Canada-based startup Oatbox has announced the closing of a US$5.2 million financing which will go towards allowing the company to develop a wide range of plant-based oat products and partner with companies requiring oat base for their operations.
“This funding is a strong endorsement of our business plan and will allow us to have excess production capacity in order to sell oat base to other food processors in Eastern Canada or the Northeastern part of the United States,” explained Marc-Antoine Bovet, Co-Founder and President of Oatbox. “There is a shortage of quality oat base on the market. However, it is a perishable product. Both food processors and consumers will benefit from a fresher product, as it is processed locally and transported over shorter distances.”
Oat base forms a main ingredient in oat milk and its oat-based derivatives used in ice cream, yoghurt, frozen desserts, cream cheese and any other product that used dairy milk and is looking for a plant-based alternative.
The company reports it has been working for two years on developing its Canadian oat milk and the financial support will be used to finalise construction of a production line.
.”Rather than seeing other processors in the American Northeast as competitors, we will be very proud to be able to provide them with our high-end oat base to maximise our positive impact on society. It is clear to Oatbox that oats are part of the solution to the Earth’s environmental challenges and represent a healthy and tasteful alternative. Thanks to this major investment, Oatbox will be able to remain at the forefront of trends and offer its customers an ever-growing offer adapted to their lifestyle,” added Mr. Bovet.
One financial partner, Desjardins Group, has been supporting the company for several years and in the new round of financing will support financing for production equipment as well as an operating credit.
“With this new product, Oatbox meets a need in a booming industry, where supply is struggling to meet demand. Consumers and processors can now count on a new, high-quality, local source of supply. We are very proud to leverage the strength of our network to help this company grow,” commented Jean-Yves Bourgeois, Executive Vice-President, Business Services at Desjardins Group.
Another supporter, the Government of Quebec, is contributing to the project via its ESSOR program which helps provide support for businesses to develop and implement modern technologies.
“Our government is proud to provide $1 million to support Oatbox Limited Partnership in its launch. The climate crisis is the biggest challenge of our time, and we must help homegrown companies develop more environmentally friendly processes and products. That is why our government is supporting Oatbox’s innovative project to adopt a circular economy model that will reduce our environmental footprint,” explained Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Member of Parliament for Brome-Missisquoi, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for CED.
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