Hungryroot raises $3.7 million for healthy eats

Brownies made of black beans and cookies made of chickpeas are among the unusual recipes found on Hungryroot. Launched last year, the New York-based meal kit startup focuses on vegetable-based natural foods that can be prepared in under seven minutes.

After demonstrating “rapid growth,” Hungryroot has raised an additional $3.7 million in financing from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Crosslink Capital and others, bringing its total funding to $6 million.

Now is really the time to accelerate the business,” said Ben McKean, founder and CEO. Select Hungryroot meals are already available on Amazon and they are looking to expand into Whole Foods.

Like Blue Apron, Hungryroot sends out perfectly portioned ingredients. But Hungryroot does not require a subscription and is focused on quick and healthy cooking.

McKean said that on-demand and other food delivery startups “have innovated on how we get food to people,” yet Hungryroot has “innovated on what is the food we’re getting to people.”

The CEO strongly recommended the maple chickpea pancake batter, the almond chickpea cookie dough and the sweet potato cacao mousse.  The black bean brownies are my personal favorite — comprising almond butter, sweet potato and vegan chocolate chips, the batter somehow winds up tasting like the real thing.

Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners said he invested in Hungryroot because it seems “very similar to what the Honest Company was talking about and what the Honest Company did.” Liew backed Jessica Alba’s organic-friendly Honest Company, which is now a billion-dollar business. Consumers are “starting to be much more concerned about health and thinking about eating well, eating organically,” he said.

Hungryroot raised $2 million in a seed round last spring from Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Mesa Ventures and others.

After eating Hungyroot, McKean thinks you’ll ask, “why would I ever have a traditional cookie again?”