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Ancient Nutrition Receives $103M

       
NASHVILLE, TN, Ancient Nutrition announces today its $103 million strategic minority investment.
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Ancient Nutrition, the breakthrough pioneer in Bone Broth Protein supplementation that delivers the benefits of homemade bone broth in a convenient, easy-to-mix form, announces today its $103 million strategic minority investment from VMG Partners, Hillhouse Capital, ICONIQ Capital, and over 100 members of a co-investor network. The backing from this esteemed group of industry leaders, influencers, and individual investors is a testament to the future of Ancient Nutrition's movement towards providing history's healthiest, real food nutrients to the modern world. This announcement marks the brand's first investment, which is poised to elevate the current team's resources and company growth.

Ancient Nutrition was co-founded in 2016 by Jordan Rubin and Dr. Josh Axe. Rubin also founded Garden of Life (recently acquired by Nestlé) and is the New York Times best-selling author of "The Maker's Diet." Dr. Axe is also the founder of DrAxe.com, the #1 natural health website in the world with over 17 million unique visitors per month, and Axe Wellness, #35 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list. Ancient Nutrition believes the human body was built for high performance and that in the modern world consumers are often disconnected from the traditions and nutritional principles that were honored and celebrated throughout history.

Ancient Nutrition has quickly become the #2 ranking protein supplement and meal replacement brand in the natural health channel, as defined by SPINS, through its groundbreaking line of Bone Broth Protein, Multi Collagen Protein, Essential Oils, and Keto products. Ancient Nutrition is driving key paleo, collagen, and grass-fed supplement trends across all channels. The company is also one of the fastest growing brands in protein, collagen, and gut health with a 266 percent growth CAGR from 2013-2017, and is the largest dollar growth contributor to the category, contributing $10 million, which represents in excess of 40 percent of the total category growth.

"Our mission at Ancient Nutrition is to deliver real food and nutritional products that are formulated to provide ancient nutrients in a modern, convenient form," said Dr. Josh Axe, Co-Founder of Ancient Nutrition. "The resulting products fuel the body and mind, restoring us to the health, strength, and vitality of our ancestors by delivering wholesome, clean ingredients."

Ancient Nutrition's strategic, minority investment is led by VMG Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in investing in and building iconic branded consumer product companies within the food, beverage, pet food, personal care, and wellness categories, including KIND, Quest, Vega, and more.

"VMG Partners is thrilled to partner with Jordan, Dr. Axe, and the phenomenal team they have built to deliver on a shared vision for the future of real food nutrition led by Ancient Nutrition," said Jon Marshall, Vice President at VMG Partners. "The brand resonates so strongly with consumers who are actively seeking food that powers, as well as heals our bodies and overall well-being, and we are honored to be involved in the brand's continued growth and success."

"We are completely blown away by the caliber of the Ancient Pioneers co-investor network and the expertise and enthusiasm that this group brings to the table," said Wayne Wu, Managing Director and Partner at VMG Partners. "At VMG, we are passionate about building community and driving thought leadership in the emerging brand space. This truly remarkable group of more than 100 incredible individual co-investors joining together to support Ancient Nutrition is a testament to this community we are building that supports entrepreneurs and the emerging brand ecosystem as a whole."

Hillhouse Capital, a global firm and e-commerce thought leader throughout Asia focused on building and investing in successful brands, contributed significantly to this investment.

"We are excited to partner with Ancient Nutrition and are impressed by the vision of the co-founders," said Lei Zhang, Founder of Hillhouse Capital. "We believe Ancient Nutrition will have great potential in Asia and look forward to working with the company to grow its business."

Alongside VMG, Hillhouse Capital, ICONIQ Capital, and more than 100 individual investors form the co-investor network. This impressive network offers Ancient Nutrition's current team the ability to accelerate growth and offers the unprecedented support of elite food and beverage founders, CEOs, investors, influencers, and industry professionals.

"The investment team cumulatively offers such rich and diverse expertise within the industry and we feel honored that they want to play a part in the next chapter of Ancient Nutrition," said Jordan Rubin, Co-Founder of Ancient Nutrition. "We are so excited to partner with the best of the best to truly create the most impactful wellness brand in history."

"The Ancient Pioneers network brings together industry veterans and leaders to support Ancient Nutrition and the brand's exponential growth," said John Foraker, Former CEO of Annie's Homegrown, Co-Founder and CEO of Once Upon a Farm. "I am proud to be involved and am excited to see what the next chapter holds for Ancient Nutrition as the brand continues to develop and expand."

