District Ventures Capital, InvestEco Capital and Export Development Canada invest in the organic pasta brand
Canadian organic pasta brand Chickapea has closes its Series C funding round totalling C$9.3 million. The round was co-led by existing investors InvestEco Capital and Export Development Canada and with the participation of District Ventures Capital.
The funds from the Series C round will be used to support Chickapea as it continues to grow in both Canada and the US, expanding its product line to include more nutrient dense pasta.
Shelby Taylor founded Chickapea in 2015 to provide a nutritious, convenient and familiar meal option to families dealing with time constraints, picky eaters, allergies and health issues.
As a former health food store owner and new mom, Taylor recognised the challenge of putting a heal thy meal on the table that everyone would enjoy, so she turned a family favourite – pasta – into a superfood. Chickapea’s organic pasta made from only chickpeas and lentils hit store shelves in 2016.
“Chickapea has experienced exponential growth over the past couple of years,” saidTaylor. “There’s no longer the question of whether a substantive market exists for nutritious, high-protein pasta, but rather how to keep up with the growth and demands of that market, and this funding will provide us with the resources we need to continue offering the highest quality, most nutritious and innovative products while living our values. District, InvestEco and EDC have been incredible partners and it’s exciting to continue growing with their support.”
Chickapea entered District’s ecosystem in 2017 through its accelerator programme, and later received a seed capital investment from the marketing focused venture capital firm.
Two years later, Chickapea strengthened and broadened its investor base with an investment led by InvestEco, a Toronto-based venture capital firm that has been investing in the Canadian market for more than 20 years.
EDC participated in the 2019 round setting the stage for this significant Canadian funding round, which had participation from all three institutions and from some of the original angel investors who helped fuel the company when it first got started in 2016.
“Our initial investment in Chickapea was driven by the insight that consumers were looking for nutritious alternatives to traditional pasta,” said Arlene Dickinson, General Partner of District Ventures Capital. “Four years later, this demand continues to increase and Chickapea continues to provide new ways to enjoy a healthy take on a staple household favourite.”
Dickinson noted that Chickapea has developed a product which consumers enjoy for both nutritional value and flavour profile. “The female founded-and-operated company now has the funding needed to scale operations and expand distribution,” she added.
Chickapea is a certified B Corporation whose mission is to create good for the world through nutritious, organic meal options and impactful social contributions.
The company, which was named in the top 100 fastest growing companies in Canada in 2020 by the Globe & Mail, offers a line of organic pasta made with only chickpeas and lentils. Currently, pulse-based pasta is driving the growth of the shelf-stable pasta category with more than 60% growth over the past 52 weeks.
Chickapea pasta is sold in more than 4,500 retail locations across North America and is available in 11 different formats including penne, spaghetti, lasagne, spirals and elbows. Recently, the company launched their +Greens line – a veggie-packed, organic and gluten-free pasta made with only chickpeas, lentils, kale, and spinach.
Date published: 13 April 2021