Seed Investment Round Attracts Strategic Partners
For Immediate Release
(April 16, 2020, Saint John, NB) Millennia TEA has closed a seed round that bolsters their ability to meet growing demand for their category-creating tea.
The delicate-tasting tea is packed with powerful health benefits thanks to its first-in-category flash-freezing technology that preserves 5x the antioxidants found in dry leaf teas – nutritional properties lost through the traditional drying processes around tea.
“Today’s health conscious consumer has embraced ‘food as medicine’ and is looking for ways to optimize the nutritional value of their everyday pleasures like a simple cup of tea,” says Shelley King, CEO of Natural Products Canada, a key investor and strategic adviser to Millennia TEA.
NPC and a group of private investors experienced in food service and retail were joined by SOSV, an international venture capital firm that is also home to Food-X, considered the world’s leading food and beverage accelerator. Millennia TEA participated in the prestigious three-month intensive program in New York City in 2019, generating pivotal North American contacts and invaluable guidance on growth forecasting, sales and operations.
Investors and advisers have been attracted to Millennia TEA’s innovation and growth potential in the $3B North American specialty tea market. The company has been keeping up with its steadily growing customer base since it launched in 2018, and has strategically scaled production and international sourcing to accommodate its growth throughout the frozen section of specialty grocery stores and health food stores across Canada. They plan to use the funds to expand their market presence in Canada and to begin exporting to interested customers in the United States and Europe.
“We’ve been fortunate to have strategic advisers from the beverage and wellness industries on board from the start,” says Tracy Bell, co-founder of Millennia TEA. “Their insight and connections have helped us accelerate quickly and take advantage of the booming interest in functional beverages and personal nutrition.”
Shelley King says the strength of the advisers around the company, and the purpose-driven nature of the entrepreneurs factored heavily in NPC’s decision to invest.
“Millennia TEA has a category-changing product that ticks all the boxes for today’s consumer,” says King. “The innovation and quality of the product, their commitment to sustainable sourcing and socially-responsible practices, plus their ability to attract and implement strategic advice make them a very exciting company to watch.”
Says Bell, “We’re a company born out of a health scare. We believe tea – in its purest form – is a perfect partner in promoting clarity, focus, energy and overall well-being. This is why we spent years developing a way to share the freshest and most antioxidant-rich version of tea. Our vision is for a world where tea is enjoyed together in a powerful, healing way as it was a millennia ago.”
Tracy Bell, CEO and Co-founder
About Millennia TEA Incorporated
At Millennia TEA we wash and flash-freeze fresh-picked tea leaves (instead of cooking them) to deliver a cup of tea that has as many antioxidants as 5 cups of green tea and none of the bitterness. Founded in 2016, after a health scare in the family, we offer the world’s first washed, whole-food tea. Named “best new product” at the largest specialty tea show in the world (World Tea Expo), we source organically-grown, hand-picked tea from regions and growing conditions that yield max antioxidants and selectively partner with farmers who care about their harvesters and the planet. Headquartered in Saint John, NB, we are on a mission to fuel wellness with the freshest and most antioxidant-rich tea anywhere, and to establish the global category of fresh-leaf tea. Visit Millennia TEA
About Natural Products Canada
Natural Products Canada (NPC) is the driving force behind Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster – a strategic community of SMEs, research institutes, corporations, investors, government departments, and service providers who support the development and commercialization of naturally-derived products and technologies in health and life sciences, natural resources, agriculture and agri-food, and sustainable bioproducts. As part of its role in the Cluster, NPC offers a suite of Commercialization Programs to help companies and researchers advance high-potential products and technologies; provides connection and innovation scouting services to industry and investors through its Innovation Hub; and leverages its Investment Fund to help develop and de-risk promising Canadian opportunities. NPC has over 600 opportunities in its pipeline, has completed 10 investments, and has already experienced two exits. Established in 2016, NPC is funded by a range of public and private investors, including the Government of Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research (CECR) program, administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence. Visit Natural Products Canada
Founded in 2014, based in New York and twice recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in the food category, Food-X is the first and most active food innovation accelerator in the world. With a mission to scale change throughout the food system, the accelerator empowers early stage food tech companies across the supply chain, from agtech through direct-to-consumer brands, to bring their products and services to market at speed. Food-X is powered by SOSV, a global venture capital fund with $625 million in assets under management and a staff of more than 110 people operating world-class vertical accelerator programs. For more, please visit Food-X.