BetterBrand, a foodtech company known for creating “The Better Bagel,” closed on $6 million of Series A capital at a pre-money valuation of $170 million.
The company, citing Crunchbase data, also touts that the raise puts founder Aimee Yang among just 150 solo female founders to raise a Series A over $5 million from institutional investors and to achieve that valuation.
“The valuation reflects a combination of our growth, product differentiation, innovative technology and large-scale market potential,” Yang told TechCrunch via email. “There is a tremendous $10-plus trillion market that is largely untapped, for us to be able to dominate. With the results we have achieved at an unprecedented scale and speed, our vision to design the future of food is already being actualized — at this point, our biggest challenge is a race against the clock. We want to get there as quickly as possible to build the brand, and deliver on consumer demand.”
Founded in 2021, BetterBrand’s proprietary “grain-changing” technology combines non-GMO and clean label ingredients to create a line of better-for-you baked goods. For example, the company has created the traditionally carb-heavy bagel into “the net carb equivalent of two banana slices,” with “The Better Bagel” featuring 250% more protein, 90% fewer carbs and no added sugar.
In the past two years, the company has created new bagel flavors, most recently launching “The Pretzel” and “The Sesame.” Other flavors include “The Classic,” “The Everything,” “The Cinnamon,” and “The Chocolate Chip.” BetterBrand is also getting into new categories, and Yang expects to triple the SKU count by the end of this year with the launch of 16 new products.
The products have caught on with consumers. First starting as a direct-to-consumer, the products can now be found in over 1,000 stores in the United States, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Fresh Market, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms.
Between 2021 and 2022, the company saw over 800% growth and in late 2022, Yang said BetterBrand “drove more than $1 million in gross sales at Whole Foods Market alone during our first five months on shelves.”
The company is on track to see a similar increase between 2022 and 2023, which is why Yang said it was a good opportunity to go after additional funding.
“Investors can see our results,” Yang said. “Our velocities on shelf have organically outperformed our best case estimates. Product market fit had been proven, and the foundation had been laid out, so it was a good time to start adding fuel to drive additional innovation and distribution.”
The Series A gives the company nearly $10 million in total venture-backed funding to date. Verso Capital led the new round and was joined by existing investors, including Gaingels Fund, Seven Seven Six, Craft Lane and a group of individual investors, including Cruise founder and CEO Kyle Vogt, Chris Hollod and Jeff and Glenne Azoff. Existing investors Sean Thomas, of the Wendy’s family, and actors Patrick Schwarzenegger and Emmy Rossum, were part of BetterBrand’s earlier fund raises in 2021.
Meanwhile, the company is focused on growth, so the funds will be used to expand into new markets across North America and Europe and on continued innovation and product development poised to begin rolling out in coming months, Yang said.
Investors are also eager to see what’s next. Kyle Vogt said in a written statement that, “Aimee Yang is an incredible entrepreneur and a solid operator. Her company offers life-changing, clean, functional products for those who previously felt they had to give up some of their favorite foods to fit their nutritional needs. It’s an exciting journey to be a part of.”