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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Reddit Co-Founder, McCain Foods Invest in Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets Startup

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of US-based social news aggregation and discussion website, has led the $50 million series B funding in SIMULATE, a food tech startup that offers plant-based chicken nuggets under brand NUGGS.

Ohanian has led the investment through his venture capital firm Seven Seven Six, and joined the company’s board of directors. The funding round also saw participation from Chris and Crystal Sacca, NOMO Ventures, McCain Foods, Imaginary Ventures, and Day One Ventures.

Besides Simulate, Ohanian is also an investor in Impossible Foods and Eclipse Foods, and told Forbes recently that plant-based meat has “so much room to run” in the coming years, alongside the overall meat alternatives category.

Founded in 2019 by Ben Pasternak, Nuggs is today one of the best-selling plant-based vegan chicken nugget brands in the market. It is available at over 5,000 U.S. retail locations.

Simulate’s nuggets are made from advanced soy protein and textured wheat protein, and are cholesterol-free with 25% more protein and 40% less fat than conventional chicken nuggets.

Simulate is also backed by actor and entrepreneur Patrick Schwarzenegger, who took to the social media to congratulate the company. He wrote, “Years ago, when I started investing & building companies, I made It my mission to help other young entrepreneurs that were changing the world through food and Bev. Finding ways to create better & healthier alternatives to what we already consume. @nuggs does exactly that. The founder, @benpasternak (20 Years old), continues to challenge the status quo — and build a brilliant brand in the ever-growing PLANT BASED category.”

“Congrats to this company, can’t wait to watch you guys continue to grow. believes it will continue to challenge the status quo and deliver delicious alternatives in the ever-growing plant-based category,” he added.

“Ben has built an exceptional unique brand, and I look forward to continuing to help him grow,” Schwarzenegger recently told me.

“The largest use of the fund is to really ensure that we consistently deliver the best products, and hire the best food scientists — continuing to iterate the product is our core intent,” he recently said.

Pasternak added how Ohanian was also an angel investor of SIMULATE when it first launched, and how Seven Seven Six shares similar vision with his business, which is finding opportunities at the intersection of nutrition and technologies.

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