Plant-based chicken startup Daring announced today that it has raised a US$40M Series B round involving the backing of Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, producer, and entrepreneur Drake. The company plans to use this capital to triple its internal team by the end of this year, as well as scale its retail and foodservice growth.
Los Angeles-based Daring just closed a $40M Series B funding round with D1 Capital Partners leading the round, joined by global entertainer Drake as well as existing investors Howard Schultz co-founded venture capital Maveron and Palm Tree Crew.
The company will use this funding to not only accelerate the growth of its retail and foodservice sector but even set plans to innovate in the future and develop new products. Founded in Scotland in 2016, the young company made headlines in 2019 for its Plant-Based Chicken 2.0 made from just 5-ingredients: soy, water, sunflower oil, salt, and natural flavoring.
Daring has added new offerings to its lineup such as Breaded Daring Pieces, a crispy version of its original high-protein Daring Pieces and is available in herb, lemon and cajun flavours. Each Daring serving contains 14-grams of protein.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, Michael Tully of D1 Capital Partners, said: “Daring has demonstrated impressive product-market fit in a short period of time. The brand has a significant growth runway ahead of it as the chicken market remains underpenetrated by plant-based products. Ross and his team are best-in-class leaders, and we are excited to be a part of Daring’s continued success.”
This is so much more than an investment in Daring, it’s an investment in the future of food. We are so fortunate to have such visionary investors fueling our company’s future and furthering our missionRoss Mackay, CEO and co-founder, Daring
Drake, who boasts a whopping 80 million followers on Instagram where he goes by the handle @champagnepapi, declared back in 2018 that he stopped consuming meat and posted an Instagram photo hinting at being vegan. Expressing his joy and reason for supporting Daring, Drake said: “I was immediately drawn to the Daring team’s mission to transform how we eat and I am excited to invest in and support a product I enjoy.”
CEO and co-founder, Ross Mackay, who was awarded a spot on the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 list this year, after the company won NOSH’s Best New Product of 2020, commented on the news in a statement: “This is so much more than an investment in Daring, it’s an investment in the future of food. This past year has been transformative for us—from launching new products and growing our presence in retail and foodservice to expanding our market share. We are so fortunate to have such visionary investors fueling our company’s future and furthering our mission.”
I was immediately drawn to the Daring team’s mission to transform how we eat and I am excited to invest in and support a product I enjoyDrake, Canadian rapper
In October of last year, Daring completed a US$8M Series A round that came before its planned launch across all 40 U.S. Just Salad locations and since then, the company has added over 1,000 retail locations to its portfolio, with its products now at mega grocers Costco, Wegmans and Kroger as well as online at Imperfect Foods.
Going forward, it plans to add nationwide retailers thus allowing consumers to purchase its products through brick-and-mortar and DTC offerings.
According to a recent report, plant-based retail sales in the U.S. alone topped US$7 billion with even dedicated meat-eating consumers switching to plant-based alternatives some fo the time.
Apart from Drake, other celebrities too have showed their support for plant-based companies: Katy Perry and JAY-Z are invested in plant-based meat giant Impossible Foods, while Venus Williams recently joining PlantX as investor and ambassador. Oprah Winfrey is set to reap some serious rewards from her Oatly investment as the company prepares to IPO this week.
Lead image courtesy of Daring.