What if you could take a small pill each day packed full of vitamins and nutrients chosen specifically for your individual needs? That’s the premise of Nourished, which produces vegan, sugar-free snacks customised to individual customers. And it’s an idea that is capturing investors’ imagination: Melissa Snover, the entrepreneur who launched Nourished has just raised £2m of seed funding for the business, the largest seed funding round so far this year.
Snover is the founder of Rem3dy Health, the company that stands behind the Nourished brand. Launched less than a year ago, it is rapidly picking up customers attracted to its personalised health solutions – and a simple technology solution that depends on 3D printing.
The value proposition is deceptively simple. Nourished sells direct to consumers online, asking its customers to complete a short questionnaire setting out their lifestyle choices and goals. Based on their answers, the company selects the active ingredients best suited to the individual customer’s objective. These are then formulated into a gel that the customer takes each day – a chewable vitamin pill optimised for absorption. Produced on a 3D printer, customers receive a month’s worth of “nourishment snacks” in deliveries to their home.
Snover’s backers think the business is set for big things. The £2m of capital she’s picked up comes from venture capital firms HenkelX Ventures and Apater Capital, as well as a number of business angels.
“We believe that the innovation underpinning this product has significant potential to change the way the world thinks,” says Ricky DeLandro, senior managing partner at Apater Capital, who is clearly excited. “It deserves its place within the toolkit to accelerate the Fourth Industrial Revolution and unlock value. Full stop.”
Marius Swart, head of digital strategy and operations at HenkelX Ventures, is equally gushing. “We are excited to be part of this special seed investment round for Nourished and are looking forward to collaborating with Melissa and her team,” he says.
As for Snover herself, she believes the funding will enable the business to undergo a step change in its growth, outlining plans for new product development and international expansion. “Securing seed funding is no mean feat, but it’s a necessity for any entrepreneur or business owner looking to bring a brand or product to market,” she says. “With the monies raised, our goal is to optimise operational efficiencies, particularly in relation to production, develop exciting new product lines and ultimately expand the business internationally – starting with a USA launch later this year.”
Snover is also proud to have set a new record in the UK for the largest amount of seed investment raised by a female founder. Her £2m funding round comfortably eclipses the £1.2m raised by Vine Health last year, the previous record.
In that sense, the deal represents an important milestone in a funding climate where many female business founders are struggling to win venture capital support. The recently-published Rose Review, a Government-commissioned study into the gender gap in entrepreneurship, concluded that funding was the number one barrier holding female entrepreneurs back in the UK.
“It can be very difficult to navigate the venture capital and funding eco-system for anyone, but when you consider Rose Review, it’s clear that there are still some additional challenges to overcome to give equal opportunities across the board,” Snover adds. “I do, however, feel that we are starting to see a shift in attitudes towards investment in female-first businesses within the investment community and hope that the seed round raised by Rem3dy Group demonstrates that and acts as inspiration for others.”