Chinese food brand Fly by Jing raises $12M in funding

March 14, 2023

The first modern Chinese food brand that popularised chili crisp has secured $12M in Series B funding to continue its explosive growth.

Fly by Jing‘s existing investor Prelude Growth Partners funded the round alongside Pendulum. The capital positions the company for continued significant growth by propelling it into Kroger, Albertsons and other national grocery retailers, in addition to the existing 4,000+ doors the brand is already in, including Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, Target, and Costco.

In addition to being the first modern Chinese food brand on the market when it launched in 2018, Fly By Jing’s hero product Sichuan Chili Crisp became one of the top-selling hot sauces on Amazon in the US shortly after launch and has since become one of the fastest-growing condiments on the market, demonstrating the product’s wide appeal and trajectory to become the new standard for hot sauce among American consumers.

“I’m so proud of the Fly By Jing team and how far we’ve come in four short years to transform the ‘ethnic aisle’ of the grocery store into a destination of bold, global flavours and innovation,” said Jing Gao, Founder of Fly by Jing. “In the continued, unwavering support from the woman-led team at Prelude Growth Partners, combined with Pendulum’s dedication to underrepresented founders of colour, Fly by Jing has the kind of guidance and stewardship that will truly make it a household name. We look forward to partnering with our retailers to make our flavours accessible to even more people and to further our mission to evolve culture through taste.”

As has been widely documented, women are massively under-represented when it comes to capital and fundraising, and the data is less still for women of colour. Fly by Jing’s Series B is hence even more significant as it also deeply matters where founders of colour accept capital from, and why. Fly by Jing’s existing investor Prelude Growth Partners is a firm founded by two women, while Pendulum is an inclusive and strategic growth investing and advisory platform designed for founders of colour. With this capital and guidance in her corner, Gao is now poised to make Fly by Jing a national heritage brand, moving past the startup stage while paving the way for other AAPI brands to follow suit.

Fly by Jing
Credit: Fly by Jing

Continuing to build on that momentum, Fly by Jing has also made two executive level hires with new CFO/COO Matt Dunaj and Chief Commercial Officer Jason Parasco joining the team.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Jing and her exceptional leadership team to build one of the most disruptive condiment brands in America,” said Neda Daneshzadeh, Co-Founder of Prelude Growth Partners. “The brand has become a cult favorite by bringing authentic, bold flavors to the category and we are excited to further support investment in the company’s retail expansion and product innovation strategy.”

Co-Founder and CEO of Pendulum Robbie Robinson commented: “Fly By Jing is redefining the condiment category with their popular and ever-expanding line of culturally inspired products. We’re honorued to invest in their vision, and believe they – like so many companies led by founders of colour – are poised to grow formidable businesses, while remaining authentic to their brand.”

About Fly by Jing

Where highly charged flavours meet 100% real ingredients: Fly By Jing is the first premium Chinese food company that brings thoughtfully crafted pantry staples to the modern kitchen. Developed by Jing Gao, a chef, entrepreneur and renowned expert on Chinese cuisine, the Los Angeles-based company is on a mission to bring uncensored Chinese flavours to the table.

The company’s hero product, Sichuan Chili Crisp, became the top-selling hot sauce on Amazon within six months on the platform, and its products can be found at Target and Whole Foods Market locations nationwide.

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