Stephan Dolezalek, Wheatsheaf Group - Buying into Nuritas' health, nutrition and sustainability vision
But how does this commitment to re-shaping food production against a sustainable backdrop fit into those investing into this very modern vision and with it the potential risks and setbacks?
NutraIngredients spoke with Stephan Dolezalek, Executive Director of Grosvernor’s Wheatsheaf Group, one of the main investors that participated in Nuritas’ latest funding round.
Thanks for talking to NutraIngredients. Firstly, what was it about Nuritas that convinced you to invest in the Series B funding round?
“Wheatsheaf is an investor seeking ways to improve the sustainability, safety, and health of our food.
“Applying technologies like artificial intelligence to examine food and its co-products at the molecular level, working with nature, and being mindful of the implications of such technology is a critical new approach.
“Nuritas is leading the charge on this novel approach to creating functional foods, with applicable scientific and commercial progress executed by a world-class team.”
As an investor, does the discovery of novel peptides and making food healthier translate into financial backing considering the stop-start adoption of products made by meat alternative firms, for example?
“Absolutely. We're living in a world where the food industry needs continued investment and innovation.
“Nuritas is at the forefront of ingredient innovation. It comprises a talented team and world-class technology that offers unprecedented value to the future of our health and the planet.
“The Nuritas data-science-driven approach helps to identify ingredients for positive impact more quickly. Its analytical approach focuses on also avoiding some of the pitfalls that may exist with novel approaches.”
Are you able to comment on the potential of peptide discovery in the functional foods, supplements and cosmetics industry? Where do you see the area of most promise and market share?
“We believe that nutrition has a vital role to play in wellness and preventative approaches to human health.
“So, the potential of Nuritas to help reinforce food or add more functional benefits is significant.
“Nuritas solutions are derived from plants or natural food sources and are very versatile in their application.”
Likewise, what thoughts did you have around Nuritas' commitment to the environment and sustainability during the funding round?
“Sustainability is fundamental to the company's success and central to any investment we make.
“Nuritas' proprietary technology advances food safety and sustainability with the potential to create food products that are life-changing in their capabilities.
“This integration of science and technology will ultimately help the food industry become a healthier, safer, and more sustainable industry.”
Finally, with technology companies such as Nuritas positively disrupting large and growing markets, do you sense a preference for these firms amongst investors, particularly in an age where sustainability, the environment, and health are at the forefront of most consumer agendas?
“We are an investor that takes a long-term approach. A greater focus on ESG provides a range of opportunities to disrupt our food and agricultural systems through technology, which has created investor enthusiasm.
“We are focused on balancing that enthusiasm with a deeper understanding of the complex interrelationships in food, nutrition, and health.
“It was important that Nuritas is working on cutting-edge science and is also profoundly partnered with prominent incumbent players in the food and health industry.
“Nuritas' capabilities match Wheatsheaf's mission to re-shape how food is produced and consumed while benefiting the environment and human health.
“Finding businesses that can disrupt large and growing industries is the only way to have a meaningful impact on these challenges.”