USA – Cook Ventures, a New York based next generation AgTech and food company committed to regenerative agriculture and supply chain transparency has raised US$4 million in funding led by Golden West Food Group.
Founded by Matthew Wadiak, former COO and founder of Blue Apron, Cooks Venture is establishing regenerative agriculture systems through a combination of crop science, animal breeding and husbandry and long-term data monitoring.
The company’s first offering is pasture-raised, slow-growth, heirloom chicken raised on their 800-acre farm, hatchery and breeding facility in Northwest Arkansas.
Industry experts, led by Bill Niman, an animal welfare expert, believe that Cooks Venture’s breeding program is redefining AgTech for poultry.
“Cooks Venture’s unique breed, the “Pioneer,” is the product of over a decade of research into better, slower growing genetics and is the best tasting chicken I have ever had,” says Bill.
“Finally, we have a scaled humanely raised, slower growing, affordable and delicious alternative that doesn’t torture the animals, farmers, consumers or the environment.”
Fresh off the heels of raising $12 million in secured financing, Cook Ventures said that the new investment from Golden West Food will support its expansion of national distribution to wholesale and retailers.
Josh Solovy, President, Golden West Food Group, said that the company’s investment in Cooks Venture is part of a long-term strategic partnership between the firms.
Josh said: “Consumers are always looking for a wider variety of ethically sourced meats, and we like to be at the forefront of what’s new and innovative in the market.
“We align with Cooks Venture’s philosophy that better animal husbandry yields higher quality, great tasting and better for you foods.
“That’s why we invested in Cooks Venture and believe they, in short time, will be a market leader for pasture-raised, heirloom and heritage bred, regenerative poultry in the US.”
Cooks Venture is now bringing in Agrawal – a former SeatGeek executive – as chief financial officer. The company said that Agrawal was instrumental in securing the agreement with Golden West and will support its rapid expansion.
Agrawal will apply his deep financial knowledge to lead the company’s sustainable growth, building new investor partnerships and establishing core processes. Agrawal reports directly to Wadiak.
“As Cooks Venture continues to expand, it is critical that we add trusted executives to our team, who can help grow the business. I look forward to seeing what Ankur can do for the company as we look to our second year,” Wadiak said.