Chickapea, the gluten-free organic pasta business in Canada, has secured a Series C round of financing to further develop its growth across North America.

Founded in 2016 by chief executive Shelby Taylor, Chickapea was a graduate of the start-up accelerator programme of Toronto-based District Ventures Capital (DVC), which has led the CAD9.3m (US$7.4m) round with another venture-capital firm InvestEco in the same city. Export credit agency Export Development Canada also contributed.

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Chickapea, a certified B Corp business led solely by women, makes pasta using chickpeas and lentils as the main ingredients spread across varieties such as penne, spaghetti, lasagne, spirals and elbows. The company recently launched its +Green pasta line consisting of chickpeas, lentils, kale and spinach.

The company entered the US market in 2017 and its products are now sold in more than 4,500 retailers in North America, including Whole Foods Market.

Taylor said: "Chickapea has experienced exponential growth over the past couple of years. There's no longer the question of whether a substantive market exists for nutritious, high-protein pasta, but rather how to keep up with the growth and demands of that market, and this funding will provide us with the resources we need to continue offering the highest quality, most nutritious and innovative products."

DVC provided Chickapea with seed funding after its graduation followed by an investment by InvestEco and Export Development Canada in 2019. Angel investors backing the business at its inception also contributed to the latest C round. The size of the previous investments has not been disclosed.

Arlene Dickinson, a general partner of DVC, added: "Our initial investment in Chickapea was driven by the insight that consumers were looking for nutritious alternatives to traditional pasta. Four years later, this demand continues to increase and Chickapea continues to provide new ways to enjoy a healthy take on a staple household favourite."