NAPLES, FLA. — Chomps, a maker of meat snacks, has secured an $80 million minority investment from private equity firm Stride Consumer Partners. The transaction marks the first outside private equity capital raised by the brand.

Founded in 2012, Chomps produces meat sticks formulated with grass-fed beef, grass-fed venison or free-range turkey, with no hormones, antibiotics or added sugar. Products are sold online and in more than 18,000 retail stores, including Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Markets. The brand generated more than $100 million in retail revenue over the past year.

“The decision to raise outside capital now, after all these years, is multi-pronged,” said Rashid Ali, co-founder and chief operating officer of Chomps. “We’re taking an offensive move in the category by further amplifying the Chomps brand and gaining access to industry leaders that will allow us to continue to strive toward our mission and to level up our amazing team. Stride trusted Chomps’ founders to retain control of the business, while working together to aggressively accelerate our strategic initiatives.”

The investment will be used to accelerate innovation, brand building and distribution.

“As many business owners can attest to, 2021 was a very difficult year in terms of supply chain issues,” said Peter Maldonado, co-founder and chief executive officer of Chomps. “Stride’s team has an excellent track record of rolling up their sleeves and successfully navigating the explosive growth and challenges we’re facing, and we could not be happier to have them as our partners.”

Stride Consumer Partners said the transaction marks its first large investment in the food category. Its portfolio companies include Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Yasso and Brew Dr. Kombucha.

“We were impressed by the Chomps team’s authenticity, passion, and commitment to provide consumers products that are truly better-for-you and better for the environment,” said Tom First, operating partner. “It is a natural fit with the types of companies we want to align with at Stride. We look forward to supporting the Chomps team on their journey to introduce this incredible brand to more consumers.”