General Mills’ 301 venture capital arm has made its largest deal yet, contributing to an $18 million investment in a northern California yogurt and cheese-spread maker.
Kite Hill announced Friday that 301 Inc. and CAVU Venture Partners are leading the fundraising round. Kite Hill makes almond milk alternatives to traditional dairy products.
Golden Valley-based General Mills said in October that its business development arm — 301 — would make venture investments in fledgling food companies. 301 has been involved in three such financing rounds since then, but none have been for more than $3 million.
General Mills is aiming to create partnerships where young companies can access capital and tap Mills’ knowledge of production, distribution and marketing. If a venture target succeeds, it could lead to an acquisition by General Mills.
Kite Hill said it will use the venture money to expand distribution and increase awareness of its products.