SENTE FOUNDRY AND YILDIZ HOLDING ANNOUNCE INVESTMENT IN THREE INNOVATIVE FOOD & INGREDIENT STARTUPS
Arkim Chemicals, Paragon Pure, and Nom to receive funding and mentoring
Chicago, IL (October 19, 2020): Sente Foundry LLC ("Sente"), together with its program partner Yildiz Holding ("Yildiz") and its international brands, announces startups selected for investment through their collaborative due-diligence and mentoring program, "Innovation in Food and Ingredients."
Program participants were early-stage startups with novel ingredients, snacks, packaging, and technology designed to meet an ever-evolving consumer landscape's needs and desires. After the first six weeks of the program, Sente and Yildiz welcome these international startups to their portfolio:
Arkim Chemicals (https://arkim.org/en/) produces natural food preservatives from natural sources of calcium, such as eggshells, that can be used with packaged or fresh foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
Nom (https://www.thenom.in/) manufactures flavored edible drinking straws and spoons, meant to be paired as a tasty companion snack for beverages and snacks.
Paragon Pure (https://paragonpure.com/) produces high-performance sprouted rice flours that can be used to replace additives and deliver natural flavors, colors, and nutrients into wholesome foods.
"When we pivoted to a virtual program, due to COVID-19, we strived to make the online experience as engaging as possible for the startups and our corporate partner," said Serhat Cicekoglu, Sente's founder and CEO. "With Yildiz Holding, we have a partner that is very supportive of the international startup ecosystem and sees the value of engaging with early-stage startups to achieve their innovation vision."
The Innovation in Food and Ingredients program started with seven receiving an intense, hands-on evaluation and refinement of their business model for global scale-up and potential for projects with major food & retail brands. The three selected companies now proceed with a pre-seed investment and a phase two program period where they will work with Yildiz business units on proof-of-concept and pilot projects identified in the first part of the program.
Ozge Erdohan, Yildiz Manager, Scientific Affairs & Innovation, explains the selection process. "Entering the startup world was like a flashback reminding me of how things work in smaller companies. I look at the last six weeks and am amazed at the startups’ resilience. We'd see them fall, stand up, and fall again. But they never lose motivation or give up. While all of the participating startups have growth potential, we moved forward with ones who we believe can go the distance and revolutionize the industry."
One or more of these startups could receive a follow-on investment in future rounds based on their success.
About Sente Foundry, LLC
Sente Foundry, LLC ("Sente") is a Chicago-based startup investment, scouting, and innovation platform. Sente searches the world for the most high-potential startups and helps them scale through partnerships with international corporations and investors. With Sente, startups can scale faster and do so internationally; investors get line-of-sight and a new way to invest in the world's most promising startups; and corporations accelerate innovation like never before. Since its founding in 2013, Sente has supported early-stage companies that operate in over 40 countries, received over $35M in funding, and have generated revenues exceeding $80M. Find Sente online at https://sente.link, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
About Yildiz Holding
Yıldız Holding, headquartered in İstanbul, has over 300 brands available in more than 120 countries. The company, which is 100 percent owned by the Ülker Family, operates globally and serves a 4 billion population. It has 72 factories and over 60,000 employees worldwide. The company is focused on confectionery (chocolate, biscuits, cakes, gum, candy) and retail businesses. Yıldız Holding is the largest food manufacturers in CEEMEA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa). It increased its share in global markets with iconic brands like GODIVA, Ülker, and McVitie's. In addition to GODIVA retail operations, Yildiz Holding also owns two leading retail chain stores based in Turkey – Şok Marketler and Bizim Toptan. Şok Marketler is the fastest-growing retail chain in Turkey, and Bizim Toptan is the country's biggest cash & carry brand in terms of the number of stores. Besides snacks and retail business, the company also produces food, frozen food, vegetable oils, margarines, processed meat, personal care products, and packaging material. Gözde Girişim, a private equity fund that is listed on the İstanbul Stock Exchange, is also owned by Yıldız Holding. Yıldız Holding has seven companies listed in Borsa İstanbul Stock Exchange. Among them, Ülker and Kerevitaş have been listed among the first three largest listed public food companies. The company and its brands contribute to society through its social responsibility and sustainability activities in the environment, sports, education, health, and art.