British free-from snack brand Livia’s has been bought by London investor S-Ventures after falling into administration. The company reported a pre-tax loss of £1.4 million for the year ending September 30 2020.
Until 2020, Livia’s experienced rapid growth of 150% YOY. The company was the UK’s fastest-growing free-from snacks brand, raising over £1 million in a crowdfunding campaign 18 months ago. With listings at major supermarkets Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, and Ocado, founder Olivia Wollenberg told vegconomist in 2021 that the brand was “unstoppable”.
Impact of Covid-19
Despite its previous success, Livia’s was hit hard by the pandemic, as many of its sales come from meal deals, impulse buys, and on-the-go snacks. Livia’s had been valued at £11.3 million following its crowdfunding campaign, but the company has now been sold for just £355,000. This consists of £130,000 in cash and over 320,000 shares in S-Ventures, each priced at 70p.
Crowdfunding backers will not see a return on their investment, but Livia’s employees will keep their jobs. It is not yet clear whether Wollenberg will stay with the company.
“The Livia’s team have done a fantastic job in establishing and building a respected and successful brand and set of healthy plant-based snacking products across multiple channels,” said S-Ventures CEO Scott Livingston. “As part of the S-Ventures Group, Livia’s can expand and progress and become a mainstream player in this growing natural-based products market. I am very excited about the prospects of this innovative business and the enthusiasm of its management team.”