This investment is the first of its kind for Lucky Iron Fish and delivers a meaningful message, as a certified B Corporation global food brand invests in another BCorp company to ensure equitable access to nutrition.
Toronto, Oct. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Toronto, ON (Oct 22, 2021) — Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise (LIFe) is pleased to announce the completion of a $1 Million Series A funding, led by Danone Communities, the corporate impact fund that empowers innovative social entrepreneurs to achieve sustainable social impact. The Series A round enables LIFe to accelerate its growth, and achieve a target of reaching 2.5 million people with low iron over the next five years.
A social impact business, LIFe sells the Lucky Iron Fish, a small iron cooking tool shaped like a fish which provides a safe and natural addition of iron to daily meals.
Danone Communities is the impact investment fund and social business incubator for low-income populations. With more than 10 million people positively impacted around the world daily by Danone Communities, the company is focused on furthering the fight against malnutrition for all, thus contributing to the UN’s 2nd Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of zero hunger. The investment firmly aligns with LIFe’s mission to create innovations that help improve global health and well-being by tackling malnutrition— especially iron deficiency.
Anemia is the world's largest nutritional challenge which negatively impacts more than two billion people, with iron deficiency as the leading cause of anemia. This mainly affects women and children, is linked to 40% of maternal deaths, and has serious impacts on cognitive and physical development for children (source*).
Started in Cambodia, through a PhD research at the University of Guelph, LIFe’s first innovation was the Lucky Iron Fish: a small iron cooking tool shaped like a fish, which is a symbol of luck in Cambodian culture. Over time, they have also launched the Lucky Iron Leaf. Their cooking tools are designed to make iron intake easier and more accessible for families worldwide. When added in boiling liquid for 10 minutes (like water, soup, sauces, curry etc.) it releases a significant portion of the daily required iron. It has been clinically proven to improve anemia status and reduce iron deficiency with the same efficiency, better compliance and fewer side effects than traditional iron interventions.
“This investment is the start of an exciting new chapter for Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise. With it, not only can we continue to expand the availability of the Lucky Iron Fish into new markets, but now we can invest in research and development for new simple health innovations that will further our impact,” says Dr. Gavin Armstrong, Founder & CEO of LIFe. “We believe that through continued innovation and diversifying our product offerings, we will be able to help address some of the largest nutritional deficiencies around the world. By growing our team and expanding our product offering, we look forward to further establishing Lucky Iron products as the go-to simple and effective solutions that will enable a healthier and more sustainable world.”
On this investment, Anna Perinic, Business Development Nutrition Director at Danone Communities, who will also be joining the Lucky Iron Fish board of directors, said:
“I’m excited about this new partnership with Lucky Iron Fish, the 15th investment in the Danone Communities portfolio. Lucky Iron Fish is an exceptionally innovative social business model, addressing a major health issue worldwide. In addition, LIFe is perfectly in line with Danone’s One Planet One Health strategy, with a significant impact on vulnerable populations and a strong potential. We have already started a fruitful collaboration between LIFe and the Danone R&I team to strengthen credibility and build synergies around anemia-related issues, with positive results. LIFe is already reaching 230,000 people in 20 developing countries, and we believe Lucky Iron Fish is at a tipping point, where his innovative solution to Iron Deficiency Anemia is getting momentum and where this round of investment will enable to consolidate a sustainable, impact focused growth.”
Since its inception, Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise has been a certified B Corporation that balances profit with purpose by using a portion of every sale to give back to partner communities globally that are struggling with nutrition. For their work, they have been awarded Best In The World in the Communities category by B Corporation for many years, including in 2021.
Despite a challenging year for e-commerce brands, Lucky Iron Fish saw an excess of 40% growth year-over-year due to demand in products from customers seeking to improve their health.
About Lucky Iron Fish:
The Lucky Iron Fish is a clinically proven cooking tool that infuses meals with iron to help treat and prevent iron deficiency. It is designed to be dropped in boiling water or liquid-based meals for 10 minutes to release a significant portion of your daily recommended iron. This simple iron-fortification tool makes it easy for families to enrich meals with a boost of natural iron for many years. Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise (LIFe) is on a mission to improve global health by making iron deficiency a thing of the past.
About Danone Communities
Danone Communities is an incubator of business solutions targeting low income communities living with 2 to 5 dollars a day with aspirational products and services, addressing access to a nutritious and sustainable diet, and access to safe drinking water. Danone Communities empowers innovative social entrepreneurs to achieve sustainable social impact. It does so by investing in social businesses as a minority shareholder, providing capital, technical and managerial expertise. Starting as a historical partnership with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus to develop the Grameen Danone Foods Company in Bangladesh, Danone Communities has continued to invest in social businesses throughout the years from Senegal to Mexico. To date, the portfolio consists of a total of 15 social business investments made in 17 countries with 10 million beneficiaries.
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