Black Female-Founded Partake Foods Raises $4.8 Million In Funding From Investors—Including Rihanna

Partake Foods founder and CEO Denise Woodard wants to help move the funding needle for other entrepreneurs of color.

Partake Foods founder and CEO Denise Woodard wants to help move the funding needle for other entrepreneurs of color.

Partake Meals founder and CEO Denise Woodard desires to assist transfer the funding needle for different entrepreneurs of shade.

Courtesy of Partake Meals

Forward of the brand new 12 months, the For(bes) The Tradition group predicted that Black and Brown entrepreneurs would have extra entry to funding in 2021, with extra enterprise capitalists of shade stepping as much as lead the cost. The most recent funding spherical for the Black female-founded snack firm Partake Meals is a step in that course. 

The allergy-friendly meals model closed a $4.8 million collection A funding spherical in late December, led by traders together with Rihanna (her first funding past private ventures), Kevin Johnson’s Black Capital, Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner, Black Star Fund, As soon as Upon a Farm CEO John Foraker, CircleUp Progress Companions, FF2032 and Marcy Enterprise Companions. Greater than 50% of Partake Meals’ complete $7.5 million in funding has come from Black traders reminiscent of Jay-Z’s VC fund, Marcy Enterprise Companions, and Grammy Award-winning singer H.E.R.

“That was very deliberate,” says Partake Meals founder and CEO Denise Woodard. “I really feel very captivated with persevering with to extend wealth within the Black group wherever attainable and so having traders on board that perceive these missions and targets is basically essential to me.”

Woodard is the primary girl of shade to boost $1 million for a meals startup, and her enterprise is scaling rapidly. The model, which launched in 350 shops in the beginning of 2020, plans to develop to five,500 by the top of 2021. Woodard plans to make use of new funding to increase her workforce, advertising and marketing efforts, product line and distribution. 

Whereas she’s pleased with her accomplishments, Woodard acknowledges the lingering actuality that Black girls—regardless of being the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs within the nation—obtain lower than 1% of funding, an appalling statistic she is working to enhance. In partnership with HBCUs, Clark Atlanta, NC A&T, Howard and Florida A&M, she is main a “Black Futures in Meals & Beverage” fellowship program aimed toward fostering larger inclusivity in her business. 

Her entrepreneurial story, which she hopes will encourage others, has additionally helped her work towards that aim. “I offered cookies out of my automotive up and down the road in New York each single day; I drove to pure meals shops and did demos each single day . . . there’s a lot of an extended grind,” she says. “I say that to say that if I can determine this out and get right here, anybody can.”