Plant-based chicken maker Daring raises $40M in latest funding round26 May 2021
Plant-based chicken making Daring announced it closed a $40 million Series B funding round led by D1 Capital Partners. Additional participation came from Canadian rapper Drake as well as existing investors Maveron and Palm Tree Crew. This funding round adds to the $8 million Series A round closed in October 2020 and the $10 million in investment given by Rastelli Foods Group of New Jersey in 2019.
Daring will use this round of funding to triple its internal team by the end of 2021; dramatically scale its retail and foodservice growth; and set the stage for future innovation and product development. Already, the startup is available at 1000 retail locations, including Costco, Wegmans, Kroger, Imperfect Foods, but, according to the release, Daring’s products will be available in more nationwide retailers in the coming months.
“The brand has a significant growth runway ahead of it as the chicken market remains underpenetrated by plant-based products,” said Michael Tully of D1 Capital Partners in a statement.
Chicken is becoming the next hotbed for investment as consumers gain an appetite for plant-based meat alternatives other than burgers. As chicken consumption in the U.S. has doubled since the 1970s, according to the National Chicken Council, it makes sense that companies and investors would be eager to take a bite out of the market.
However, competition in the space is getting fierce. From investor-backed startups like Nuggs and Next Gen to industry titans like Tyson and Nestlé, interest in developing a plant-based chicken substitute that will grab consumers’ attention is turning a once overlooked opportunity into a challenge for manufacturers to stand out.
Daring has an advantage over other options on the market as it can rely on its clean label to appeal to consumers looking for recognizable ingredients in their food. Its chicken analogs are made from five non-GMO ingredients: water, soy, sunflower oil, salt and natural flavoring (paprika, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, mace and cardamom). But that does not mean that the company has limited the range of flavorings that it offers on shelves. Daring Pieces are available in Original Pieces, Lemon & Herb Pieces, Cajun Pieces and Original Breaded Pieces, and all products are 100% plant-based with 14g of protein per serving.
Since its U.S. launch in 2020, Daring has grown rapidly, and this new influx of investment is indicative of investors’ confidence in the continued growth of the brand despite a healthy host of competition.
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