Co-founder of Reddit and plant-based investor Alexis Ohanian just led a $50 million B-series funding round for plant-based food start-up, SIMULATE, maker of NUGGS. Ohanian joined the company’s board and made the investment through his venture capital firm Seven Seven Six. SIMULATE considers itself a technology company and calls itself "the Tesla of Chicken." Since launching NUGGS in 2019, it has introduced its second iteration of the popular formula while becoming one of the fastest-growing chicken nugget brands on the market.

NUGGS are now selling at Walmart, Sam's Club and other major retailers. The price for a 32-ounce box is  $44.99. Other investors include Patrick Schwartzenegger, son of Arnold, and the company enlisted Bella Hadid to be its ambassador early on, which sparked so much interest in tasting the plant-based nuggets that they sold out its first batch last June in 16 minutes.

Read More: Popular Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets, NUGGS, Are Now at Walmart | https://thebeet.com/nuggs-the-tesla-of-chicken-plant-based-nuggets-now-selling-at-walmart/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

Read More: Popular Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets, NUGGS, Are Now at Walmart | https://thebeet.com/nuggs-the-tesla-of-chicken-plant-based-nuggets-now-selling-at-walmart/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

“No one is running into a Whole Foods store normally, and getting to the frozen sector to take a selfie, but with NUGGS, they are,” Ohanian told Forbes.

The food technology company debuted two years ago, founded by 21-year-old Ben Pasternak. The plant-based brand saw immediate popular success after releasing its chicken nugget substitute. NUGGS claims to contain higher protein and lower fat than conventional chicken, fueling the success of Pasternak and his food tech firm. Over the last year, NUGGS rolled out at retailers including Target and Walmart across the United States.

The funding round included investments from Chris and Crystal Sazza, McCain Foods, and NOMO Ventures. The company has also seen vocal support and received investment from the actor Patrick Schwarzenegger, who believes that NUGGS will continue to grow and see positive consumer response.

“Ben has built an exceptional unique brand, and I look forward to continuing to help him grow,” Schwarzenegger told Forbes,

Beyond the plant-based nuggets, SIMULATE plans to use the money secured from this financial package to develop new products. The company hopes to triple in size and enhance its manufacturing to reach more retailers and consumers. Pasternak plans to reach out to larger companies such as McDonald’s to potentially partner and distribute the company’s plant-based nuggets to fast-food clientele.

“The largest use of the fund is to really ensure that we consistently deliver the best products, and hire the best food scientists - continuing to iterate the product is our core intent,” Pasternak said.

Pasternak highlighted the impact Ohanian had on the company in its early stages. He claims that Ohanian and his venture capital arm joined SIMULATE as an angel investor, allowing for the company to really thrive at the very beginning.

The Reddit founder has consistently supported plant-based companies including Impossible Foods and Eclipse Foods. Ohanian frequently states that he thinks the future will be defined by plant-based foods, saying that plant-based products will experience a “huge bump next decade as we realize what our factory-animal-processing practices have done to our health and safety.