Rihanna simply invested in Partake Meals, a Black- and woman-owned vegan cookie enterprise.
The vegan firm, which makes allergen-friendly cookies, acquired $4.8 million in collection A funding in December.
The spherical of investments was led by various celebrities. Along with singer Rihanna, traders included NFL linebacker Bobby Wagner and former NBA participant Kevin Johnson’s Black Capital.
In keeping with Partake Meals, half of the corporate’s whole funding—which quantities to $7.5 million—has come from Black traders. Singer H.E.R. and rapper Jay-Z, via his VC fund Marcy Enterprise Companions, have additionally invested within the vegan model.
“I really feel very enthusiastic about persevering with to extend wealth within the Black neighborhood wherever doable. So having traders on board that perceive these missions and targets is actually necessary to me,” Partake Meals founder and CEO Denise Woodard informed Forbes.
In a press launch, Woodard stated the funds will probably be used to proceed Partake’s “mission of creating tremendous scrumptious and protected meals that these with and with out dietary restrictions can get pleasure from.”
She continued: “The demand for thoughtfully-made cookies, snacks and treats is obvious. We’re excited to proceed to supply plant-based, protected, and crave-worthy meals to customers.”
Partake Meals’ merchandise at the moment are accessible in 2,700 shops. Main retailers embrace Goal, Complete Meals Market, and Sprouts.
Woodard based Partake Meals in 2016 after her daughter was recognized with a number of meals allergic reactions.
In 2017, the corporate launched with three cookie flavors. The vegan model has since expanded to incorporate seven new flavors. It additionally has a soft-baked cookie line and the newly-released 5-in-1 baking combine.
In order that her daughter and others experiencing meals allergic reactions can benefit from the firm’s treats, Partake Meals makes all of its merchandise freed from the High 8 allergens, non-GMO, and gluten-free. The cookie firm can also be the primary to be licensed glyphosate residue-free.
Vegan Black Girl-Owned Companies
BIPOC-women like Woodard are starting to make waves within the startup house. In keeping with the Ladies’s Enterprise Enterprise Nationwide Council (WBENC), Black women-owned companies grew by 163 percent between 2007 and 2018. The WBENC is a third-party certifier of companies which might be owned, managed, and operated by ladies within the U.S.
However whereas Black ladies are among the many fastest-growing demographics of entrepreneurs within the U.S., they nonetheless face vital setbacks with regards to securing funding.
In keeping with ProjectDiane, a biennial demographic examine that analyzes public funding for Black and Latinx ladies entrepreneurs, Black and Latinx women-founded companies within the US secured lower than one % of all enterprise capital funding.
That is one glass ceiling Woodard is working to shatter. In keeping with Forbes, she is the primary Black girl to boost $1 million for a meals startup. Since 2018, the variety of Black ladies who’ve garnered greater than $1 million in funding has greater than doubled, stories ProjectDiane.
With a purpose to assist different BIPOC-women, Woodard leads the Black Futures in Meals & Beverage fellowship program. By way of its partnership with traditionally Black schools and universities—together with Howard, NC A&T, Clark Atlanta, and Florida A&M—this system goals to advertise gender and racial inclusivity within the meals business.