Boulder Investment Group Reprise (BIGR), led by the former managers of an investment arm of US food group Boulder Brands before its acquisition by Pinnacle Foods, has raised more than US$55m for a new fund to invest in natural products start-ups across the US.

The Colorado-based growth equity BIGR Ventures fund, founded by Carole Buyers, Duane Primozich and Bill Weiland, aims to “build on the success” of an earlier fund launched by the partners – Boulder Brands Investment Group (BBIG)

The partners initially established BBIG as an in-house venture fund for Boulder Brands in early 2013, where Buyers and Primozich held senior executive positions. Third partner Weiland founded Presence Marketing in 1990, a leading independent natural foods broker in the US, where he plans to continue as CEO.

BBIG’s investments included Suja Juice, partnered with Coca Cola and Epic Provisions, which was acquired by General Mills earlier this year.

The new fund has already invested in three firms and “plans to invest in several more within the next year”, BIGR said. “The three partners’ combined 70-plus years of natural product experience will be leveraged to maximise the potential of promising young companies, manifesting in value-added, strategic partnership and capital.”

Primozich said: “We’re thrilled to be able to continue the momentum we created with BBIG and carry it forward into BIGR. We’ve had the privilege of partnering with some terrific brands and are humbled by the enthusiasm we have received for this next fund.”

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By GlobalData

US group Pinnacle Foods announced a deal to buy Boulder Brands for $975m last November. Pinnacle, a business largely present in shelf-stable and frozen foods, said the move would expand its presence in the natural and organic retail channel and provide it with a “new growth platform in refrigerated foods”.