CHICAGO, IL, December 23, 2022 — Akoya Capital, LLC (“Akoya”), a Chicago-based, sector-focused private investment firm, announced today an investment in Devansoy, Inc. (“Devansoy” or the “Company”), a Rock City, Illinois based manufacturer of soy, oat, and pea protein ingredients. Devansoy is Akoya’s first platform investment in Specialty Ingredients and 20th platform investment overall. Akoya partnered with Trinity Investors, Slawek Family Holdings, Lightspring Capital, and Wintrust Bank to finance the transaction. Deb Wycoff, Devansoy’s CEO, made a significant re-investment into the platform. Dinan Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Devansoy in this transaction.
Founded in 1992, Devansoy is a leading producer of plant protein-based ingredients. The Company operates in the rapidly growing “better-for-you” food and beverage category, which capitalizes on consumers that are increasingly health-conscious and willing to spend more for natural, healthy ingredients. Devansoy manufactures a wide range of plant-based proteins through its proprietary extraction process, serving various end markets and blue-chip customers.
Akoya partnered with two Specialty Ingredients experts, Don Kremin and Joe Slawek, each of whom has more than 30 years’ experience in the food ingredients and flavorings sectors. Don is the former Senior Vice President of the Consumer Products Sales division of Hormel Foods and serves as Devansoy’s Executive Chairman. Joe founded FONA International in 1987 and led the company to become the only full-service flavoring and ingredients manufacturer on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the United States. Joe is an active member of the Devansoy board.
“We are excited to partner with Deb Wycoff, the owner and CEO of Devansoy,” said Don Kremin. “Deb has been with Devansoy since its inception and has worked tirelessly to grow the business to where it is today. As a leading producer of plant-based protein products, Devansoy is the ideal candidate to serve as the anchor investment for Akoya’s Specialty Ingredients platform. We believe there is a clear opportunity to create a market-leading, $150M+ platform organically and through acquisition.”
Joe Slawek added, “Deb is passionate about sustainability and providing plant-based organic products to consumers. Deb’s vision and entrepreneurial leadership have brought tremendous growth to Devansoy and its employees, positioning the Company for ongoing success. We look forward to working with Deb to execute the Value Creation Plan.”
Deb Wycoff said, “I am pleased that the investment by Akoya and its co-investors allows us to capitalize on the rising popularity of plant-based protein products and applications. Devansoy is well-positioned to benefit from the evolving landscape of “better-for-you” food and beverage trends. I am confident we are ideally situated for tremendous growth under the leadership of Don, Joe, and the high caliber team we’ve assembled.”
About Akoya Capital, LLC
Akoya Capital is a Chicago-based, sector-focused private investment firm, specializing in the lower end of the middle market. We work closely with family offices, high-net-worth individuals, and institutional capital providers to invest in profitable, well-positioned businesses. We partner with founders and CEOs of family-owned and owner-operated businesses who are pursuing liquidity while prioritizing preservation of the company legacy. Investments are led by one of Akoya’s Sector Leaders whose operating expertise aligns with the business.