Mikuna raises $5.6M in seed to scale clean lupine-based protein ‘chocho’ – vegconomist
Plant protein brand mikuna announces that it has closed an oversubscribed $5.6 million funding round to fuel the company’s scaling and nationwide launch in the United States next year. The round also saw the appointment of Tara Kriese as the company’s new CEO.
Launched in 2021, Mikuna is the first company to introduce Chocho Protein to the US market. Made from lupins grown in the Andes, Mikuna says Chocho is a regenerative superfood that offers more protein than virtually any known plant while being free of isolates, soy, lectins and gluten.
Made from a single ingredient, Chocho is also nutrient-dense and high in fiber, iron, zinc, and calcium. Chocho Superfood Protein is currently sold DTC in line and is available in Pure Chocho, Cacao and Vanilla varieties.
Supported by top athletes
The seed funding round was led by a collective of athletes and food and wellness investors, including professional skateboarder Leticia Bufoni, surf champion Mick Fanning and Olympic snowboarder and gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg.
“Mikuna has been a game-changer in my personal nutritional journey and provides me with, in my opinion, the best vegetable protein that I need to continue performing at the highest level,” says Leticia Bufoni. “I’m thrilled to be part of their mission.”
Sole supplier of Chocho
Mikuna was first founded by Ricky Echanique, a fifth-generation Ecuadorian farmer. According to the brand, Echanique’s unique heritage and personal relationship with the Andean farming community positions the brand to exclusively supply premium Chocho to the US market. Mikuna plans to invest the new funds in people and teams, capacity scaling, retail and restaurant expansion, and product innovation.
“A promising white space”
“Mikuna has identified an exceptionally promising white space in the growing plant-based protein market, and I am thrilled to join the company at such a crucial time of growth and innovation,” says Tara Kriese. “Chocho is the future of plant-based protein, and as we look to the brand’s pipeline of products and innovations, Mikuna is poised to bring the plant-based industry back to its clean, whole food roots.”