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Exclusive: Protein snack maker Wilde raises $20M

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Apr 23, 2024
A bag of snack chips made from chicken sits on top of snacking chips spread out over a surface.

Photo: Courtesy of Wilde

Wilde Brands, which makes snack chips from whole chicken breasts, raised a $20 million Series A extension, its CEO Jason Wright tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The Nashville-based startup is capitalizing off of growing consumer demand for better-for-you snacks.

Zoom in: The internal round was led by KarpReilly and includes participation from The Family Fund and Grey Space Group as well as musicians Jack Harlow and MGK.

  • Proceeds will be invested in marketing, product demonstrations and on hiring, Wright says.

By the numbers: The company will likely generate more than $50 million revenue this year, Wright says.

  • Revenue doubled in 2022 and 2023 and will likely double again this year, he explains.
  • The snack is sold in about 20,000 retail locations today, including Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Target and Whole Foods.

Catch up quick: Prior to this latest funding, Wilde had raised north of $20 million, the CEO says.

  • Some of those proceeds financed a manufacturing facility in Lexington, Kentucky.

Flashback: Wilde, which is named after the author Oscar Wilde, was founded in 2015 in Boulder, Colo. with the aim of selling meat bars, Wright says.

  • That product failed to take off, however, the founder says.

How it works: After snacking on a bag of potato chips, Wright got the idea to come up with a version made from a protein ingredient.

  • Through trial and error he developed a chip (it came to market in 2018) made from whole chicken breast, egg whites and bone broth.

What's next: Wright says anything in the salty snack category, but with a chicken or protein twist to it, is fair game in terms of future product development.

  • The focus this year is to grow its shelf space within its existing store base, Wright says.
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