New Food Tech Co Superlatus Agrees To Acquire Perfect Day’s The Urgent Company Brands for $1.25 Million
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A month after laying off 15% of its workforce, US precision fermentation pioneer Perfect Day has agreed to sell its consumer-facing subsidiary The Urgent Company – which includes brands Coolhaus, Brave Robot and its other subsidiaries – to US food tech firm Superlatus. The $1.25M deal includes The Urgent Company’s trademarks in the US, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and South Korea.
26 Aug Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that the acquisition is not final yet.
Perfect Day had previously announced its intention to sell all or part of The Urgent Company last month, with plans to fully exit all consumer-facing businesses by September, as it sought to refocus on its B2B operations. Now, it has agreed to sell The Urgent Company – the D2C brand it founded in 2020 – along with its consumer brands Coolhaus, Brave Robot (ice cream), Modern Kitchen (cream cheese), California Performance Co (protein powder) and Very Dairy (milk) for $1.25M, all of which feature Perfect Day’s animal-free whey protein made via precision fermentation.
Superlatus, which itself merged with Florida-based meditech company Trxade Health last month, says the acquisition will help the new entity accelerate the production of sustainable food products and more readily enter new regions and expand market share. The deal promises to amplify the US retail footprint of the acquired brands, currently sold in over 6,000 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods, Kroger and Costco.
Building a sustainable food portfolio
Perfect Day, which in 2021 was valued at $1.5B, launched Brave Robot in the US alongside The Urgent Company, selling alt-dairy ice cream made from its precision fermented whey protein. It went on to acquire trendy ice cream brand Coolhaus for an undisclosed amount in 2021, the same year it launched animal-free cream cheese brand Modern Kitchen and vegan whey protein powder brand California Performance Co (which has officially ceased trading). Last year, it launched Very Dairy, Asia’s first precision fermentation whey-based milk drink.
All these consumer-facing subsidiaries are part of The Urgent Company, whose acquisition would see Coolhaus founder Natasha Case remain in the company – as chief brand officer – and advise on Superlatus’ broader brand portfolio, which includes plant-based arm Sapientia. The latter filed four patents for a ‘protein curl’ and crispy puff snack.
“We are excited to welcome the Coolhaus, Brave Robot, Modern Kitchen and California Performance Co. brands to our portfolio of CPG assets,” said Superlatus interim CEO Tim Alford. “Together, our shared interest in the sustainable and equitable food sectors will, we believe, allow us to expand our market presence and pursue a number of new opportunities to grow our brands together.”
“In addition, once complete, this acquisition will help accelerate both companies’ environmental mission to transition our products to animal-free in the months and years ahead.”
A shift in priorities
Paul Kollesoff, co-founder and general manager of The Urgent Company, said: “Bringing together our companies’ social and climate missions is deeply meaningful to us. We believe the work we do now will determine if our children can continue to enjoy the food we eat and the planet we inhabit for years to come.
Kollesoff added: “This deal also directly speaks to the value The Urgent Company has created in the precision fermentation category and will help continue to satisfy the growing consumer appetite for these delicious, sustainable products.”
Perfect Day, which has raised over $711M in venture capital to date, confirmed last month that it “will not be investing any more time or resources into [consumer] brands”, and was looking “for places where we can be opportunistic in offering partner products” to retailers.
It represents a big shift in the crowded precision fermentation space – there are at least 136 companies working with this tech, as per industry think tank the Good Food Institute – with Perfect Day now doubling down on its B2B operations with its tech-focused offshoot Nth Bio. The brand has seen a number of high-profile collaborations, including products for Mars, Nestlé and General Mills.
“As you can imagine, the economic climate right now is different than it was even just two, three years ago,” a Perfect Day spokesperson told NOSH when they announced that the company would double down on B2B. “There’s just a different level of focus that investors are expecting with their capital. And for us, that has always been B2B. There’s not the luxury that there used to be to be able to expand and maximize opportunities in different adjacencies.”