LONDON — The wellness category is wooing consumers and investors alike, and Iris Ventures is the latest fund to put its money behind products aimed at enhancing the mind and body.
Iris, a growth equity fund targeting European and U.S. purpose-led, consumer-centric brands and tech-enabled solutions, has invested 5.5 million pounds in Biomel, a market-leading, plant-based gut health brand.
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Biomel, founded in 2017 by husband-and-wife team Steven Hegarty and Janett Lozano, produces a range of drinks, snack bars and powders at its innovation and manufacturing facility in west London.
Iris described the investment as strategic, and said it will position Biomel for an “unprecedented scale-up,” and help the company pursue its mission of making “good gut health delicious.”
The investor argued that Biomel created the plant-based gut health market with its series of dairy-free, cultured drinks with rich flavors including Belgian chocolate, vanilla and coconut. The formulas are meant to aid digestive and immune health.
According to Iris, Biomel’s operating profitability has been positive since the company’s second year in business, while organic revenue growth has been averaging more than 80 percent per year.
Iris added that Biomel has been expanding capacity at its west London innovation and production facility to meet soaring demand.
The brand sells through retailers in the U.K. including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Whole Foods Market. It has also been growing the distribution network through independent retailer chains and in international markets.
Montse Suarez, founder and managing partner of Iris Ventures, said the decision to back Biomel’s founders “aligns perfectly with our mandate to empower a new generation of extraordinary visionaries.”
She described Hegarty and Lozano as “clear trailblazers in the plant-based gut health category,” and said they have “a refreshing and contemporary brand proposition that