NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cooks Venture - a next generation AgTech and food company committed to regenerative agriculture and supply chain transparency - is pleased to announce a $4 million capital raise led by Golden West Food Group as part of a long-term strategic partnership with the company. This investment will enable expansion of national distribution to wholesale and retailers. Cooks Venture is proud to simultaneously announce the hire of Ankur Agrawal as chief financial officer. Agrawal was instrumental in securing the agreement with Golden West Food Group.
"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," says Josh Solovy, President, Golden West Food Group. "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."
Agrawal is joining Cooks Venture at a time of rapid expansion. Fresh off the heels of raising $12 million in secured financing, the company is working to advance the capacity and reach of regenerative farming nationwide. Agrawal will apply his deep financial knowledge to lead the company's sustainable growth, building new investor partnerships and establishing core processes.
Cooks Venture - founded by Matthew Wadiak, former COO and founder of Blue Apron - 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. Cooks Venture's breeding program is redefining AgTech for poultry. "I have raised and breed animals for food for five decades and am painfully aware of industrial poultry production," says Bill Niman, animal welfare expert. "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. Finally, we have a scaled humanely raised, slower growing, affordable and delicious alternative that doesn't torture the animals, farmers, consumers or the environment."
As a member of the leadership team, 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.
"Matt is committed to making a positive, long-lasting impact on the agriculture and food systems," said Agrawal. "Cooks Venture provides a unique opportunity to combine my passion for heathy food and food systems, reversing climate change and building strong businesses."
Agrawal has worked in a variety of finance roles including FP&A, innovation finance, investor relations and corporate development. Most recently, Agrawal served as the VP of Finance at SeatGeek. Agrawal first met Wadiak at Blue Apron, where he worked for over three years. Prior to Blue Apron, Ankur worked at Pepsico in a variety of Finance roles. He began his career in investment banking with a focus on food and agriculture clients. As a result, Agrawal became passionate about making good food accessible while building financially stable businesses. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Yale University and a Bachelor's Degree from New York University.
Cooks Venture's mission seeks to improve and bring innovation to the American food system. They are redefining how agriculture technology and genetics for monogastric animals interact in developing better practices to create economies of scale for farmers which in turn provide profitable returns for farmers and private business.
In conjunction with Cooks Venture leadership, Ivan Saval of National Securities Corporation acted as an advisor in brokering the deal.
To learn more about Cooks Venture, visit cooksventure.com.
About Cooks Venture
Cooks Venture is a next generation AgTech company committed to regenerative agriculture and a truly transparent supply chain for the future. Founded by Matthew Wadiak, the company is built on the well-documented scientific principle that sequestering 1% more carbon into the soil on agricultural lands could help mitigate climate change. Cooks Venture aims to improve the overall agricultural supply chain, while promoting regenerative agriculture at all levels, providing consumers with responsible food choices that are exceptional in quality and taste while also being completely transparent in process.
Cooks Venture is Certified Humane and a Global Animal Partnership Step 4 certified company, which is the leading animal welfare certification recognized by the ASPCA® Shop With Your Heart program.
SOURCE Cooks Venture