After launching what it claims to be the first-ever burger made from kelp, New York-based alt-meat brand AKUA has now announced an impressive $3.2 million seed round. The kelp specialist looks set to find a prominent niche in the alt meat landscape as it promotes regenerative ocean farming.
“The first wave of plant-based eating was the Boca Burger, beans and tofu. The second wave is Impossible and Beyond, and the third wave is going to be the return to whole foods and clean eating”
The funding round included a host of venture funds as well as New England Patriots coach and former linebacker Jerod Mayo, beauty founder Cristina Carlino, SmartyPants CEO Courtney Nichols Gould, and Sir Kensington’s co-founder Brandon Child. The seed round brings AKUA’s total fundraising to date up to $5.4 million.
Founded by Courtney Boyd Myers and Matthew Lebo in 2016, AKUA will use the new funds to grow its team and expand R&D, with more kelp-based products in the pipeline. A ground meat product and a crab cake are set to hit shelves in 2022, joining its flagship vegan, non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free burger. The brand prides itself on a clean label approach, with the burger consisting of only 15 food or food-derived ingredients, while AKUA is currently expanding its retail channels.
“The first wave of plant-based eating was the Boca Burger, beans and tofu,” Founder and CEO Courtney Boyd Myers told TechCrunch. “The second wave is Impossible and Beyond, and the third wave is going to be the return to whole foods and clean eating. We are only as great as the giants that came before us, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here today doing a better plant-based burger.”