N! CK’S grabs $100M to create better-for-you snacks

N! CK’S, a Swedish food technology business, is conquering the globe one healthy ice cream pint at a time. On Thursday, the business announced a $100 million Series C round of fundraising to develop new healthy snacking and ice cream products using a unique combination of sweeteners and ingredients that have a tenth of the calories and no added sugar. Gullspang joined Kinnevik, Ambrosia, and Temasek in co-leading the round, according to Carlos Altschul, N! CK’s North American CEO, the business now has a total investment of $160 million.

Altschul, N! CK’S began in Europe in 2017 when founder and head of R&D Niclas Luthman’s mother identified as diabetes, and Luthman was classified as pre-diabetic. “He saw there wasn’t a lot of food science in the area delivering better-for-you solutions,” he continued. “He discovered that changing the food was easier than changing the way we eat.”

The firm manufactures ice cream, snack bars, and confectionary items across Europe. N! CK’S, on the other hand, is a snacking brand that Altschul describes as “a platform for transforming culture.” He went on to say that the company’s innovation and ingredients, which are all anchored in the company’s R&D, are what set it apart from its competitors.

Over the last two years, the firm has been quite busy. N! CK’S debuted in the United States with ice cream in late 2019 and now leads the category in velocity per store, according to him. Perfect Day’s patented animal-free dairy proteins and plant-based replacement fat are also introduced in a vegan dairy line.

According to Altschul, the company’s direct-to-consumer operation debuted in 2020 and has been at the top of the DTC ice cream delivery category since July. The firm debut a line of Keto protein bars this year, initially on its direct-to-consumer and Amazon platforms, with ambitions to expand into retail outlets by the end of the year.

N! CK’S grew from 4,500 to 6,700 locations in the United States between 2020 and 2021 and expanded in the United Kingdom through a relationship with WHSmith. Yamo receives €10.1 million in Series funding to provide healthier meal options for young children. The fresh cash will help the firm achieve its objective of tripling its store count in the United States and Europe, as well as recruiting more people, marketing, and investing in R&D to develop new items.

Magnus Jakobson, investment director at Kinnevik, has been investing in the food market for a few years and believes the business is appealing because of the numerous tailwinds of sustainability and health that are driving demand and the upstream ability to establish brands.

He thinks it’s “an exciting time,” and that the traction N! CK’S has had so far is “amazing,” especially since it started out on its own, and that strategy has now attracted additional food technology partners. “How people live and consume food is changing, which is allowing for the creation of new brands,” Jakobson added. “The sector was founded by companies like Oatly, beyond, and Impossible, but we’ve seen more breakthroughs in technology and new methods of reaching customers with solo brands.” N! CK’S is a really exciting one, and it’s already showing potential in the business.”