Bain Capital’s Double Impact leads vegan chain by CHLOE.’s $31 mln round

By CHLOE., the vegan fast-casual restaurant chain, has raised $31 million in a Series A led by Bain Capital.

Also participating in the round were Kitchen Fund, Collaborative Fund, TGP International/Qoot International, RiverPark Ventures and other strategic investors.

By CHLOE. plans to use proceeds to double its locations to 20 over the next two years.

Samantha Wasser, the creative director at hospitality company ESquared, and noted vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli co-founded by CHLOE. in 2015.

Coscarelli, who took first place in Food Network’s Cupcake Wars in 2010, is no longer associated with the company, a spokeswoman said. She was involved in a long-running legal battle against ESquared last year, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2017. Jim Haber, ESquared chief executive, is currently CEO of by CHLOE., executives said.

By CHLOE. started off in New York City’s West Village and has locations in Boston, Los Angeles and London. The restaurant chain plans to open a location in NYC’s South Street Seaport, a third locale in Boston Back Bay plus another in London.

The restaurant offers a plant-based menu that includes a pesto meatball sub (portobello + veggie), guac burger, quinoa tacos and even pupcakes, which are oat cupcakes for dogs. Dishes cost from $4 to $10.

Bain used its Double Impact fund to invest in by CHLOE. The pool contributed more than half by CHLOE.’s current round and is a significant minority investor, said Warren Valdmanis, managing director. (Valdmanis spent more than 11 years with Bain private equity before switching to Double Impact.)

By CHLOE. proves that vegan food can be delicious and good for the environment, said Valdmanis. “That’s why [by CHLOE. is] doing Shake Shack-like numbers in some of the stores because the food is incredibly tasty,” he said. “I had it for lunch today. I love the meatball sub.”

By Chloe. is the fourth investment from the Double Impact fund, which closed on $390 million in July, Buyouts reported. The fund targets lower-mid-market companies that deliver a financial return along with a positive social footprint — be it environmental sustainability, health and wellness or community building, Buyouts said.

The pool focuses on buyout and control deals but will consider minority stakes in areas of interest. It seeks to invest $10 million to $50 million equity per deal, Valdmanis said.

Double Impact’s three earlier transactions were Impact Fitness, Living Earth and SpringWorks Therapeutics.

By CHLOE. falls into two categories favored by Double Impact: environmental sustainability and health and wellness. The restaurant chain proves that vegan food can be a successful theme, Valdmanis said.

This week, Impossible Foods, a developer of a plant-based meat alternative, also raised roughly $114 million in notes.

“Americans are going to eat healthier, more sustainable food,” Valdmanis said. “[Vegan] is good for the planet, good for you and it’s tasty. I think you see that with by CHLOE.”

ESquared could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact Warren Valdmanis at +1 617-516-2000

Photo of a black bean slider sourced from by CHLOE.’s website.