Daring, an upstart Los Angeles-based creator and marketer of frozen plant-based faux chicken products co-founded by Ross Mackay and Eliot Kesas (seen at left and right, respectively, in photo above) has announced the close of an $8 million Series A funding round led by Maveron, the venture capital firm that invests in early-stage consumer brands. Additional investors include GoodFriends, Stray Dog Capital, Palm Tree Crew Investment, Mike Smith and Brian Swette (former chairman of Burger King).
This round of funding will help boost staffing as well as marketing and innovation efforts to further support the company’s stated mission to “remove chicken from the food system” by getting poultry consumers to opt instead for alternative “100% plant-based chicken that looks, cooks and tastes just like the animal-based counterpart.”
“We are always looking to partner with entrepreneurs that are building the next generation in consumer products. Daring’s co-founders have a massive mission and the product exceeded our expectations in every capacity – taste, texture and clean ingredients,” said Dan Levitan, managing partner and co-founder of Maverson. “We are in the early innings of the plant-based movement. The next wave of plant-based alternatives need 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.”
Daring’s high protein, low calorie products are GMO free as well as devoid of gluten and cholesterol. They are made from natural ingredients and packed with plant protein. Here’s the ingredient list: water, soy protein concentrate, sunflower oil, natural flavoring, spices (lemon peel, oregano, thyme, garlic, lemongrass, rosemary, onion, cardamom, pepper and dextrose).
In conjunction with the investment round, the company launched a new product: Breaded daring Pieces. It is now available in eight-ounce pouches for direct purchase online and at retail outlets in the United States including Gelson’s Bristol and Fresh Thyme, in addition to the Just Salad casual restaurant chain.
Breaded daring Pieces join an existing line of protein-rich Original, Cajun and Lemon & Herb flavors made from 100% plant-based ingredients.
“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 CEO and Co-Founder Ross Mackay. “We are excited to have attracted a group of investors that have been involved in building monumental consumer businesses and we will leverage this investment to continue our growth in an ever-changing, competitive landscape.”