Following successful investments from Jay-Z and Grammy-award winning singer H.E.R, the allergy-free brand Partake Foods has raised $4.8 million in a new funding round. Interesting to note is CEO and founder Denise Woodard is the first woman of color to raise $1 million for a food startup. New investors include pop star Rihanna.
The investment is Rihanna’s first beyond funding outside of her own personal ventures, which include her vegan leather line, Fenty, and vegan beauty brand, Fenty Skin. Over 50% of Partake Foods’ total $7.5 million in funding has come from Black investors, including Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners (MVP).
“That was very deliberate,” Woodard told Forbes when asked about BIPOC investors. “I feel very passionate about continuing to increase wealth in the Black community wherever possible and so having investors on board that understand those missions and goals is really important to me.”
Partake currently offers products including a 5-in-1 baking mix and a range of cookies. In an interview with vegconomist, Woodard describes Partake’s cookies as: “Vegan, Gluten-Free, free of the top 8 allergens, Non GMO, and most importantly – yummy and made with simple, whole food ingredients.”
Chuck Muth, Chief Growth Officer of Beyond Meat and current investor, will be joining Partake’s board, along with Aditi Dash, Partner at CircleUp Growth Partners. Partake products can be found in 2,700 stores, and the company has plans to double the number of retail locations. Current retail partners include Target, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts and The Fresh Market.
When asked by vegconomist where she saw Partake Foods in five years, Woodard explained: “We would like to have meal and snack offerings across multiple categories – all that meet the criterion of delicious, nutritious, and allergy-friendly – and have products available nationally.”