Mikuna Foods has closed a $5.6 million seed round, as it looks to scale its production capacity and expand its distribution footprint.
Founded by Ecuadorian Ricky Echanique, Mikuna claims to be the first company to introduce protein from chocho – a lupin species found in the Andes Mountains – to the US market.
Athletes such as professional skateboarder Leticia Bufoni, professional surfer Mick Fanning, and professional snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg were among the backers of Mikuna’s seed round.
The brand will use the funds to support retail and foodservice expansion, as well as product innovation beyond protein supplements, and to scale up its production capacity.
Vuori Clothing founder and CEO, Joe Kudla, who has also invested in Mikuna, said: “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”.
Mikuna has also announced the appointments of Tara Kriese and Gary Doherty as CEO and CFO, respectively.
Kriese commented: “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. 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.”
Mikuna currently offers Chocho Superfood Protein, which comes in three flavours, each of which is vegan, gluten-free, keto, paleo and non-GMO.
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