Insider Briefing: Sweetgreen’s Unicorn Status, Pure Barre Gets Acquired, & More
Insider Briefings are designed for entrepreneurs, executives, and investors interested in boutique fitness, natural foods, fitness tech, and emerging wellness trends.
Here’s what you need to know today.
Billion dollar salad bowls
Salad-in-a-bowl standout Sweetgreen is said to be raising $200M from Fidelity Investments that would value the company at more than $1B.
In recent years, consumers seeking healthy, flavorful, and convenient meals have fueled the growth of healthy fast-casual restaurants. Although fast food mainstays like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell have time, carbs, and sugar on their side, healthy meal-in-a-bowl competitors are closing the gap. And fancy salad favorite Sweetgreen is leading the chase.
Looking ahead: Having already raised $128.6M in funding and with 90 restaurants open, the company is well-positioned to continue their growth. As they do, they’ll be relying on their app and online ordering. According to co-founder Jonathan Neman, the company’s online ordering revenue is increasing 80% year over year. What’s more, by the end of 2018, Sweetgreen expects their digital platform to total more than 1M people with 50% of orders being made online or in their app.
Delivering on the goal of bringing the highest-quality fitness brands together under one umbrella, Xponential Fitness announced its acquisition of Pure Barre — the largest barre franchise in the nation, with more than 517 studios throughout the US and Canada.
Why it matters: With the addition of Pure Barre, Xponential Fitness has solidified its place as the largest provider of boutique fitness in the world. All in, Xponential has now made seven acquisitions, with Pure Barre joining Club Pilates, CycleBar, StretchLab, Row House, AKT, and Yoga Six.
Behind the scenes: The Pure Barre acquisition came with backing from L Catterton, established player in private equity and investor in Pure Barre. This announcement also marks the first mention of Snapdragon Capital Partners. The company was founded by Mark Grabowski, who, as a member of TPG Partners, originally backed Anthony Geisler when he created Xponential Fitness. Now, the newly formed Snapdragon is listed as the owner of Xponential, in partnership with Anthony Geisler.
Initial Plant-based Offering
Over the past few years, big name investors have poured big bucks into plant-based meat alternatives. Now, given the news that Beyond Meat has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse to prepare for a public offering, the industry is preparing to take a massive step into the mainstream.
By the numbers:
• While meatless meats were thought to be a niche industry, consumer tastes have proven otherwise. According to Euromonitor, the nearly $30B processed meat industry grew by 2% last year, while the $1.4B meat alternatives industry grew by 22%.
• Whether it’s health concerns associated with eating meat or the environmental impact of animal agriculture, 40% of Americans are trying to eat more plant-based foods.
• Beyond Meat has sold 25M “Beyond Burgers” since 2016 and it’s currently available in more than 32,000 grocery stores, restaurants, and outlets.
• To date, Beyond Meat has raised $72M from investors including Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack & Suzy Welch, Kleiner Perkins, and Tyson Foods.
The takeaway: If Beyond Meat were to go public, this would be the first public offering by the new crop of companies—like Impossible Foods, Modern Meadow, and Memphis Meats—using plants to make meat-like products.
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