After co-leading the $70M Series A alongside Polaris & D1 Capital and doubling down on the $90M Series B, OCV is incredibly proud to share that our portfolio company ByHeart is the first new infant formula manufacturer in over 15 years to be registered with FDA, making it only the 4th vertically integrated infant formula brand in the US.
- ByHeart’s nationwide clinical trial proved next-to-breast milk benefits. The formula includes a patented blend of the two most abundant proteins in breast milk as well as organic, grass-fed whole milk
- ByHeart’s formula supports all-in-one benefits including easy digestion, less spit up, and immune, gut and cognitive development, all without corn syrup, maltodextrin, soy or palm oil
- ByHeart’s farm to formula oversight enabled the company to become the first Clean Label Project certified infant formula in the US, at their highest tier, “The Purity Award.”
Today ByHeart, the next-generation baby nutrition company dedicated to setting a new standard for infant nutrition, launched its highly anticipated infant formula to do better for babies and parents. ByHeart founders and siblings Ron Belldegrun and Mia Funt, both parents, realized that there have been significant modern advancements in nutrition science and breast milk research, which had not been incorporated into the infant formulas currently on the market – and the only way to truly innovate was to start from scratch, acquire their own manufacturing and R&D, source every ingredient, and apply rigorous quality standards, from farm to formula. ByHeart’s team spent five years working with leading experts in breast milk research to develop the first infant formula in the US to include a patented protein blend that is closest to breast milk and the only infant formula in the US to include organic, grass-fed whole milk (as opposed to skim, used by most other formulas). ByHeart is also the first new infant formula brand on the market to demonstrate its distinct benefits through the company’s own rigorous clinical trial. This revolutionary approach has yielded the first clinically proven easy-to-digest infant formula with no corn syrup, maltodextrin, soy, or palm oil – and has combined next-to-breast milk benefits and certified cleanest ingredients, so parents don’t have to choose one or the other (as they do with so many other formulas on shelf today).
“At ByHeart, we believe that breast milk is nature’s superfood – the world’s most natural, functional nutrition – and that’s why it’s our blueprint. We brought together experts in every facet of breast milk research, baby health and nutrition because innovating in the infant formula category isn’t about one ingredient, one benefit, or one expert,” says ByHeart CEO and Co-Founder, Ron Belldegrun. “To truly innovate to our standards, we couldn’t rely on existing clinical research as the industry has – for the most part – for decades: owning our manufacturing and R&D, having direct relationships with every single supplier, and finally conducting our own clinical trial has allowed us to innovate, to control every ingredient in the formula, and to get closer to breast milk in ways that will be new to the market, all for the benefit of baby’s foundational health and wellness.”
The proteins in breast milk are highly functional, providing benefits beyond filling tummies: they are key to supporting a strong immune system, healthy gut microbiome and easy digestion; yet the protein blend is still the largest gap between breast milk and existing formula on the shelf. By building their recipe from scratch, ByHeart was able to include lactoferrin and breast milk levels of alpha-lactalbumin (the two most abundant proteins in breast milk), as well as broken down proteins and an 80:20 whey to casein ratio that most closely mirrors colostrum, or early breast milk. This patented protein blend was tested in ByHeart’s clinical trial, the largest conducted by a new infant formula entrant in over 25 years, which has shown significant next-to-breast milk benefits: easier digestion, less spit-up, and softer poops. Their trial was designed to meet and exceed the rigorous requirements set by the FDA and included a breastfed reference arm – a significant and elective addition to the study that demonstrated those benefits.
“We want parents to have full visibility into their babies’ nutrition from farm to formula and feel empowered in the feeding decisions they make. We called our company ByHeart because we believe parents know their babies’ needs ‘by heart’ – and they deserve a partner that can support them with no-compromise products and parent-centric resources, so they can feel proud of the feeding decisions they make – whatever they may be,” said ByHeart President and Co-Founder, Mia Funt.
Grounded in the belief that the more you control the process, the more you can control the quality of the product and deliver superior nutrition for babies, ByHeart acquired and upgraded a manufacturing facility in Reading, PA in 2019 that is certified kosher, certified grass-fed, certified organic, and SQF-certified, and gives ByHeart the rare capability to accept fresh milk from local farms. ByHeart is the only US formula that uses organic, grass-fed whole milk (most other formulas lose some of the whole fat benefits by relying on skim milk). ByHeart’s organic lactose and organic prebiotic fiber – vital ingredients for newborn babies – help keep bacteria balanced and support nutrient absorption. ByHeart’s dedication to a standard of quality in sourcing and manufacturing that far exceeds industry norms is what enabled the company to become the first infant formula in the US to receive Clean Label Project certification, and moreover at the highest level – their Purity Award.
ByHeart’s commitment to families goes beyond creating no-compromise nutrition products: as a fully integrated company participating in the most fundamental food category in the world, Belldegrun and Funt believe they have a responsibility to not only consider the products they are making, but also the planet the next generation will inherit. The company is dedicated to a rigorous quality program, reducing waste and carbon emissions, and developing renewable systems for a more sustainable future. They have created the first all-metal, infinitely recyclable container (including a metal cap) in infant formula.
ByHeart’s infant formula is now available exclusively on byheart.com, priced at $39 for a 680g can, the equivalent of 46 four-ounce bottles. Families who are formula feeding exclusively will only need about five cans per month (as opposed to over 10 from some other brands).
Founded in 2016, based in New York City with manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania, ByHeart is a fully integrated baby nutrition company dedicated to empowering parents with choices for a better feeding future. ByHeart is only the 4th fully integrated, FDA-registered infant formula brand in the country, and the ByHeart facility is driven by nutritional excellence and a farm-to-formula verified™ quality program. For more information on ByHeart, visit https://byheart.com/