The deal marks the first US majority acquisition for Danone’s venture arm. California-based Harmless Harvest will continue to operate “with a level of autonomy that preserves its entrepreneurial culture”.
DMV previously led a $30 million funding round in the brand and will continue to provide Harmless Harvest with financial, strategic and operational support following this latest investment.
Founded in 2009, Harmless Harvest offers a range of organic coconut-based products, including coconut water, snack drinks and yogurt alternatives. The company expects to generate more than $100 million in sales in 2021, doubling its revenue from 2017.
Harmless Harvest is Fair for Life Certified and is said to be committed to sustainable agriculture through its Regenerative Coconuts Agriculture Project.
The acquisition of the Harmless Harvest stake is expected to support Danone’s efforts to accelerate the growth of its plant-based business, which the company hopes will reach €5 billion in global sales by 2025.
DMV also says that the transaction will provide Harmless Harvest with additional resources and operational capabilities to support its growth and sustainability initiatives.
“It has been a privilege to be part of the Harmless Harvest success story over the past few years, as the company has continued to grow, innovate and pioneer more responsible business practices,” said Laurent Marcel, CEO of Danone Manifesto Ventures.
“We are thrilled to further the partnership with a group of people who aim to be harmless to the planet and society and share our vision of a healthy and sustainable food system.”
Harmless Harvest co-founders and chairpersons, Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud, said: “DMV has played a critical role in Harmless Harvest’s success since 2017, not simply from a capital perspective, but most importantly in an outstanding operational and strategic capacity.
“We are thrilled to continue in our founder and board member roles to support this partnership and remain very confident in the future potential for Harmless Harvest.”
Harmless Harvest CEO, Ben Mand, added: “We appreciate the support and guidance we have received from DMV and Danone over the past few years and look forward to continuing to benefit from their expertise and resources as we join forces with our shared mission of driving a sustainable future.”