Last October, the plant-based chicken company Daring raised $8 million in its Series A funding round, which was spearheaded by the venture capital firm Maveron and included Palm Tree Crew among the list of investors. However, the L.A.-situated startup actually quintupled that amount with its recent Series B funding round led by D1 Capital Partners, and Daring now counts one of entertainment’s most popular names among its biggest financial backers: Drake.
“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,” Drake said in a press release. Three years ago, the “6 God” made mention of quitting meat during a Twitch stream, and he hinted that he might have fully converted to veganism on an IG post later in 2018.
“This is so much more than an investment in Daring, it’s an investment in the future of food,” Daring’s CEO and Co-Founder Ross Mackay said. “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.”
Daring enjoyed a very productive 2020 that saw it launch its products in all 40 Just Salad restaurants throughout the United States. Since that first round, more than 1,000 retail locations were added to Daring’s portfolio, and their offerings can be purchased online via Imperfect Foods as well. Their faux-chicken is now also carried by Costco, Wegmans, and Kroger, too.
According to Bloomberg, Mackay revealed the Series B funds will be put towards growing Daring’s retail footprint by over 300% this year, to a projected 4,500 stores in the U.S. Drake’s support and the money generated will help the company compete against other faux-meat brands in an increasingly competitive market space. Tennis icon Venus Williams recently became an investor in PlantX, and plant-based meat megabrand Impossible Foods has Jay-Z and Katy Perry on its own board of investors.
“Daring has demonstrated impressive product-market fit in a short period of time,” D1 Capital Partners Michael Tully said. “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.”