Left to right: Derek Sarno, Pete Speranza and Chad Sarno. Image courtesy of Wicked Kitchen
Plant-based brand Wicked Kitchen has secured $20 million in bridge funding bringing its total amount raised to $34 million.
Bridge funding is a type of temporary immediate financing used to cover a company’s short-term expenses until long-term funding is secured.
Alongside the funding announcement also came the news that the company had more than tripled its year-over-year sales growth.
Wicked Kitchen will use the money to continue expanding its selection of vegan ready meal products and increase the number of retail distribution points globally, as well as move into foodservice.
New investors include the American actor and vegan advocate Woody Harrelson, Indian venture capital fund Ahimsa VC, and Nutra Regenerative Protein Limited (NRPT) – a Thai plant-based food production and innovation group.
“During this high growth phase, it is validating to have support from additional investors who believe in our mission and in the future of plant-based foods,” said Pete Speranza, CEO, Wicked Kitchen.
“This latest round of funding will help us go faster to expand our offerings in the US and abroad and it puts us in a well-poised position as we continue to lead plant-based innovations…that appeal to vegans and omnivores alike.”
Created by American brothers Derek and Chad Sarno in collaboration with Tesco, the brand has been available to UK consumers since 2017.
Since its US launch last year, the company has introduced its products to more than 6,500 retail stores.
Wicked Kitchen also acquired plant-based fish brand Good Catch earlier this year, allowing the brand to build its expansive portfolio. It has also started offering new frozen items to the US market, such as its dairy-free ice-creams made from lupin bean, as well as pizzas and other frozen meals.
As well as expanding in the US, the brand has launched 23 products in the Finnish grocery store S-Market. It also plans to introduce 17 products into Thailand’s largest retailers Tops Market and Central Food Halls this month.
Actor Woody Harrelson said in a statement: “I have known Chad and Derek for many years and have been impressed by their wicked creativity in the kitchen and that they are not afraid to push the boundaries. What I love about this brand is that the products are actually created by chefs that always put flavour first, making it so easy to go plant-based.”