Superfood Company Builds Roster of Athlete Investors, Expands Retail and Foodservice Partnerships
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., April 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Mikuna Foods announced the closing of its $5.6M seed round — a major source of momentum that will further expedite Mikuna’s efforts to scale production capacity and launch their products nationally in the next year. Mikuna is the first company to introduce Chocho — a clean superfood protein sourced in the Andes Mountains — to the U.S. Market.
The oversubscribed round was led by a collective of mission-aligned, internationally known athletes, stakeholders and investor-advisors at the very forefront of wellness, food, sustainability, music and culture. The seed round is also highlighted by the appointment of Tara Kriese, a consumer marketing veteran, as Chief Executive Officer of Mikuna, and Gary Doherty as Chief Financial Officer.
"Mikuna has identified an exceptionally promising white space in the growing plant-based protein market, and I’m excited to join the company at such a pivotal time of growth and innovation," says Tara Kriese. "Chocho is the future of plant-based proteins, and as we look ahead to the brand’s product and innovation pipeline, Mikuna is poised to lead the plant-based industry back to its clean, whole food roots."
For its seed funding, the Mikuna roster of investors includes Olympians and World Champion athletes like Leticia Bufoni, professional skateboarder and six-time X Games gold medalist, professional surfer and three-time world champion Mick Fanning, and professional snowboarder and Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg. The brand has also attracted investments from industry leaders like Joe Kudla, founder and CEO of Vuori Clothing; Shannan North, President of Boardriders; DJs & music producers Paul Fisher and Chris Lake; Bill and Laurie Benenson, award-winning documentary film directors and producers, and many others.
"Mikuna has been a game changer for my personal nutrition journey and provides me with, in my opinion, the best plant-powered protein that I need to keep me performing at the highest level," says Leticia Bufoni. "I’m excited to be a part of their mission."
"I’ve always wanted a protein powder that’s clean, and Mikuna is as clean as it gets with just one simple ingredient, Chocho," says Professional Surfer Mick Fanning. "With Mikuna, I’m investing in both the future of nutrition and our planet, and to join such an impressive community of individuals to support Mikuna’s growth was a natural fit for me."
Founded by Ricky Echanique, a native Ecuadorian from a fifth-generation farming family, Mikuna offers Chocho, a regenerative, nutrient-dense plant, rich in fiber, iron, zinc, calcium and more protein than any other plant on the planet. While the plant has been used by Indigenous communities for thousands of years, Mikuna is uniquely positioned by Ricky’s Ecuadorian heritage and personal relationships within the Andean farming community to be the exclusive premium Chocho supplier to the U.S. market.
"My entrepreneurial focus has always been rooted in building and supporting brands with bold visions, and I’m thrilled to be a part of an incredible community of investors at a time when Mikuna is rapidly growing," says Joe Kudla, Founder and CEO of Vuori Clothing. "The plant-based protein market is truly ripe for disruption, and Mikuna is leading the charge by introducing a clean, naturally regenerative, nutritionally packed plant protein with versatility that will allow for rapid market and product expansion."
As Mikuna embarks upon its next stage of growth, the infusion of $5.6M will fuel the company’s investments in people and teams, production capacity, retail and foodservice expansion, and product innovation beyond protein supplements.
Mikuna currently offers Chocho Superfood Protein, which includes 20 grams of complete protein from a single source, and the brand’s Pure Chocho flavor contains only one ingredient. Chocho Superfood Protein is also offered in two additional flavors — Vanilla and Cacao — and all three products are non-isolate, lectin-free, vegan, gluten-free, keto, paleo and non-GMO.
Mikuna products are sold direct-to-consumer on Mikunafoods.com, Amazon and in retailers and foodservice locations across Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and California.
About Mikuna Foods
Mikuna is the first company to introduce Chocho to the U.S. market. On a mission to change the future of food in a way that has a positive and lasting effect on the planet, Mikuna has built the operations and network of local Andean farmers to deliver the supply required to meet the demands of the high-growth plant-based protein category. Mikuna is proud to create clean, plant-based products that are rooted in regenerative agriculture and strives to make a positive global impact.
Press Contact: Kirsten Anderson, Krupa Consulting
SOURCE Mikuna Foods