From No to Go: How Fly by Jing Turned Rejections into a $12M Investment Triumph

After being turned down by several investors, Fly by Jing, a modern Chinese cuisine company that popularized Sichuan chili sauce or chili crisp, has now obtained $12 million in Series B funding.

By AHN Editor

March 24, 2023

According to Fortune, when Jing Gao launched Fly by Jing in 2018, there were only two to three Asian food brands she would see on American groceries, and when Jing raised her initial $120,000 on Kickstarter, she was turned down by every investor until the company had multiplied by 20.

Now, her products are available in 4,000 retail locations, including Costco, Target, Wegmans, and Whole Foods, with her sights set on Kroger and Albertsons, and this funding from private equity investors Prelude Growth Partners and Pendulum will support Fly by Jing’s continued expansion.

Image Source: NOSH

This funding is particularly significant for Fly by Jing because of the under-representation of women, especially women of color, when it comes to capital and fundraising. With this capital and guidance from investors, the brand aims to become a national heritage brand, moving past the startup stage and paving the way for other AAPI brands to follow.

The brand has also made two executive-level hires: CFO/COO Matt Dunaj (formerly of Follow Your Heart) and Chief Commercial Officer Jason Parasco (formerly of Sovos/Raos) have joined the team.

Fly by Jing will be able to continue growing its wholesale business and creating new goods thanks to the additional funding injection. Fly by Jing’s success stems from being the first premium Chinese food brand to provide intelligently produced pantry staples to the modern kitchen.

Image Source: CNN

The brand has transformed the ‘ethnic aisle’ of the grocery store into a destination of bold, global flavors and innovation. Jing said she is proud of how far the company has come in four short years and that the funding will enable the brand to reach even more people, further its mission to evolve culture through taste, and become a household name.

Image Source: Food52

Fly by Jing is not alone in its success, with newcomers in the food category like Fishwife and Gorgie making an impact in grocery stores. Fly by Jing’s success also highlights the growing popularity of global flavors in the American market, and the importance of representation in the food industry.

Featured Image Source: Epicurious