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Nowadays raises $7 million to scale plant-based chicken

SAN FRANCISCO — Plant-based meat maker Nowadays has closed its oversubscribed seed round at $7 million, bringing its total funding to date to nearly $10 million.

Founded in 2020 as a Public Benefit Corp., Nowadays’ proprietary technology platform produces plant-based meat from a short list of simple ingredients. Its first product, crispy chicken-style nuggets, are made with only yellow pea protein, whole wheat flour, cold-pressed sunflower oil, maple fiber, yeast extract and mushroom extract. Free from binders, thickeners and other additives, they boast 13 grams of protein, 120 calories, no saturated fat and 150 mg of sodium per serving.

The San Francisco-based startup will use its new capital to scale its proprietary whole-cut technology platform. The funding will support commercialization of new chicken alternatives, including a plant-based chicken cutlet, which will launch this summer on Nowadays’ website for national shipping and in select restaurants across the country. Along with fueling product innovation, the funding will allow the company to expand its distribution in foodservice and launch into retail, including Whole Foods Market, later this year.

The seed round was led by Stray Dog Capital, with additional strategic support from Standard Meat Co., a privately-owned meat processor that supplies restaurant chains, supermarkets and club stores. The support from an established meat maker validates Nowadays’ approach to creating whole cuts of plant-based meat that can easily plug into existing finishing lines to scale manufacturing, said Ben Rosenthal, co-president and chief executive officer of Standard Meat Co.

“We are constantly looking ahead to the future, bringing innovation to every aspect of our business,” Mr. Rosenthal said. “Today, that means investing in and supporting Nowadays and their plant-based meats that will deliver the nutritional benefits flexitarians are craving. We know that consumers want a variety of quality protein choices, and we are looking forward to lending our operational expertise and culinary credibility as Nowadays scales manufacturing and launches new products.”

Additional participants in the seed round include returning investors VegInvest Trust, Tenacious Ventures, Cornucopian Capital and Good Protein Fund. New investors include Selva Ventures, Vanterra Accelerator Fund, FoodHack, Gaingels, Beyond Impact and Unpopular Ventures, plus angel investors Rachel Mansfield, Varsha Rao and Brandon Shainfeld.