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Sweet! Healthy fast-casual chain Sweetgreen raises $200 million

ImpactAlpha, November 14 – The Sweetgreen chain of restaurants, known for its salads and use of local ingredients, has put a giant exclamation point on the healthy food investing trend with its latest round of funding.

With a $200 million equity round, Sweetgreen has reached unicorn status (a valuation of more than $1 billion), Forbes reports. Fidelity led the round.

Sweetgreen launched in 2007 in Washington D.C. and has since expanded to 90 locations in eight states. The company wants to double the number of stores over the next three years and has its sights set on “replac[ing] McDonald’s as the global iconic food brand.”

Co-founder Jonathan Neman says the company is committed to responsible growth. “There are businesses that get better as they get bigger, and businesses that get worse. Food companies are often the ones that get worse,” he said. Blockchain technology for supply chain transparency is one consideration, for example.

The size of Sweetgreen’s latest funding round may stand out, but it’s among a spate of recent healthy restaurant and food company investments that also includes Oprah-backed True Food Kitchen, Farmer’s Fridge, Spyce, Sustainable Restaurant Group, by CHLOE, Everytable, and Purple Carrot.

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