Minneapolis — In its largest investment to date, 301 Inc., the venture business of General Mills, has become the lead investor in a $12 million round raised by Boulder, CO-based GoodBelly Probiotics.

As outlined in the Star Tribune, 301 will help GoodBelly grow its national sales and innovation efforts. General Mills has already worked together with GoodBelly on a probiotic snack bar, which was the first non-beverage GoodBelly product. It went to market earlier this year.

"We love the brand," John Haugen, VP and general manager of 301 Inc., told the Star-Tribune. Behind the nifty brand is a team very much dedicated to the science.

"Standing still is probably the most dangerous place to be [as an emerging brand]," Haugen added. "As we spoke to them and saw continued evolution of the marketplace, we decided it was imperative we move quickly."

The competitive nature of the probiotic market prompted the company to seek investment now so it could accelerate its development.

GoodBelly is owned by NextFoods, Inc.