According to Forbes, the allergy-friendly food brand raised $4.8 million in funding in late December alone. The funding round was led by investors including Rih Rih (her first investment beyond personal ventures, as noted by the outlet), Kevin Johnson's Black Capital, Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner, Black Star Fund, Once Upon a Farm CEO John Foraker, CircleUp Growth Partners, FF2032 and Marcy Venture Partners.
What makes Partake Foods' funding even more special is that more than 50% of the brand’s total $7.5 million in funding has come from Black investors such as Jay-Z’s VC fund, Marcy Venture Partners, and H.E.R.
“That was very deliberate,” says Partake Foods founder and CEO Denise Woodard, the first woman of color to raise $1 million for a food startup. “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 Foods launched in 350 stores in early 2020. The brand plans to grow to 5,500 stores by the end of 2021.
In addition to expanding Partake Foods, Woodard is leading a “Black Futures in Food & Beverage” fellowship program — in partnership with HBCUs: Clark Atlanta, NC A&T, Howard and Florida A&M — that is "aimed at fostering greater inclusivity in her industry," Forbes reports.
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