New York’s SIMULATE, which started life under the name of its first product NUGGS in 2019, today announces $50 million in Series B funding, making a total raise of $60 million, in a round which valued the company at more than $250 million. This news comes a day after the company announced its debut on the Canadian market.
On a mission “to develop nutrition technology that advances nature’s codebase”
Interesting to note, when bearing in mind the tech background of 21-year-old founder Ben Pasternak who first made his mark with Monkey, a video game chat app for teenagers, is that the round was led by Alexis Ohanian’s 776. Husband of tennis star Serena Williams, Ohanian is known in the business world as a serial investor in early-stage startups “including 5 Decacorns ($10B+ valuation companies) and 17 Unicorns” he says, with the list including Coinbase, Hubspot, Impossible Foods, Reddit, Ro, Pipe, and Clubhouse.
Thus the rhetoric remains one of technology and “simulation”, hence the company rebrand to SIMULATE last year – with Nuggs being released as a “chicken nugget simulation” rather than a vegan meat. A far cry from many brands on the market which are pushing to be perceived as having the shortest ingredients lists and the most natural ingredients – this marketing is all about futuristic food analogs as its modus operandi. SIMULATE previously stated its mission is to “develop nutrition technology that advances nature’s codebase”.
Last July SIMULATE raised $11M “to reinvent the food system” in a Series A round featuring high profile investors such as AgFunder, Walter Robb (former CEO of Whole Foods), Jasmine Tookes (the model and Victoria’s Secret Angel), and Alexis Ohanian who led this current round. Previous investors include McCain Foods and Bob Pittman, co-founder of MTV.
Yesterday saw the “chicken simulation” nuggets launch into Canada, with the company’s press release stating that “NUGGS are made from plant inputs and have quickly evolved into the fastest-growing nugget company in the world,” and defining the product as a “hyper-realistic simulation of the texture and flavour of animal-based nuggets”.
“NUGGS’ delicious, sustainable nuggets and punchy branding has quickly blossomed in the US,” says Matt Kohler, Managing Director of the Canadian Retail business at McCain Foods, which will produce and distribute NUGGS in Canada. “We’re thrilled to bring this plant-based nugget to Canadians and to extend this playful, unexpected brand to communities from coast to coast,” he adds.
NUGGS are now available in Loblaws and Sobeys (in BC, Ontario and Atlantic Canada), in Whole Foods East locations, and in Maxi locations in Quebec.