Mazza Innovation closes US$2.4m financing deal and expands PhytoClean capabilities


19 Sep 2017 --- Mazza Innovation Ltd. has raised Cdn$3.0 million (US$2.4 million) from existing and new shareholders to fund an expansion of operations at its Delta, BC PhytoClean extraction facility. The company has also announced the appointment of three highly experienced senior executives to manage rapidly expanding customer demand for its solvent-free ingredients and PhytoClean extraction process. 

Mazza’s financing round was comprised of several institutional and individual investors, including Natural Products Canada (NPC), a not-for-profit corporation that streamlines commercialization of natural products. “NPC is very proud to partner with Mazza and the other investors in this opportunity,” says Shelley King, chief executive officer of Natural Products Canada. “Mazza has a proven technology, high-growth potential in an expanding market, and a service that can benefit the whole natural products industry.”

Mazza Innovation CEO Benjamin Lightburn commented: “Demand for Mazza’s botanical ingredients has been growing at a rapid pace since our opening last year, and experienced senior executives are now required to help us manage that growth. Enabled by Cdn$3.0 million (US$2.4 million) in new financing from investment partners such as NPC, we’re pleased to welcome Chris Tower, Andry Tjahyana and Jim Pratt to our management team. This financing will also fund a number of accompanying expansion programs in service, sales and marketing, and extraction capability. These changes will enable us to meet rising customer demand from around the world.”

The PhytoClean Method water-based extraction process concentrates bioactives by pressurizing water at moderate temperatures; this greatly increases the water’s ability to solubilize bioactive compounds. In effect, this extraction process generally provides better yields and purities than industrial solvents. This environmentally friendly, clean process can be applied to extract a wide range of compounds for use in nutraceuticals, cosmetics, flavorings, colorings, pharmaceuticals, and functional foods and beverages. Mazza is working with a number of leading companies, among them Naturex, which has exclusively contracted Mazza’s award-winning cranberry extract production, and Chromadex, which is partnering in the expanded use of the PhytoClean Method.

Appointment of new executives 
Chris Tower is joining the Mazza Innovation executive team as vice president of sales. Chris is a highly experienced, senior-level sales executive with an extensive range of skills and more than two decades’ sales and operations expertise in the US and global ingredients market. 

As vice president of business development, Andy Tjahyana will apply his more than 25 years’ experience in B2B business development. Drawn to innovative, first-to-market and advanced technology projects, Tjahyana has held leading positions in a number of different industries, among them fast ferries, green building construction, and commercial stevia production. Tjahyana was president and CEO of Canadian Stevia Corporation, a public company and early leader in the natural sweetener industry, active in developing proprietary stevia and stevia extraction technology. 

After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with an MBA, Jim Pratt became an investment banker at a national investment dealer in Toronto. In his early work, he invested in Sepp’s Gourmet Foods, a food manufacturing company located in Vancouver. The company grew from US$1 million in sales to US$88 million and was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Pratt held various positions over the years, including CFO and, ultimately, CEO. Prior to joining Mazza Innovation, he was co-owner of Prosnack Natural Foods, makers of healthy snack foods. Pratt has served as director of the Food Innovation Centre of BC, the Food Processors of Canada and Timia Capital, and as chairman for the Functional Foods Alberta Centre of Excellence and the BC Food Processors Association.

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