"Ancient Nutrition's products deliver ancient nutrients to a modern world," said Gary Hirshberg, Co-Founder and Chairman of Stonyfield Farm. "I am thrilled to support Ancient Nutrition as they bring their mission of real food nutrition to more people."

"Our bodies were designed and intended for high performance and thus require proper food to power this performance," said Jillian Michaels, Personal Trainer, Fitness Expert, and Founder of Empowered Media. "People are increasingly recognizing the need for real food nutrition to nourish their bodies and this is what I envision for the future of the food landscape. I am so excited to see brands like Ancient Nutrition paving the way towards convenient, nutritionally rich foods that refresh and fuel our bodies."

Ancient Nutrition products contain ingredients that are GMO-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, and nut-free. Key products are available at Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, specialty retailers nationwide, and available online, shipping directly to consumers. The brand will exhibit at Natural Products Expo West on March 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center, located at 800 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802, where attendees will be able to sample the full product roster at booth #4575. For more details on the trade show, please visit www.expowest.com. For more information about Ancient Nutrition, please visit www.ancientnutrition.com.

About Ancient Nutrition:

At Ancient Nutrition, we believe the human body was built for high performance. In the modern world, we are disconnected from the traditions and nutritional principles that were honored and celebrated throughout history. Our real food nutritional products are designed to provide Ancient Nutrients in a modern, convenient form to power the body and mind, restoring us to the health, strength, and vitality of our ancestors. For more information, please visit www.ancientnutrition.com.

About Jordan Rubin:

Jordan Rubin, Co-Founder and CEO of Ancient Nutrition, is the founder and former CEO of Garden of Life and the New York Times best-selling author of "The Maker's Diet" and 25 additional titles, including "Planet Heal Thyself" and "Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine." Jordan owns and operates the nearly 4,000-acre Beyond Organic Ranch and Heal The Planet Farm, a regenerative Permaculture Retreat.

About Dr. Axe:

Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, Co-Founder of Ancient Nutrition, is a doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist, chiropractic physician, and author with a passion to help people achieve radiant health. He is the best-selling author of "Eat Dirt" and "Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine," and he operates one of the world's largest natural health websites, visited by more than 17 million people every month looking for healthy recipes, herbal remedies, nutrition and fitness advice, and information on essential oils and natural supplements. Dr. Axe is an expert in functional medicine, digestive health, and herbal remedies. For more information, please visit www.draxe.com.

About VMG Partners:

VMG Partners is focused solely on partnering with entrepreneurs and managers to support the growth and strategic development of branded consumer products companies in the lower middle market. Since its inception in 2005, VMG has provided financial resources and strategic guidance to drive growth and value creation in more than 25 companies. VMG's defined set of target investment categories includes food, beverage, personal care, pet products, and wellness. Representative past and present partner companies include babyganics®, Daily Harvest, Drunk Elephant, Justin's, KIND Healthy Snacks, Lantana Foods, Natural Balance, Nature's Bakery, Perfect Bar, Pirate's Booty, Pretzel Crisps®, Quest, Spindrift, Stone Brewing, Sun Bum, and Vega. VMG Partners is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information about the fund, please visit www.vmgpartners.com.

About Hillhouse Capital:

Founded in 2005, Hillhouse Capital is a global firm of investment professionals and operating executives who are focused on building and investing in high quality business franchises that achieve sustainable growth. Independent proprietary research and industry expertise, in conjunction with world-class operating and management capabilities, are key to Hillhouse Capital's investment approach. Hillhouse Capital partners with exceptional entrepreneurs and management teams to create value, often with a focus on enacting innovation and technological transformation. Hillhouse Capital invests in the healthcare, consumer, TMT, advanced manufacturing, financials, and business services sectors in companies across all equity stages, with a particular focus on Asia. Hillhouse Capital and its group members manage over US$35 billion in assets on behalf of institutional clients such as university endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth funds, and family offices. For more information, please visit www.hillhousecap.com.

About ICONIQ Capital:

ICONIQ Capital is a global multi-family office and merchant bank representing a group of influential families and strategic investors.

About Ancient Pioneers:

The co-investor group is formed of the below industry leaders, influencers, and professionals who are honoring the past and leading the future of health. For more information on the Ancient Pioneers, please visit www.ancientnutrition.com/ancient-pioneers.
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