Jay-Z invests in plant-based meat company behind NUGGS | Totally Vegan Buzz
Jay-Z invests in plant-based meat company behind NUGGS
Image: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

SIMULATE-the Nutrition technology startup is now valued at more than $250 million following the Series-B funding round.

Rap icon Jay-Z has joined a growing list of investors backing plant-based chicken company SIMULATE.

The company recently closed a $50 million funding round led by the venture capital arm of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s SEVEN SEVEN SIX.

According to Bloomberg, Marcy Venture Partners – the firm co-founded by Jay-Z, Jay Brown and Larry Marcus backed the Australian food technology firm, which is in the business of creating what may possibly be the ‘most advanced vegan chicken nugget on the planet.’

The latest funding brought the company’s valuation at more than $250 million. The new capital will be used toward tripling the company’s internal team, including hiring engineers, food scientists, designers and artists; accelerating the development of new products and technologies; scaling its manufacturing capabilities; and expanding its retail presence in national and international markets.


21-year-old Ben Pasternek launched SIMULATE in 2019 with the aim to create a plant-based chicken product that mimics chicken in taste and texture with a healthy nutritional value. 

The company offers three products: NUGGS, spicy NUGGS and a patty offering called DISCS, which are currently only direct-to-consumer.

The brand’s flagship product NUGGS are made from a combination of soy and textured wheat protein and are 100% cholesterol-free. Moreover, they boast higher protein and lower fat content than their animal-product counterparts.

NUGGS—in original and spicy flavors—are now available in hundreds of Walmart and Target stores across the US with plans to be stocked in 10,000 additional retail locations by the end of 2021.

Earlier this month, the “Tesla of Chicken” brand rolled out its plant-based nuggets to grocery chains and retailers across Canada including Loblaws and Sobeys (in BC, Ontario and Atlantic Canada), in Whole Foods East locations, and in Maxi locations in Quebec.

Jay-Z’s vegan investments

SIMULATE isn’t the only vegan company that has been backed by Jay-Z in recent years.

The hip-hop artist and entrepreneur has invested in a number of other startups including Impossible Foods, vegan cookie brand Partake Foods, and oat milk giant Oatly.

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