Israeli food tech startup Better Juice announced on Wednesday that the company raised $8 million in a seed funding round led by iAngels. Israeli and foreign investors also participated in the round. These included Maverick Ventures, Israel, Spain’s Food Tech Lab TFTL, The Kitchen Hub, as part of the Strauss Group, and Puerto Rico-based Semillero.
Founded in 2017, Better Juice developed a unique enzymatic technology that reduces the caloric and sugar content of all types of fruit juice while increasing the amount of fiber. The startup says the tech reduces up to 80 percent of all sugars in juice and is designed to target orange juice’s specific sugar composition to naturally create a low-calorie, reduced-sugar product.
The Better Juice process is non-fermentative and does not add or remove ingredients, Better Juice founder and CEO Dr. Eran Blachinsky explained to NoCamels in 2019. The specific enzymatic activity changes the molecular structure of monosaccharides (“simple sugars”) and disaccharides (double sugars or bivose). “One by one, the molecules are attached one to another turning into dietary fibers, which are healthy, as opposed to the original building linkages of sucrose,” he said in an interview at the time.
After launching a pilot plant earlier this year, Better Juice says it will use the investment to build a full-scale manufacturing plant in Israel to “serve the growing demand,” and expand the sales and marketing teams to support its commercialization stage. The company hopes the plant will increase production capacity by 40-fold and generate up to US$50 million sales annually. The company will use the funds to .
“We are excited to complete this investment round with the support of leading venture capital and CPG companies from around the globe,” said Dr. Blachinsky in a company statement. “This investment will enable us to accelerate our growth and expand into other product lines, such as ice cream, soft drinks, and jam.”
“We strongly believe in Better Juice’s outstanding technology to lead the sugar reduction revolution in natural juices,” said Mor Assia, CEO and founding partner of iAngels. “Better Juice’s know-how and technology is perfectly in-line with our portfolio and vision of future, advanced impact technologies. The company has created exceptional partnerships with leading beverage companies and is paving the way to better-for-you products.”
Amir Zaidman, VP of The Kitchen Hub, said he felt “lucky to be involved in this journey since day one.I am very impressed by the technological and commercial milestones achieved by Better Juice and the can-do attitude of its management. Over consumption of sugar is an enormous challenge for humanity. Better Juice is a key pillar in overcoming it.”