as well as information about recorded and upcoming virtual events, are available at www.dwt.com/COVID-19.