Manna Tree closes $390m second fund, original target $450m

The firm opted to close in November 2022 rather than continue into 2023 due to 'market conditions', according to co-founder Ross Iverson.

Manna Tree Partners has closed its second food-focused fund on $390 million including co-investment capital.

The Nutrition II fund was launched in May 2021 and reached a final close in November 2022. It is the firm’s second fund in the health and nutrition space, after the first closed on $140 million (excluding co-investments) in April 2019.

“We were able to double the size from fund one to fund two,” Manna tree co-founder and managing partner Ross Iverson told New Private Markets. “Fund one ended up, with our co-investments, being at $184 million. Fund two at $390 million closed at $300 million in the fund, with dedicated co-investment of $90 million.”

The fund’s target size was $450 million, with a hard-cap of $550 million. “Q4, we just decided that we had hit threshold to be able to hit the cheque sizes that we wanted. I did not want to continue to fundraise into 2023 based upon where the market conditions were, and we had had already executed three deals in that portfolio,” Iverson explained.

In addition to its fund strategy, Manna Tree has also been assisting its existing portfolio companies in raising further capital. Iverson said: “Gotham Greens last year completed a $310 million equity and debt raise. Manna Tree does a lot of work [helping portfolio companies raise further capital]. We’ll do webinars, we’ll reach out to our LPs. Our Manna Tree LPs contributed to a significant amount of that round.”

Iverson described the fund’s LP base as being approximately two-thirds “strategic food families or having a deep interest in healthy living”, meaning institutionalised family offices, with the other third made up of a mix of institutional wealth management platforms and traditional institutions. LPs span 18 countries.

Manna Tree was established by Iverson, Brent Drever and Ellie Rubenstein with a mission to increase the accessibility and affordability of healthy food products. So far, the firm’s primarily focus has been North America, though it has a mandate to invest 25 percent of the capital from the second fund outside the region.