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Next Level Burger raises $20 million to accelerate store growth

Next Level Burger
Next Level Burger recently opened a stand-alone restaurant in the Denver market. Photo: Jonathan Phillips

Next Level Burger has raised new funding to support its ambitious expansion strategy.

The company, one of the nation’s first 100% plant-based burger chains, has raised a $20 million funding round. Lead investors include a strategic organic and natural foods partner, private high-net-worth shareholders, as well as “vegan investor power couple” Alex Payne, formerly of Twitter and Simple Bank, and Nicole Brodeur as minority stakeholders. The couple operate a nonprofit called the Payne Brodeur Giving Fund.

Based in West Bend, Ore., Next Level Burger currently has nine locations, with six inside Whole Foods Market stores.  The capital infusion will help support the brand’s national expansion plans, which call for quadrupling its current store count nationwide by the end of 2025. Next Level Burger has set a long-term goal of approximately 1,000 units.

“Since our founding in 2014, our company mission has been focused on a triple bottom line philosophy of doing good, having fun and making money,” said Matthew de Gruyter, CEO and co-founder of Next Level Burger, which has locations in Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Texas and New York.  “Now more than ever, the fight against climate change and for sustainability drives us and our awesome team of mission-oriented stakeholders. At NLB we believe the future is bright, but it’s up to all of us to make sure of it.”

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