Hayward and San Francisco, CA, October 11, 2002—CreAgri, Inc., a nutraceutical company focused on the discovery and development of antioxidant polyphenols from the pulp of olives, today announced that it has raised $8.3 million in its first round of venture financing. The Series A round was led by Burrill & Company, a San Francisco-based life sciences merchant bank, and included POSCO BioVentures, DSM Venturing BV, Foragen Technologies Management, LP, and Aurora Equity, LLC. “CreAgri typifies what we are looking for in a nutraceuticals investment,” explained G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company. “The company’s products are backed by sound scientific evidence to prove their efficacy. This kind of solid reassurance is what health-minded consumers are seeking from their dietary supplements and functional foods,” he noted.
Dr. Roberto Crea, Chairman, Chief Scientist and Founder of the company commented, “I am very pleased by the successful completion of this financing for CreAgri, Inc. The superb quality of the investors and their strong connection with the nutraceutical and functional food industry are major components for the future growth of the company,” he said. “This financing will provide CreAgri with both the financial resources and potential corporate relationships to develop a range of scientifically driven applications for its antioxidant-based products for various industries worldwide.”
Added Roger Wyse, Ph.D. and Managing Director of Burrill & Company’s Nutraceuticals business, “The Burrill Nutraceuticals Capital Fund invested in CreAgri because Dr. Crea, both a successful entrepreneur and distinguished scientist, had discovered one of the strongest antioxidants in nature which is also known to be the key contributor of the health benefits derived from the Mediterranean diet,” he explained. “CreAgri’s product comes from the pulp of depitted organic olives in an elegantly simple manner and the emerging scientific evidence for the importance of antioxidants in many health conditions combine to make this an exciting new company.”
DSM Venturing B.V.’s Paul Hamm, Director of DSM Venturing and Business Development, commented, “By investing in CreAgri and cooperating with this innovative company, DSM expects to accelerate innovations in the nutraceuticals arena. We expect this affiliation to foster win-win-win business situations for CreAgri, DSM Venturing, and DSM Food Specialties.” Hamm added, “DSM Venturing’s mission is to explore emerging markets and technologies in order to enhance DSM’s portfolio and create value often on behalf of or in cooperation with the DSM Business Groups.”
Leo Kim, President and CEO of POSCO BioVentures, also noted, “We are pleased to be an investor in CreAgri, an exciting nutraceutical company with novel antioxidant products. It is unusual to find a young quality company with products backed by good science.”
CreAgri, Inc. is a four year old nutraceutical company which was founded to pursue the use of proprietary technology to redefine practices in the olive oil industry. The company has focused on the recovery of the water by-product produced during the olive oil extraction as a unique source of natural antioxidants (polyphenols). In the past two years the company has received three U.S. patents on its proprietary process and composition. CreAgri is committed to a high scientific standard to drive the applications of its antioxidant products in the dietary supplement (Olivenol™) and in the ingredient market (Hidrox™). CreAgri’s headquarters are in Hayward, California.
Burrill & Company
Burrill & Company is a life sciences merchant bank focused exclusively on companies involved in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, human healthcare and related medical technologies, agricultural technologies, nutraceuticals, and biomaterials/bioprocesses. The Burrill family of venture capital funds, with well over $350 million under management, includes the Burrill Biotechnology Capital Fund, the Burrill Diagnostics Fund, the Burrill Agbio Capital Fund and its successor—the Burrill Agbio Capital Fund II, the Burrill Nutraceuticals Capital Fund, the Burrill Biomaterials/Bioprocess Capital Fund and the Burrill Life Science Capital Fund.
Burrill & Company assists life science companies to identify, negotiate and close strategic partnerships and has completed more than 20 strategic partnerships with a value in excess of $1 billion. In addition, Burrill & Company’s BioStreetTM, an internet-based life sciences transaction service, enhances deal making by offering a broad range of services designed to streamline and facilitate deals.
POSCO BioVentures is a biotechnology venture fund based in Carlsbad, California.
POSAM is POSCO BioVentures limited partner and is the US subsidiary of POSCO, one of the world’s largest steel producers. POSCO BioVentures invests in all stages of private biotechnology companies.
DSM is a highly integrated international group of companies that is active worldwide in the field of life science products, performance materials, polymers and industrial chemicals. The group has annual sales of EUR 8.1 billion and employs about 22,000 people (year-end 2000) at more than 200 sites worldwide. By 2005, DSM aims to rank among the world’s leading players in the field of specialties characterized by a high added value, strong growth and more stable profit levels, with group sales of EUR 10 billion. At least 80% of this should be generated by specialties in which DSM holds a global leadership position.
Foragen Technologies Management
Foragen Technologies Management Inc. is the managing partner of a $42 million Canadian investment fund established in 1998 to promote advanced agricultural technology venture creation. Foragen provides seed capital, technology management advice and networking opportunities. The investors in Foragen Technologies Limited Partnership (the investment fund) are RBC Technology Ventures Inc., SGF Soquia Inc.,
(A subsidiary of Société Générale de Financement du Québec), and Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan-all of whom have a wealth of financial expertise and knowledge of life science investments (www.foragen.com).
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