Daring , which makes plant-based chicken pieces, announced today that it raised an $8 million Series A round of funding. The round was led by Maveron, with participation from goodFriends, Stray Dog Capital, PalmTree Crew Investments. Private investors include Mike Smith (CFO of Stitch Fix) and Brian Swette (former Chair of Burger King). To date, Daring has roughly raised $12 million in funding.
I spoke on the phone with Ross Mackay, CEO and co-founder of Daring, this week, who told me the funding will be put towards marketing efforts, and used to grow the Daring team. Additionally, the money will assist in their new product launch of plant-based breaded chicken pieces, which will be released next month.
The chicken pieces are made from soy protein, as well as sunflower oil and a spice blend. Soy is not necessarily a unique ingredient in the plant-based space, but Mackay emphasized that their product is unique due to its “clean label” and simple ingredients. Daring chicken is made with non-GMO ingredients, and their current chicken flavors include original, cajun, and lemon herb.
Mackay said on our call that many plant-based meat companies are focusing on creating red meat alternative products, but Daring is “laser-like focused” on plant-based chicken products. Plant-based beef does get a lot of attention, however, there are several other companies that make plant-based chicken products. Rebellyous Foods and Nuggs both make plant-based chicken nuggets, and UK-based THIS creates chicken pieces and nuggets. Beyond Meat partnered with KFC this summer to release plant-based chicken sandwiches at 50 locations through Southern California.
Daring chicken is available direct-to-consumer on the company’s website starting at $29.99 for a 32oz pouch, and also in Sprouts Farmers Markets. Starting October 1st, Daring’s chicken will be made available in Gelson’s Markets, Bristol Farms, and Fresh Thymes Marketplace. Daring has also partnered with Just Salad, located on the East Coast, and the plant-based chicken pieces will soon be launched in 36 of its locations.
Disclaimer: I work as an independent scout for Stray Dog Capital and was not aware of Stray Dog Capital’s investment prior to the press release. Stray Dog’s participation did not influence the reporting of this story.