Slutty Vegan Founder Pinky Cole Raises $25M In Series A Funding Round
Founder and CEO Aisha “Pinky” Cole has raised $25m through a Series A funding round that values her four-year old brand at $100m.
Cole intends to open 10 Slutty Vegan venues by the end of this year and another 10 in 2023. Her intention is to hire a Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer to help manage the company’s growth.
She has long believed that Slutty Vegan will be a billion-dollar brand — “bigger than McDonald’s and Burger King and Chick-fil-A,” she says — and wants to make it a household name. Now
What reportedly excites Cole is not just the capital but also the expertise of her lead investors, including entrepreneur Richelieu Dennis’s New Voices Fund and restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality Investments.
“I got the Michael Jordan of food on my team,” said Cole in reference to Meyer. She further mentioned that he “has proven that you can scale a business, and it can be unique.
Away from her food business, she owns ‘The Pinky Cole Foundation’, which is helping to empower entrepreneurs of color. When previously asked why she started the foundation, she said: “I started the Pinky Cole Foundation in 2019 as a way to help bridge the generational wealth gap. Since our founding, I’ve partnered with the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation to provide lights for families, given out thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetable to families in need, as well as thousands of coats.
“I paid the rent for local businesses during the pandemic so they didn’t have to close their doors. When Rayshard Brooks was murdered in the Wendy’s parking lot, I partnered with another local business owner to provide life insurance for the family, provided scholarships for the family, and bought them a new car. I’ve paid the balances of 30 Clark Atlanta University students so they can walk across the stage.
“We’ve given cars, scholarships and so many other resources through the foundation. That is worth so much more to me than money in the bank. It gives me great joy and pride that I can utilize my resources to help an eco-system of people to be better.”