LOS ANGELES — Plant-based chicken company Daring Foods closed an $8 million Series A funding round led by Maveron.
The funding will support Daring’s mission to remove chicken from the supply chain through increased marketing, innovation and staffing, the Los-Angeles-based startup said.
“We’ve been able to create the cleanest plant-based chicken on the market that gets as close as possible to the taste and texture of the real thing,” said Ross Mackay, co-founder and chief executive officer. “This gets us a huge step closer to mitigating the negative impact of the poultry industry on the planet and human health.”
Founded in 2018 by Mackay and Eliott Kessas, Daring offers frozen plant-based chicken pieces in Original, Cajun and Lemon and Herb flavors. The products are available online through the company’s e-commerce platform and at Sprouts Farmers Market, Gelson’s, Bristol Farms and Fresh Thyme.
In conjunction with the investment round, Daring is debuting a new product, Breaded Daring Pieces, and launching its products nationwide at fast-casual restaurant chain Just Salad.
Daring’s plant-based chicken products are non-GMO and made with soy protein, sunflower oil and a spice blend containing paprika, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, mace and cardamom.
“The product exceeded our expectations in every capacity — taste, texture, and clean ingredients,” said Dan Levitan, managing partner and co-founder of Maveron. “We are in the early innings of the plant-based movement. The next wave of plant-based alternatives needs to be significantly less processed with a cleaner ingredient profile to win the hearts, minds and stomachs of consumers. We are confident that Daring will emerge as a leader in the space.”
In 2019, the company announced an exclusive distribution deal with Rastelli Foods Group, based in Swedesboro, NJ.
Other investors for the brand include GoodFriends, Stray Dog Capital and Palm Tree Crew Investments, along with private investors Mike Smith, chief financial officer of Stitch Fix, and Brian Swette, former chair of Burger King.