Wicked Kitchen, the plant-based brand with roots in Tesco, has secured £20 million in bridge funding – a type of temporary loan used to cover short-term expenses while companies are working on long-term financing.

It brings the total amount raised during its fundraising drive to $34 million.

New investors in include Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson, Indian venture capital fund Ahimsa VC and Nutra Regenerative Protein Ltd – a food production company which uses ‘cutting edge’ innovation in Bangkok.

In a statement Harrelson says he has known founding brothers Chad and Derek Sarno ‘for many years’ and has been ‘impressed by their wicked creativity in the kitchen’. “They are not afraid to push boundaries. What I love about this brand is that the products are actually created by chefs that always put flavour first, making it so easy to go plant-based.”

“During this high growth phase, it is validating to have support from additional investors who believe in our mission and in the future of plant-based foods,” comments Pete Speranza, CEO, Wicked Kitchen.

“This latest round of funding will help us go faster to expand our offerings in the US and abroad and it puts us in a well-poised position as we continue to lead plant-based innovations…that appeal to vegans and omnivores alike.”

Since Wicked Kitchen’s launch into the US market in 2021, the company has brought its range to more than 6,500 retail stores. Expansion into the Finnish market saw the brand launch 23 products into grocery chain S-Market, and plans are in place for the introduction of 17 products in Thai retailers Tops Market and Central Food Halls.

Image credit: Wicked Kitchen (L-R: Derek Sarno, Pete Speranza and Chad Sarno)