Why Manna Tree Invested in Evolve Biosystems

Feb 18, 2021 | Blog

Manna Tree has made investments in pasture-raised eggs, high-quality beef, mushroom technology, indoor ag lettuce and herbs, and commercial chickpea protein and flour. And one of the key themes we have been keenly focused on is the microbiome and its critical role in health.

While the research is evolving and deepening daily, it is clear that gut health is a core component of human health. Our most recent investment is a bullseye in this space, with a clear impact on human health.

In a recent breakthrough study published in Scientific Reports, it has been shown that 90% of infants in the US lack a critical probiotic strain called B.infantis. This used to be naturally occurring, with babies inoculated through vaginal birth. B.infantis is activated by the prebiotic, namely sugars in mom’s breastmilk. The lack of B.infantis results in Newborn Gut Deficiency, with symptoms that include allergies, eczema, colic, and more.

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Enter Evolve and their commercial product, Evivo. Evivo is an infant probiotic that has been proven through clinical trials to dramatically impact the developing infant gut, which guides the long-term health trajectory. The science has shown this product to be highly efficacious in both the direct-to-consumer and hospital channels.

We are proud to partner with innovators like Tim and the talented Evolve team. They are at the forefront of food and biotechnology. Knowing the team and having spent time with them in-depth, their international consumer packaged goods experience in probiotics, infant nutrition, and infant formula ingredients stands out. We know it will be a key driver for the company’s success.

“What excited us most about [Evolve] was that the gut health market has tripled in size. We see the gut as the second brain… this is a pathway for food and biotech to merge.” Gabrielle Ellie Rubenstein, CEO and CO-Founder Manna Tree.

The health impact of this food product is clear, and the social implications are deeply moving.

Our investment will broaden awareness campaigns targeting health professionals/hospitals and traditional consumers and support continuing research and development. I’m also very proud that Manna Tree’s Managing Director Pam Shepherd will join the Evolve Board. She is their first female board member and has deep experience in the infant and baby category.

  • Research shows that nine out of ten U.S. infants suffer from Newborn Gut Deficiency, increasing risk to early infant health and development.

  • Evolve’s innovative probiotic, Evivo, addresses widespread Newborn Gut Deficiency by restoring key bacteria in the infant gut microbiome

  • Manna Tree sees the need for improvement in the gut health space – the market has nearly tripled in size in the past decade.

  • Our investment follows a recent breakthrough in the Evolve research, the U.S. Microbiome Survey, recently published in Scientific Reports

  • Global microbiome market to triple by 2022

  • Yahoo! Finance

  • WSJ Article, reprint.