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Misha’s Kind Foods, a Californian brand of dairy-free cheese, has just secured $3 million in seed funding to continue expanding its product line and distribution. The fund raise comes as the vegan cheese market continues to grow, with more consumers turning away from traditional dairy in favour of healthier, ethical, and more sustainable alternatives.
Los Angeles-based Misha’s Kind Foods has announced the closing of its seed round with $3 million. The round was led by several investors, including Marcy Ventures Partners, the VC co-founded by Jay-Z which has previously backed Impossible Foods, Lisa Shamus & Partners, and Chris Paul, the NBA all-star often nicknamed “CP3”. Misha’s says the funds will be used to expand its retail distribution, grow its team, and product innovation.
Misha’s vegan cheese spreads
Founded by Chef Ian Martin and Aaron Bullock, Misha’s Kind Foods first landed on the market back in 2018, launching its range of 100% dairy-free cheese spreads. Unlike other brands that may use palm oil and coconut fat, the brand’s entire range is created from the company’s housemade cashew and almond milk.
All of the products are free from soy, starches, gluten, and nutritional yeast, and contain clean label ingredients like shallots, olive oil, truffle salt, and lemon juice, besides cashews and almonds. The vegan brand is keto-friendly, paleo, and kosher.
Currently, Misha’s vegan cheese spreads come in seven flavours in total, featuring unique blends like sundried tomatoes and garlic, and jalapeño, habanero with strawberries.
Expanding to meet demand
Fresh funds from Misha’s seed round will fuel the company’s ongoing R&D to expand its product line, as well as ramp up its retail presence in the booming dairy-free market.
Currently, plant-based cheese is a $2.7 billion global market, but is estimated to double to $4.5 billion by as soon as 2025. On viral social media platform TikTok, vegan cheese tops the charts as the most popular plant-based food trend.
Bullock, co-founder and CEO of Misha’s, says the capital injection is proof that Misha’s is poised to capitalise on the plant-based cheese trend. “Investors and their enthusiasm…confirm the quality and excellence of our artisan cheeses.”
He added that the investment would help the startup “serve the large community of cheese lovers, plant-based and not,” with its cheese alternatives that are “kind to your body, kind to the planet and kind to your wallet.”
“I’m confident having these investors at the table will be vital to the future growth of the company as they bring valuable cultural instincts, branding knowledge as well as operations and growth expertise.”
Investors bullish on plant-based cheese
Amid the strong growth forecasts for the vegan cheese market, investors have been pouring capital into plant-based dairy brands. Category pioneer Miyoko’s, for instance, recently secured $52 million in its Series C, which will fuel its retail expansion and launch of its latest liquid vegan mozzarella cheese product.
Another startup, Nobell Foods, which only came out of stealth mode in June this year, bagged $75 million with backing from names like Bill Gates and Robert Downey Jr. The startup programs soybeans into casein-producing factories to make vegan cheese.
Commenting on the decision behind supporting Misha’s in the startup’s latest seed round, co-lead investor Lisa Shamus said: “I saw the opportunity to invest not just in one item, but in a team with a vision to create an entire category that has tremendous possibilities. As we begin to expand our manufacturing, marketing and distribution, Misha’s will be a leader in delicious dairy-free products.”
All images courtesy of Misha’s.