21 December 2023 Vendis Capital joins forces with BitterLiebe
Vendis Capital, the consumer sector specialized European private equity fund, joins forces with the founders of BitterLiebe, a leading direct-to-consumer premium health supplements brand
BitterLiebe, based in Mannheim (Germany), is a direct-to-consumer premium health brand for gastrointestinal supplements in the DACH region. The company was founded in 2018 by Andre Sierek and Jan Stratmann with the idea to use natural bitter substances as core ingredients for supplements addressing the increasing consumer demand for solutions around gut health and digestion. Since then, BitterLiebe has experienced considerable growth driven by product innovation and its multichannel distribution model. ARCUS Capital, a family equity investor based in Munich, has supported the development of BitterLiebe since 2020. Start Now Consulting GmbH by Judith Williams was part of BitterLiebe since the earliest days.
The Company’s product portfolio comprises bitter products offered as drops, sprays, capsules or powder, complemented by complexes including probiotics, combining bitter substances with natural vitamins, minerals or bacteria. BitterLiebe’s content driven knowledge platform around gastrointestinal topics supports strong customer loyalty and new customer wins. Building on its success of its own webshop, the company has successfully expanded its distribution model to offline channels, now being represented in over 6,000 point-of-sales located in drugstores and food retailers.
Co-founder Andre Sierek explains: “We are thrilled to partner with Vendis Capital, a seasoned expert in the consumer space, as we accelerate BitterLiebe’s development and international growth. Together, we aim to establish the premier brand for digestive health supplements in Europe.”
Co-founder Jan Stratmann adds: “The expertise of Vendis Capital in building brands, e-commerce and international roll-out will be instrumental to support our ambitious growth path. ”
ARCUS Capital Managing Partner Stefan Eishold comments: “We would like to thank the founders Andre Sierek and Jan Stratmann as well as the entire BitterLiebe team for the very successful collaboration. BitterLiebe has grown strongly over the past three years and has successfully expanded its product portfolio and further developed its distribution channels including drugstores, retailers and online pharmacies. We are delighted to have found the best possible majority shareholder in Vendis for the upcoming growth phase”
Judith Williams, in her capacity as the principal shareholder of Start Now Consulting GmbH, articulates: “Together, we have developed a very intensive omnichannel strategy involving online, retail and TV commerce. Andre Sierek and Jan Stratmann are two strong founders who possess the right mindset and are passionate about their company. They have built a strong team and consistently expanded the product range of BitterLiebe. We believe that Vendis is the ideal partner and remain excited about the development, wishing all involved parties great success.”
Alexander Matthes, Partner at Vendis Capital: “We are very happy to partner with Andre and Jan and add BitterLiebe to our portfolio of consumer brands. It represents a fast growing, digital native and direct-to-consumer health brand with a clear positioning that supports consumers to solve their digestive problems. We see further growth opportunities in its existing home market leveraging its strong multichannel distribution model but also internationally to create the leading platform focused on digestion health supplements.”
The participation in BitterLiebe represents the eighth investment within Vendis Capital III, the €300 million fund that was launched in 2019, and the sixth acquisition in Germany.