Allergy-friendly brand Partake Foods raises $11.5m to scale business and make snacking ‘worry-free’

Since launching in 2016, Partake has raised $19m with founder and CEO Denise Woodard as the first Black woman to raise more than $1m publicly for a CPG food startup, according to the company.

The funding round was led by a diverse group of investors supporting Black, brown, and female leadership including Cleveland Ave’s CAST US fund, Fearless Fund, Supply Change Capital, Kaya Ventures along with returning investors Marcy Venture Partners, CircleUp Growth Partners, Black Star Fund, FF2032 (Lotus Bakeries’ venture arm), and Black Capital.

“This round of investment will allow us to invest in capital expenditures to increase our capacity, support our expanded distribution at retail and across other channels, and help us continue to build out the team. We’d like to meet our consumers where they live, work, and play, so you’ll continue to see Partake pop up across other channels,”​ Woodard told FoodNavigator-USA. 

Its team has expanded from one full-time employee in 2020 to 20 in 2022, including recent new hires including Keli Wilson (formerly Beyond Meat) as SVP of operations, Beth Hanson (formerly Purely Elizabeth, General Mills) as VP of retail sales, and several other strategic hires including a marketing coordinator, an FP&A analyst, a sales planning manager, and a technical services manager, noted Woodard. 

‘Inclusivity is at the heart of what Partake is doing’

From a brand mission perspective, the funding addresses the broader industry need for more diverse representation in the CPG world both in leadership (which skews heavily white and male) and in consumer audiences targeted.

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